Indian Lemon Chicken with Citrus Chutney


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I don’t know if this is real Indian food, but it’s what was born one afternoon when I deboned two chickens so that I could make stock.   One chicken was stuffed with apples, honey, and raisins to make Apple Dumpling Chicken.  I found myself squeezing lemons and sprinkling turmeric over the boneless pieces of the second.

My first experience with Indian food came about when my mother, sister, and I worked for an Indian family.  They worked in the office and I, a teenager at the time, cleaned the family home.  Mom worked in the evenings, and would come home with all sorts of interesting food samples. I was amazed to come out of the master bedroom of the Indian family’s home with my cleaning supplies, on one occasion, to find an enormous vat of oil set up under a huge turkey fryer sized gas burner, smack dab in the center of the galley kitchen floor.  Several glistening dark haired women in colorful saris sat around the makeshift cooker.  Now, this was in Central Florida in one of those generic, one-story cookie cutter homes in a subdivision.  There was barely enough room for the cooker and the women in this kitchen, let alone for a person to pass carrying a broom, mop, and basket of cleaning supplies.  Every time I inched my way by, very carefully with my excuse me, excuse mes, all the women would whoop and gasp with round eyes, certain that I was going to kick the contraption over, or bump it with my broom, and send us all to the next life in a fiery explosion that would be visible from the Mir Russian space station.  I was nowhere near the burner or the women, none of us were in danger, but I was a little, freckled, natural born American, what did I know?

But the things that came out of the oil that day!  I can only assume they were different forms of samosas.  All I knew at the time was that I had discovered that savory doughnuts filled with spicy goodness were just as pillowy and gratifying as sweet jelly or Bavarian cream filled, and didn’t hesitate to accept the morsels that were generously offered to me.  And no wonder they needed a barrel of oil, they made basket after basket of fried foods that day, I assume for one of the Indian social functions they would frequently attend.

I’m a big fan of chutneys, most likely due to my love of savory and sweet combinations.  When I spied my marinating chicken in the fridge, I knew it needed a form of chutney to go with it.  I pulled out lemons, navel oranges, and the last blood orange in the crisper to see what I could come up with.  While the chutney bubbled, I attempted to make pappadums using only ground lentils and water.  What a mess!  I had to add so much garbanzo flour to my board to keep them from sticking as I rolled them into rounds that I may as well have just made them out of chickpeas.  They were a huge flop, but I baked them and fried them ultra crisp, then left them in the center of the kitchen table for anyone who wanted to attempt to eat them.  They were gone by the next day.  My teen and preteen seldom get potato chips, (I know.  I’m a terrible mother.) so were happy to have something chip-like to munch.  The chutney was easy to make.  I just left it on the back burner over a low simmer until it turned into a wonderful golden jelly.  And I really don’t think the chicken would have been to my liking without it.  Such a nice departure from the boring GAPS meals we had been eating for weeks.

Indian Lemon Chicken

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 2 lemons


1/2 tsp. turmeric

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Combine all ingredients and marinate 2+ hours.  I let it go overnight and cooked it the next afternoon.

Marinating Indian Lemon Chicken

Grill or roast until thoroughly cooked.


Citrus Chutney

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Juice of 1 navel orange

Juice of 1 blood orange

1 whole navel orange peeled and cut into pieces

1/4 c. honey

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 stick of cinnamon

1/4 tsp. coriander

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients.



Simmer over low heat until thick and sticky, app. 2 hours.


Less for a more liquid product.  I checked it often but it didn’t even need stirring until the end, just sat and lightly bubbled.


Yield:  app. 8 oz.

I served the chicken and chutney with roasted kale chips and the almost-too-hard to-chew pappadums that need another go in the test kitchen.




Hangin’ at French Broad Chocolate Lounge


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Ever dream of chocolate streams?  I have.  When I was a kid, a dream I had about swimming in a chocolate river was so vivid that I hoped and prayed that there were chocolate bodies of water in heaven.  That was my idea of eternal paradise.  I simply didn’t want to go if I couldn’t swim in a chocolate stream.  But you know what I’ve been thinking?  I don’t need one anymore because I have French Broad Chocolate Lounge.  Seriously.  Heaven on earth.

It’s not a chocolate shop.  It’s not a coffee shop.  It’s not a bakery, bar, or sandwich shop.  It’s truly a chocolate lounge And lounge I do, any time I’ve had the privilege of stopping by for a treat.  Sitting back with a steaming cup of their French pressed coffee and a handmade slice of rich cake or a delicately designed and flavored truffle is one of my favorite ways to unwind.

