Awhile back when I was home in New England for Christmas break, my mom and I set out for our usual grocery store haul to Whole Foods. While I spend the majority of my time in the produce oil picking out a plethora of fresh greens, herbs, and miscellaneous items such as radish sprouts, fresh ginger, and stalks of lemongrass, I decided to grab a couple containers of plantain chips on my way through to the cash register. I wanted to do something different with them, something unique. While I had my thoughts about making some type of flatbread with them, I first decided to grind them up into a fine powder in the food processor. This trick has been used many times before for plantain chip chicken fingers (as seen here), which then got me thinking about making a seafood version. Battered shrimp was first on my mind, however, I then remembered the freezer full of fish back home and realize that should probably be first on my list, hence fish sticks were born! Of course, I couldn’t serve the fish sticks without some type of sauce, which is why I created a riff on the typical mayo and sour cream based tartar sauce. While it would typically use pickle relish and lemon juice, I decided to keep my variation low in histamine, using chopped cucumber in place of the relish and omitting the citrus altogether. Overall, this recipe is a great way to get more seafood into not only your diet, but also your kids. Though I am no parent, I am an older sister to a picky and loud younger brother that, while he is starting to “mature,” is still rather vocal about what is on his plate. Thankfully, and honestly, to my surprise, he didn’t mind these fish sticks one bit as he dipped them in ketchup and scarfed them right down, proving them to be quite the crowd pleaser.
Baked Fish Sticks with Cucumber Dill Relish
- 1 lb firm white fish
- 1 1/2 ground plantain chips (from 2-3 cups of chips)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup minced cucumber
- 1/2 cup finely chopped dill
- 1/2 cup minced green onion
- Make the sauce by whisking 1/4 cup olive oil, minced cucumber, dill, green onion, and 1/2 tsp of sea salt together in a bowl.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place a wire rack on the sheet.
- Grind plantain chips into a fine powder in the food processor and then transfer them to one shallow bowl with remaining 1/2 tsp sea salt, then pour the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil in a second shallow bowl.
- Cut the white fish into strips, about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inch long, then place in the first bowl, coating with oil, then transferring to the second bowl, mixing around until fully covered in plantain flour, then put on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fish.
- Once all of the fish sticks are prepared, place the baking sheet in the oven and allow the sticks to cook for 20-30 minutes depending on how thick your fish is.
- Lastly, remove your fish sticks from the oven, allow to cool slightly, then serve with cucumber dill sauce.
To avoid mixing the olive oil and flour mixture, use one hand to coat the fish sticks in oil, and then your other hand to coat them in the plantain mixture.
The thinner your fish, the faster it will cook in the oven.
Keto variation: use almond flour in place of the plantain flour and use 1 egg in place of the olive oil.
Keto & AIP variation: use ground Pork Dust pork rinds in place of the plantain flour.
Philippians 2:8 “8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
You can’t go wrong with fudge. You also can’t go wrong with anything titled “salted caramel,” so why not put the two together? Ever since my mother was young, she has been spending the summers up in Cape Cod, MA, which is a tradition that she kept with my brothers and I as well. Downtown, there is the incredibly popular “Candy Manor,” a shop supplying both eager tourists and “yocal locals” alike with everything from penny candy, to truffles, chocolates, and their specialty fudge. You don’t even have to walk into that little shop to smell the overwhelmingly rich smell of fudge. Whether it be peanut butter swirl, marshmallow flush, peppermint, oreo, or cranberry pecan, they have every type of flavor anyone could ever want. Aside from the unforgettable smell, the last memory I have of tasting this fudge dates back to when I was around the age of 10. It is a taste I will never forget and is something that had a large influence on today’s recipe that I created back around the Holidays. Around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, there are a lot of sweet treats going around. However, because my body is not in a place where it can handle AIP cookies and things of the like, I choose to go for fudge instead. With the combination of Tinstar Food’s brown butter ghee, maca powder, and coconut products, the fudge on its own is naturally sweet. Overall, it is a very versatile recipe. That being said, I would say that the best version is that which contains both coconut oil and ghee, as well as maca powder, which, as a note, is not 100% AIP friendly. Together, these ingredients make for a perfectly decadent fudge. If you want your fudge to have texture, do not puree the shredded coconut into the fudge. On the other hand, if you want a creamy, smooth, melt-in-your-mouth kind of fudge, then go ahead a puree away. All in all, this fudge has a strong resemblance of sweet, salt, and oh so yummy salted caramels, only in a protein packed, fudge form. What could be better? If you are not following the AIP, feel free to add chopped walnuts or pecans.
