We will have soup for breakfast, and soup for lunch. And for dinner we will have broth! - my 10-yr-old son

Saturday, March 17, 2012

And, sadly, I'm back

Apparently my stomach doesn't want to stay healed so I think it's back to GAPS for me.  I've been experiencing an increase in symptoms for my ulcerative colitis and I don't think I'm in "remission" any more.  Some days are downright painful.

So, I'm starting Intro again.  I'll work my way up to FULL and then probably stay there for a bit.  My goal is to stay on each Stage for at least one week before moving up, but I might go faster or slower depending on how my guts react.

I'm the only one doing it this time.  My husband volunteered to do it with me (bless his heart) but since I'll be making meals for the kids I told him to eat with them or else I'd have crazy amounts of leftovers.  I'll be using a lot of the recipes I've already tried (and liked) and will be posting new ones as I go.

Here we go......

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chicken "Lo Mein"

This is a variation on the Stir Fry....and tonight it went like this.

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 chicken sausages, also bite-sized

Cooked them up in a skillet until browned.

several handfuls baby carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 head broccoli, crowns only

Cooked until softish.  I did add a bit of water here and there to make sure it didn't burn.  I wasn't going for tender-crisp, but soft-tender.  It would have been much better to add chicken broth, but I had none.

When everything was basically cooked I added:
salt to taste
2 medium zucchini turned into "noodles"

Cooked a few more minutes until zucchini was warmed through and soft.

The kids inhaled this and later told me it was "really, really, really, really, really, really good".  I think I might have missed a few reallys in there...but they liked it.

This would also work well with beef and/or shrimp or other sausages.  It would also be great with onions.  Sadly, my kids only eat onions in soup.

I'm thinking it's a Stage 4 when you start baking things and cooking them on the stove.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beefy Squash Bake

What do you call something that you just threw together?  Goulash?  Bake?  Dinner?

Tonight I used the other half of the squashes that went into the Crockpot Chicken Curry.  I totally improvised and it actually worked.  GAPS is taking me so far out of my comfort zone!!!

In a 13x9 pan add the following, and stir to distribute.

1/2 butternut squash, small cubes
1/2 acorn squash, small cubes
1 onion, diced small
1 calabaza squash, small cubes

Take 1 pound of ground beef and break into small, small bits.  Top with lots of salt (a few teaspoons?) and gently mix together.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Take off the foil and stir around, breaking up the ground beef as needed.  Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed/cooked off and the squash is soft.

Everyone ate this without complaint, although there was a lot of picking out of the meat to begin with.  This is a Stage 3 recipe, "stews and casseroles".

Crockpot Chicken Curry

You know you found a good recipe when your 10-year-old comes up to you the next morning and says, "That was some good curry you made yesterday".

I followed a recipe from The Well Fed Homestead.

I used 3 different kinds of squash, all uncooked -
1/2 butternut squash, small cubes
1/2 acorn squash, small cubes
1/2 spaghetti squash, chunks about 2 inches long and 1/2 an inch wide

I threw all those in the crockpot and added:
1 LARGE onion, diced small
one can coconut milk (I should have used homemade but didn't)
1 to 2 cups chicken stock (I just ladled it in and didn't measure)
3 tsp. curry powder (I added another 1 tsp. later)
2 tsp. salt (and added more later)

Stirred it all together and let it cook for 7 or so hours, on low.  Instead of adding cooked shredded chicken to the crockpot, I cubed some chicken and fried it up on the stove (in coconut oil) and stirred it in the crockpot right before serving.  I liked the texture better that way.

It had a good flavor and texture.  I served it in bowls because it was a little soup like, closer to chili.  Two of the boys ate it with no problem (one had seconds).  The little boys picked the chicken out.  This fed our family of 6 dinner and then lunch the next day.

Because of the coconut milk this is Stage 6.  You could probably make this in Stage 5 (due to spices) if you added more broth instead of the coconut milk.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Raw Veggie Crackers

So, even though we're doing GAPS I find it hard to completely walk away from my raw food interests.  I do think the two dietary philosophies can work well together and this was one attempt to do so.  I'm not baking with nuts these days - we use them for snacks in their raw (soaked and dried) form.  The expense is just too high and the frustration level is too.  So, veggies seemed like a good compromise for crackers.  I used the recipe from Simple, Healthy, Tasty and while they were good, it needs some work.