CoffeeFlChocCakeFBCLSometimes I do the opposite of lounging when I’m there and work while my boys do their lessons.  Chocolate makes everything more fun.2012-11-29 14.29.19The first time I went to the chocolate lounge it was late in the evening and there was a line to the door.  I knew I was in for a treat.  It was a good thing the wait was so long, because with all the choices a person is given, it’s really hard to settle on just one thing.



The sign says it all.

The sign says it all.

FBCLbarsThey don’t just sell their own creations at French Broad Chocolate Lounge, a colorful display of chocolate from other independently owned producers offers unique varieties.  One day I’ll buy one of each brand to do a taste test.  Now there’s a fun project idea!  I could host a party on that theme.  But chocolate…tasting.  Think anyone would show?

004Of course their own bars are displayed as well.  I have only tried the .81% in bar form and was it ever good?!  I was very surprised by the texture.  It was grainy and rich, fabulously bitter, like the last 1/4 inch at the bottom of a pot of French pressed coffee, which ironically always reminds me of chocolate.  Gotta love those tropical beans!

032The display cases are filled with the most unique variety of chocolate truffles you’ll ever see.  Lavender Honey, Salted Caramel, Tulsi Basil, Masala Chai…

DisplaycaseFBCL020The Fresh Raspberry is rolled in dehydrated, ground raspberries.  It’ll knock your socks right off!

031When I was at the chocolate lounge on Valentine’s Day, they were rushing people who needed to select a box of truffles as a gift to the head of the line.  Lots of happy honeys that night!

Other display cases are filled with creamy delectables and topped with mile-high rich and whippy cakes.  It’s so hard to decide which one to choose!


017015Cookies, tartlets, brownies…oh my!


Nibby Brownie.  It's spicy!  See the cayenne?

Nibby Brownie. It’s spicy! See the cayenne?

And above all these tempting selections is mounted an enormous chalk board with more offerings, such as…wait for it…Liquid Truffle.  It’s hot chocolate.  No, it’s not, it’s rich cocoa.  No.  You know what I think it is?  It has to be what the Mayans “drank” because it’s fit for the gods.  Must be what Belgian Poirot sipped every evening from a tiny cup in all of those Agatha Christie mystery novels I used to read.  It’s simply liquified truffle, or drinkable ganache, and comes in wonderful flavors.

006They also serve cheese, wine, and beer.  Like I said, heaven on earth.


The movers and shakers who provide fast quality service, even on busy nights when the line is out the door!

025The owners of French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Jael and Dan Rattigan, moved to Asheville after owning a cacao farm in Costa Rica.  No wonder everything at the chocolate lounge is so amazing!  These people are not only proficient at turning raw cacao beans into fine chocolate, they also know how to grow the beans!

The opening of their new chocolate factory, of which I have yet to visit, allows them to continue making quality chocolate and desserts in the same manner.  Tours of the solar powered facility include chocolate tastings.  Willy Wonka would be green with envy.098

That Vegan Avocado Chocolate Pudding Everyone Makes That I Refused To Try


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Yes, it tastes as good as it looks. I never would have believed it!

My kids joke that I am anti-everything.  I simply refuse to go with the flow and do what everyone else is doing.  I know for certain that this stems from growing up as a shy child.  Don’t ever tell a shy kid to “Smile!  You look like your dog just died.”  The shy kid may not be as miserable as she looks, just lost in thought.  I guarantee such comments will ruin her day.  And telling a shy, sensitive kid not take things personally is even worse.  A shy and sensitive kid who questions authority and everything else she is spoon-fed in a private, fanatically religious school will feel even more rebellious.  Spending nearly a decade as a military spouse after shaking off the irritants of the past two decades won’t help the “problem” any.  Don’t tell me what to do, I’ll NEVER do it.  But I will if I want to.  So there.  Sticking my tongue out at the world.  😉

Avocado chocolate pudding?  Agave syrup?  Sugar is sugar is sugar.  Well, raw sugar is raw sugar is raw sugar and I only use turbinado and raw honey, except for on those special occasions when only white flour and sugar will do, as in birthday cake making.  You’d never convince me that eating a bowl of chocolate guacamole would trick me into thinking I was eating chocolate pudding.  Then came the GAPS Diet…

I was halving an avocado for my sons to share this afternoon when I decided that it would be more fun to give it to them in the form of that vegan chocolate pudding recipe I’ve been avoiding, to see if it was any good.  Holy cow!  I found when I licked my spatula that it was indeed, and quickly divided it up into four portions, rather than two.  My three fellows sat mmm-ing, sighing, eyebrows raised in question, wondering at my sneaky grin.  Where did she get chocolate pudding?!  My husband, who had never been brave enough to try the mushy green fruit (anyone who follows this blog knows he avoids green edible plant material when possible), nearly licked his sundae dish clean.  I waited until after everyone was done before I told them it was made from avocados. They all asked for more.  There wasn’t any more.  There is another avocado in the fridge…

And I must mention that we are NOT a vegan family.  Grilled lamb kebabs for dinner!