Salted Caramel Fudge
- 1/4 cup Tinstar Food’s brown butter ghee (or) non-hydrogenated palm shortening for AIP
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup Vital Protein’s collagen powder
- 2 tbsp maple sugar (or) stevia for Keto
- 1 1/2 tsp maca powder (omit for AIP)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- In a food processor, puree the first six ingredients together until smooth.
- Next, either pulse in the shredded coconut until broken down (or) mix it in by hand to keep it in shredded form.
- Scoop the mixture into desired candy molds or a standard loaf pan lined with parchment paper, then stick whichever container you use into the freezer to allow the fudge to set.
To make low-FODMAP, omit coconut flour and shredded coconut.
Sprinkle with more sea salt for garnish.
2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
Hey everyone! Guess what? Today is the day I release my very first e-book! For all of the individuals who have ever contacted me regarding how I enjoy organ meat on the Autoimmune Protocol, this e-book is for you! For everyone who finds organ meat foreign and daunting, this book is also for you! Eating nose-to-tail is also one of the best ways to respect the entire animal, making this book great for those seeking sustainability in their diet and lifestyle. Overall, the Organ Meat Makeover has over a dozen recipes dedicated to helping individuals maximize their health and healing through the consumption of offal.
Why I chose Organ Meat
Human beings have been eating organ meat since the beginning of time. Yet during the past few decades, there has been a steady and rapid decline in the practice of nose-to-tail eating. With processed food dominating grocery store shelves, the average American finds these cuts of meat as gross and unappetizing, not only creating an epidemic of selective eating, but also highly influencing the risk chronic disease and illness. Throughout the years of battling chronic Lyme Disease, I have found significant help and healing through the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol. A key factor of this diet and lifestyle is the consumption of organ meat, and after more than a year of eating this way, I decided it was time to share some of my favorite offal (but not awful) recipes with you all! The recipes themselves follow the dietary guidelines that I have personally found necessary and beneficial in my healing, including not only AIP Paleo, but also low-FODMAP, ketogenic, and low-histamine.
The book includes….
- 15 recipes: Paleo, Autoimmune Protocol, low-FODMAP, low-histamine, and Ketogenic friendly.
- FAQ: Why organ meat? What is organ meat? What is the best way to prepare organ meat? What if I don’t like the taste of organ meat?
- A simple grocery list of ingredients used throughout the book.
- A recipe index by Animal, covering cuts of beef, lamb, chicken, duck, pork, and turkey.
- Recipes using everything from heart, liver, and tripe, to marrow, gizzard, and tongue.
Note: While the recipes in the Organ Meat Makeover may follow specific dietary protocols, many of the recipes have been 100% approved by my non-organ meat eating friends and family! Remember, organ meat isn’t just for those battling chronic disease. The nutrients found in these meats are vital for all humans seeking optimal health and wellness (and not to mention cheap cuts of tasty meat).
- Asian Gizzard Lettuce Cups
- Rutabaga Dirty Rice
- Rosemary and Horseradish Pate
- Heart Skewers with Creamy Turmeric Sauce
One of the Sundays I had over break, I spent a good half a hour butchering a turkey that our friends gave us. It went surprisingly well, filling our freezer with plenty of turkey to eat throughout the winter. Though we froze most of it, I decided I wanted to create a recipe for my brother. I chose to make turkey nuggets, a play on the typical chicken nugget. First, I tried baking them, but that didn’t seem to work. The flour didn’t brown, and the nuggets were not crisp and tender like I had hoped. Therefore, I knew I had to go the alternate route, which was pan frying them. To my delight both the elimination phase AIP and stage 1 re-intro AIP versions came out fantastic. Both were crisp and crunchy on the outside, with tender, juicy meat inside. While I was extremely excited with the results, I knew my brother would be the ultimate test. As he quickly ran to the lunch table and grabbed his first nugget, his exclamation was priceless. “dang, these are really good!” he said, and the best part about it was that he had picked up an egg-free nugget, proving both variations to be equally a success. I made sure that he saved a few for my mom (though he wanted to eat them all), and she said that they were simply amazing, perfect looking nuggets. Overall the herbs added to the batter don’t make these nuggets taste like an Italian dish. Instead, they serve as layers of flavor that work together to create a mighty tasty nugget. While the ingredients list might seem a little overwhelming with the different variations, you will notice that the process is really quite simple. I recommend reading the recipe notes below for tips and tricks on making the most out of your frying experience. If you are going to make elimination phase AIP & Keto friendly nuggets, definitely read the recipe notes, as they contain key information about how to cook your turkey.
