Pesto Scallops with Bacon

This recipe seems pretty fancy, but is super-easy (especially if you already have some pesto in your freezer!).  So if you want to impress your spouse on a romantic evening, or have something extra-ordinary but quick, or just want to treat yourself, this is your recipe!  It probably would be good with shrimp and/or crab too.  And if your spouse isn’t Paleo, like mine, I poured half the scallop mixture over pasta for him.  Poor guy.

1 pound of scallops (I used bay because they were cheaper.  But if I wasn’t on a budget I would have gone for the larger sea scallops, they’re my favorite.), rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
4 slices of bacon, diced
1-2 zucchini, Julienne peeled
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup Easy AIP Pesto

Do you have a Julienne peeler?  If not, I recommend this one from Kuhn Rikon.  It’s a little pricey, but I make noodles now out of just about anything!  I also have a spiral slicer but it tends to make larger spirals than the Julienne peeler.  Which sometimes you want, but sometimes you don’t.  For this I wanted a small delicate noodle, so I went with the Julienne peeler.


Start by getting your pan good and hot.  Then add the bacon and stir until starting to brown.


Add the scallops.  They will cook quickly so make sure everything else is prepared before you add them.  Seriously, they cook in just a couple of minutes.


Start stirring.  After a minute when the scallops seem mostly cooked, dump in the pesto.


Stir to distribute the pesto, then add the zucchini noodles.


Stir for another minute, then add the juice from 1/2 lemon.  Season with salt and pepper (if you tolerate) and enjoy!


Categories: AIP, Fish, Recipes, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Easy AIP Pesto

My dad first started experimenting with Pesto back in the late 70s.  I remember loving basil pesto (on pasta!) so much that I would beg to have the leftovers for breakfast.  Not bad for a picky eater!!

Over the years I have consistently made pesto with the basil harvest from my garden or what I get at the farmer’s market.  When I found out I was allergic to dairy, I started using walnuts in place of the Parmesan and pine nuts.  I think I liked this even better, especially with a little squeeze of lemon.

But now on AIP, no nuts.  I wasn’t sure what to do about pesto with no nuts at all.  Turns out, I didn’t need to worry at all … it’s just fine without any nuts!


1 large bunch of basil
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup of olive oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor, blender, or cool processor attachment to your stick blender.  Process until the consistency you want it.


Now, I’ll share a little secret with you.  I have a large herb garden in my back yard.  In the fall, I harvest lots and lots of herbs to store for the winter.  Some I freeze whole in zip-lock bags.  Some I strip the leaves off and freeze the leaves in zip-lock bags.  And some I puree and freeze in tablespoon-sized chunks.  This is what I do with basil and/or pesto.  I use my handy Pampered Chef 1 Tbs scoop, and scoop onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Then I freeze and store in a zip-lock bag.  When I want pesto on my spaghetti squash I pop a couple out and defrost to mix into my cooked squash.  Yum.  I do this with other things like chipotle peppers and tomato paste too.  That way none of it goes to waste and you have the small sizes most recipes call for.  Some people use ice-cube trays and that works too, I just think they’re a pain to clean (and I don’t want my basil tasting like chipotle) so this works better for me.



Categories: AIP, Condiments, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Celeriac and Collard Green Slaw

Do you ever get bored with the same old vegetable side dishes?  I do.  I seem to have food ADD!!  Well, in winter sometimes it is hard to fulfill my need to eat interesting vegetables beyond steamed or roasted broccoli.  And although I love many of the root vegetables, roasting them can get old, and I really don’t like purees (I think it’s a texture thing.  It feels more like drinking or something.  I need to CHEW my food for my stomach to register it!).  But I do love interesting chopped salads.  The less lettuce the better.

I was looking to make something with celeriac or celery root because it is a good winter vegetable, readily available, and high in vitamin K, moderately high in vitamin C, phosphorus, and potassium.  But beyond pureeing, I wasn’t really sure what to do with it.  Then I thought of some sort of slaw … and voilà!  This is a rather hearty vegetable salad due to the texture of the collards and the two root vegetables.  Perfect for a winter meal … when you are craving some raw veggies!

I chose collard greens due to their ready availability in the winter, and because I’d never had them any way other than sautéed with bacon fat.  I knew the slaw needed a hearty green, and the collards just called out to me in the store.  From a nutritional standpoint, they rank high in vitamins K, A, and C, and pretty good in Folate.

For the Salad:

1 bunch of collard greens
1 medium-sized celeriac bulb
2 large carrots
1/2 cup parsley leaves

For the dressing:

1/4 cup mayo**
juice 1/2 lemon
2 Tbs capers
2 Tbs tarragon (fresh is best, dried will do in a pinch but use half; I harvest from my garden in the fall and freeze whole)
Salt to taste

**I haven’t tried it yet, but if you are AIP and don’t tolerate egg yolks (in the mayo) I would think you could substitute an equal amount of olive oil without changing the overall taste a whole lot.