2 1/4 c. carrot chunks (peel and chunk some big ones)
1/2 c. raisins
juice of 1 lemon
2 c. raw sunflower seeds (use soaked and dried seeds)
3/4 c. golden flax seeds
1/2 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. salt

In a food processor, blend the carrots and raisins until finely chopped.  Add lemon juice, then sunflower and flax seeds, pulsing until incorporated.  Then add the other ingredients, pulsing as you go.

The original recipe states "The mixture does not want to be completely smooth."  I disagree somewhat.  My flax seeds never really got crushed and unless they are ground/smashed to bits they just pass right through you.  Good for "roughage" but not good for absorbing nutrients.  The next time I make these I will use my Blendtec to grind the flax and sunflower seeds.  Then proceed with the food processor steps.

Add a little water as needed if it's too thick.  Spread, about 1/4 inch thick, onto dehydrator teflex sheets.  (I just used my holey ones and they made pretty funny looking spiky crackers).  Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 6 hours, flip and dry another 6 or so hours.  Cut into squares (or break into chunks) and store in airtight container.  If you want it truly raw, dehydrate at a temperature no higher than 105 degrees.

Mess around with flavors.  Check the original recipe for some ideas.

We tried the Mexican one with:
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 jalapeno

And the Pizza flavored one:
1 1/2 tbsp. oregano
2 tsp. fennel seed
2 tsp. ground fennel (didn't have)

Nobody had a clear favorite and so we'll keep trying.  I don't like biting into whole fennel seeds so I might skip that and try to find the ground fennel instead.

I'd save this for the Full Stage.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ground Beef Soup

I've been fighting a cold and not feeling peppy.  Two of my boys and my husband are sick as well and they all requested soup.  Since I wasn't wanting to spend a lot of time 'prepping' I made a lazy soup...and we loved it.

1 onion, pureed
2 or 3 large carrots, peeled and pureed
2 or 3 cloves garlic, pureed
2 to 4 quarts broth (depending on how much soup you need to make)
1 to 2 pounds ground beef
a few handfuls broccoli heads (stalks removed, just the little flowery parts)
several large handfuls of spinach, sliced small
2 large leaves of kale, cut into tiny pieces
2 zucchini, made into "noodles" (use a julienne peeler or spiralizer)

Puree the onion, carrots and garlic.  Add to a large stock pot with the broth and bring to a boil.  Once it's boiling drop in small bits of ground beef, no fancy meatballs this time around.  Alternately, you could dump the whole chunk of meat in and use a masher or spoon to break it up as it cooks.  After adding the beef, reduce heat and cover with a lid.  Let simmer 15 to 20 minutes.  Add the broccoli and let cook about 10 minutes.  Add the zucchini noodles, kale and spinach.  Cook about 5 minutes or until zucchini noodles are soft.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I cooked this until the broccoli and other veggies were MUSH.  Several of us had sore throats and didn't want to swallow "rough" things.

Fast, easy, tasty, very nourishing.  This would also be great with sauerkraut or kimchi, avocados and olive oil drizzled on top.

This is a Stage 1 recipe.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Simple Chicken Noodle Soup

I know I've posted about chicken noodle soup before, but this is the latest version and we like it lots better.

1 large onion, diced (I try to get this super small)
several chicken thighs (or any type of chicken meat), cut into small bite-sized pieces

In a soup pot, saute the onions until soft, about 20 minutes.  Add the chicken and cook until browned.  Throw in:

2 to 3 stalks celery, sliced
3 or 4 handfuls baby carrots, sliced
chicken broth - 2 to 4 quarts, depending on how many people you need to feed

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes or until carrots are soft.  Meanwhile, make zucchini noodles.  To do this, wash and dry some zucchini (I use 2 or 3 for our family of 6).  Using a vegetable peeler or julienne cutter (small, hand-held peeler that creates noodles!) slide the peeler down the zucchini.  I go until I hit the seeds.  I also cut large zucchini in half so the noodles aren't a foot long.

Once the carrots are soft, add the zucchini noodles and return to a boil.  Let boil for 2 to 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I often add in a few cloves of crushed garlic at this point as well.

This is good with a little olive oil drizzled in.  We've added sauerkraut as well, but kimchi would be better (I'm out right now).

Without the celery this is a Stage 1 recipe.  If you add celery then it's Stage 3.