Fried Turkey Nuggets
- 1 lb turkey – cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 1 cup avocado oil
Dry Mixture (AIP, Paleo)
1 lb, skinless, boneless turkey
- 1 cup Otto’s cassava flour
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp ground onion (omit for low-FODMAP)
- 1 tsp ground garlic (omit for low-FODMAP)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
Dry Mixture (Keto)
- 1 cup Pork Dust pork rinds – ground into dust in a food processor
Wet Mixture (stage 1 AIP re-intro, Keto)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
Wet Mixture (Elimination phase AIP, Keto)
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- Cut your turkey (white or dark meat) into 1-2 inch pieces.
- Whisk together the dry mixture in one shallow bowl, then whisk together the wet mixture in a second shallow bowl. If you are using pork rinds, grind them in the food processor to make them into a fine powder.
- Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top.
- Prepare the turkey nuggets by first dredging the meat in the egg (or) oil mixture, and then place it in the flour mixture, tossing around until coated, and putting on a plate. Repeat with remaining meat.
- Heat your 1 cup of avocado oil in a large, 2 inch deep skillet, on medium heat until crackling and hot.
- Once hot, add the breaded nuggets, allowing to cook 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown on each side, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining meat, then serve. *If you are using pork rinds, see notes below.
Place a splatter screen over your skillet to avoid excess oil being all over your kitchen.
If you are making an elimination phase AIP & Keto recipe using ground Pork Dust pork rinds, DO NOT fry. Simply bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the size of your turkey pieces.
To make less of a mess, use one hand to dredge the meat in the wet ingredients, and your other hand to dredge in the dry ingredients.
Ephesians 4:7 “ But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
Two things. First, tomorrow is the first day of 2016, can you believe it?! Second, there is nothing better than a good meatball. Not only are they tasty, but they are a very versatile dish that can be served as an appetizer, main dish, and even eaten as a snack. Because of this, I thought there would be no better recipe roundup for New Year’s Eve than one filled with meatballs! Whether you have a party or get-together to attend, AIP friendly meatballs are one of the easiest dishes to pass by anyone. So go ahead, get cooking, and Happy New Year to all!!
Pork Stuffing Meatballs – Eat Heal Thrive
Italian Meatballs – Gutsy by Nature
Anything Goes Meatballs – Joanna Frankham
Ginger Sage Meatballs – Whole Life Full Soul
Cavolo Nero Cabbage Meatballs – Comfort Bites
Thai Meatballs – Comfort Bites
Fig Meatballs – Enjoying this Journey
Greek Meatballs – Paleo Cajun Lady
Orange Tarragon Meatballs – Whole Life Full Soul
Ginger Spice Meatballs – Adventures in Partaking
Sweet Potato Molasses Meatballs – Heal Me in the Kitchen
Citrus Herb Meatballs – Sweet Potatoes and Social Change
Healthy Meatballs – It’s Me Charlotte
Asian Meatballs – Joy Filled Nourishment
Popcorn Meatballs – Sweet Potatoes and Social Change
Party Meatballs – Enjoying this Journey
Sweet and Sour Meatballs – Gutsy by Nature
Rustic Meatballs – A Squirrel in the Kitchen
Basic Oregano Meatballs – The Paleo Mom
Swedish Meatballs – Sweet Treats
Anti-inflammatory Meatballs – Grazed and Enthused
Hidden Liver Meatballs – Provincial Paleo
Rose Veal Bacon Bites – Comfort Bites
Cinnamon Raisin Meatballs – Grazed and Enthused
Cranberry Relish Meatballs – Grazed and Enthused
Chicken and Ginger Mini Meatloaves – Healing Family Eats
Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”