First take your collard greens and separate out the tough stem from the leaves.


Wash the leaves and pat dry.  Then stack on top of each other.


Roll into a tight cylinder.


And slice thinly.


Peel and grate the celeriac and carrots.  Rough chop the parsley leaves.


And toss together in a large bowl.


To make the dressing, mix the ingredients well, and pour over the salad, tossing until well coated.




Categories: AIP, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Make-Your-Own-Mexican Shredded Chicken

So, I never realized just how much I rely on spices … specifically pepper-derived spices and seed-derived spices … to season my life.  Now that I am following AIP, those are all out.  If I think about it too much, I get a bit sad …  No cumin.  No paprika.  No coriander.  No fennel seed.  No nutmeg.  (For a great primer on what spices are AIP legal, see this post at The Paleo Mom.)  It really makes “ethnic” cooking a bit challenging!

I love Mexican food.  When I stopped eating gluten and dairy, it was challenging because burritos had been my favorite.  But I discovered fajitas (ordered without the tortillas) and large taco salads.  It was mildly painful to give up corn (I loved tostadas and tortilla chips).  But no nightshades and no nightshade spices makes it nearly impossible.  No salsa.  No traditional guacamole.  No salsa verde.  No chili powder.  No cumin.  Sniffle, sniffle, sob.

We have a favorite (easy) family dinner that we call “Make Your Own Mexican”.  Basically I make either “taco meat” with ground turkey (seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic, onion, and tomato sauce) or carnitas or fajitas (chicken breasts or thighs rubbed with a mix of chili powder, cumin, chipotle pepper, garlic, onion and then grilled), and cut up a bunch of veggies (peppers, scallions, tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, etc.).  I generally have mine as a large salad tossed with a homemade ranch dressing.  My family generally has theirs in flour tortillas topped with cheese.

So now with me following the AIP, it seemed that one of my easy-peasy family pleasing meals was out the window.  Unless I wanted to cook two separate meals.  Not.

But today I had a craving for Mexican … and so I got out my trusty Flavor Bible and lo and behold under “Mexican Cuisine” it lists several AIP-friendly ingredients.  Lime juice.  Cilantro.  Garlic.  So, I had an idea.


6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you could use breasts too)

1 Tbs Garlic granules

1 tsp sea salt

1 Tbs coconut oil

Juice of 3 limes

6-8 garlic cloves, pressed

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1.  Place thighs in crockpot, add water to cover, garlic, and salt.  Cook on high 4 hours.  Remove from crockpot and put in a bowl.  Reserve 1/4 cup of broth.  Using two forks, gently pull apart, shredding the chicken.

2.  In a heavy pan (I use cast iron), heat coconut oil.  Add garlic and stir until just starting to brown.  Add the shredded chicken and reserved 1/4 cup broth.  Cook, stirring frequently until broth is mostly absorbed.

3.  Add lime juice.  Continue to stir, as the juice evaporates.

4.  Add chopped cilantro.  Continue to stir, allowing bits to brown.  Sprinkle 1/2 tsp sea salt or Himalayan salt over chicken.

Serve with chopped cucumber, scallions, maybe some carmelized onions, lettuce, shredded carrots, diced avocado.  Whatever floats your boat!

This was a big hit with my family … and nobody commented on the lack of pepper or seed based spices!  My girls even asked for salad-versions in their lunch boxes for tomorrow!

**Sorry for the lack of photos … I’ve been fighting a cold and in my fog, neglected to take pictures as I was cooking.  I will update with photos the next time I make these, which I can assure you will be soon!

Categories: AIP, Poultry, Recipes | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Food Evangelism

Food for thought … over 200% increase in food allergies since the introduction of genetically engineered proteins into our food supply.  Why is our government not only allowing, but subsidizing genetically modified food?

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Colorful Kale Salad

I have a confession … I am not a big fan of salad.  And by salad I mean garden salad.  I don’t know, it’s just so … blah.  Boring.  Meh.

BUT, I love love love my veggies … and to be honest, sometimes I just crave raw veggies.  Especially in winter.  Or those first warm days in spring when I eat lunch outside and wish I had a sweater.  Or mid-summer when my CSA bounty is overwhelming.  Who am I kidding?  I could eat raw veggies three meals a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (366 in a leap year)!  But just not boring regular old “lettuce salad” as my daughter calls it.

Sometimes I want a nice chopped Cobb salad.  Or something like Turkish Chopped Salad from Well Fed.  But much of the time I totally crave kale.  I know, you are saying, “Kale?  Raw?  But it’s so tough and bitter!”  Yeah, I hear people say that and I just don’t get it.  I’ll share my method and you can decide yourself …

Kale Salad

Toss together:

1 bunch kale, ribs removed, sliced thinly (you can use any kind of kale, I like a mix of red and green, or just lacinato)
1/2 head purple cabbage, core removed, sliced thinly (I like to use a mandolin for this)
3-4 carrots, scrubbed or peeled, then shredded
3-4 scallions, sliced thinly
1/4 red onion, diced finely


Then drizzle the dressing ingredients over the top, and toss thoroughly.


juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, pressed
olive oil (~ 1/4 cup I think, I just drizzle it on)


Season to taste with:

Himalayan Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Eat immediately, or let it sit a few hours.  This is even awesome the next day or day after.  I always try to make extra so I can eat it for meals over the next few days.


Categories: Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetables | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Roast Duck with Pomegranate Ginger Glaze

I’ve fallen in love with duck fat for cooking.  Roasted root vegetables are just to die for when cooked in duck fat.  I am lucky that I can find a good source locally, but it is pretty expensive.  I decided to embark on roasting a duck and collecting the delicious fat …

Now, I roast chickens almost weekly, and I have cooked many a turkey.  I’ve even done Cornish Game Hens.  But I’ve never even eaten duck!  I developed a severe beef allergy in my late teens, then spent many years through my twenties as a vegetarian and vegan.  When I returned to meat, it was in the early 90s, and therefore deep in the anti-fat movement.  I would pretty much only eat boneless, skinless chicken breast for a long time.  Now that I know the health benefit of eating meat on the bone and of eating animal fats, I now prefer fattier cuts of meat and poultry on the bone with skin!

One of the issues with duck is that since it is so high in fat, if not cooked properly, the skin can be soggy.  Ick.  So I have done a lot of reading and followed the process described by Hungry Mouse almost to a “T” … The Best Way to Roast a Duck (Hello, Crispy Skin!) (Check it out … beautiful tutorial with great pictures … my duck looked almost exactly the same.)

Please ignore my dirty oven!

But I’ve had this bottle of Pomegranate Molasses that I made at Christmastime for our salmon … and I wanted to use it.  So I got out my trusty Flavor Bible.  I looked up Pomegranate Molasses and chose some complementary flavors.

Pomegranate Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a Microplane grater
  • 1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar

Mix ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Reduce until the glaze coats the back of a spoon.


Substitute this glaze for the glaze in the Hungry Mouse’s recipe, and finish cooking as specified in her recipe.

I served this with a side of mashed cauliflower, roasted beets, and roasted Brussels sprouts (in duck fat of course!).

Bonus!  Beautiful duck fat!

Categories: Poultry, Recipes | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Tuna Burgers

Since I don’t eat beef (severe allergy), and I get sick of turkey burgers, I came up with this easy recipe for tuna burgers.  Great for a summer meal with a nice salad.


2 lbs of fresh tuna steaks

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 inches of fresh ginger, grated (I love my Microplane grater!)

4 Tbs of Coconut Aminos

4 scallions, chopped

1 red pepper, roasted, diced

1 Tbs Red Boat fish sauce

2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper


I used a meat grinder to grind my tuna (attachment on my KitchenAid stand mixer), but you could also chop finely by hand, or use a food processor.


Add the remaining ingredients, and mix.


Form into patties.




Categories: Fish, Recipes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Home-made Sausage Patties

So, I have a friend who makes homemade sausage patties all the time, and they are so delicious.  I’ve always wanted to make them, since that way you get to control what goes into them, but it seemed too complicated.  She assured me it wasn’t, but I was hesitant for a long time.

Eventually that ended and now I make them all the time.  Sometimes I don’t even make patties, I just cook it up as ground meat.

  • 1 pound of ground turkey, chicken, lamb or pork (or combination thereof)
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground fennel
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger

Mix together.  Form into patties.  Bake at 350 until they are cooked to your liking.  I try to undercook a bit when I am doing a big cook-up since I am going to freeze them and reheat/cook again and don’t want a hockey puck.


You can play around with other seasonings too … like adding some shredded apple (like in the photo above) or try chorizo seasonings!

Categories: Meat, Poultry, Recipes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Compote of Fennel, Onion, Pancetta, and Golden Raisins

Fennel was my mother-in-law’s favorite vegetable. I never had it until I found this recipe in our local paper.


Now this is one of my favorite side-dishes!


Thinly slice 1 onion (I forgot to thinly slice when I made it this time.  It was still good!)

Thinly slice 1 fennel bulb

Dice 2 oz of pancetta (I used 2 slices of organic nitrite-free bacon since that’s what I had)

1/4 cup of golden raisins.



Add the pancetta (or bacon) to a pan and let cook.


Add the onion, fennel, and raisins.


Stir.  Stir some more.

Let start to brown and reduce.

Lower heat (from medium/medium-high) to lowish. Cover and let reduce by about 1/2.


Raise heat a little, uncover, and let brown up a bit. Eat. Enjoy!


Categories: Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetables | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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