Most of the recipes for this overblogged delight are the same so I don’t even know who to give credit to for this idea.  Who was the first?  I don’t know.  Here’s my version.

Orange Chocolate Pudding~ Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, GAPS Friendly

1 avocado.  Peeled.  Pit removed.

1/4 c. Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa (so much better than regular, and better for you)

1/4 c. honey

1/4 c. water (milk, almond milk, whatever)

1/2 tsp. orange extract

Pink Himalayan salt to taste.


Puree in food processor.


You can have dessert first!  Mmmmm-azing!

028Yield: App. 4, 1/4 c. servings

Wilted Spinach with Lemony White Beans and Asiago


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104We’ve been very slowly reintroducing legumes into our diets after avoiding them for a while.  First it was lentils.  We added those in the wrong way, raw and ground into flour, rather than soaked and cooked, but suffered no gastric discomfort or ill effects.  Then it was garbanzo flour.  This came about when my lentil pappadums were an utter failure and I needed to add the garbanzo flour to stiffen up the dough and keep the rounds from sticking to my board when I was rolling them out.  Tonight it was white beans.  I’d intended to use them last week but it never happened.

My husband has been watching a lot of Gordon Ramsay with me.  We love all of his shows.  On one episode of his new cooking show he made cannellini beans with tarragon on grilled ciabatta.  My husband loves beans in any form and has been asking me to make him a dish similar to Gordon’s when we finally got around to adding back legumes.  I’ve wanted my Lemony White Bean Hummus every time I’ve seen the dried white beans sitting in the pantry.  Both dishes are intended to be eaten with bread and seemed as if they would be a little lackluster without it, but my husband and I are avoiding grains and bread for the time being.  To spruce things up, I came up a with a dish that was similar to each of the ones we were longing for and added in spinach to give it a little more substance.

It made for a harmonious supper.  Hopefully digestion will progress as smoothly.  If not…well I guess our rumbling, squawking bellies will be harmonizing in the still of the night as we try to sleep.  Hopefully there won’t be a trumpet solo from my husband’s side of the bed.


2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 clove minced garlic

2 c. baby spinach leaves

1 1/2 c. cooked white beans

Salt and Pepper

Lemon juice



Heat the oil in a skillet.  Saute the garlic in the oil until translucent.  Very quickly wilt the spinach in the oil and garlic.


Add in the beans and smash a portion of them with the back of a spoon.  Stir the ingredients together, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.


Plate.  Add a squeeze of lemon juice and shaved asiago to each portion.

Makes 4 side dish servings.

Pink Hearts and A Chocolate Mustache


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meringueheartwithwatermarkFirst of all, let me just say that it’s been Valentine’s Day for me every day around here since I started blogging again.  I am making my usual blog food messes, but get so caught up in my picture-taking, tidying, food preparation, and watching the kitchen timer that sometimes I don’t even realize until I finish a project and turn around to wash my dishes that my funny Valentine has already done them.  It’s crazy great!  I’m so thankful for the help.  Because he has been so giving and helpful (and feeling lucky to be one of my three taste testers) I didn’t mind finishing my day by making a variety of GAPS friendly Valentines Day treats for him and my boys.  There will be no exchanging of the traditional velvet covered box of chocolates this year.  I had to see what I could come up with.

Meringue hearts are a little cliché but they seemed like the perfect solution.  There were a couple of problems concerning them, however.  I am only using honey right now and wasn’t sure if the meringue would whip and hold with the addition of the extra liquid rather than granulated sugar.  Also, cream of tartar is not technically allowed on GAPS.  My husband really is healing, too.  I didn’t want to slow his progress. Finally I decided that since I was only planning to use a pinch, there was very little chance the cream of tartar could negatively affect our digestive healing processes.

The honey did prove problematic.  I whipped up a batch of perfectly pink meringue, disgustingly sweet Valentine’s/baby shower pink.  I baked the meringues for one hour at 250 degrees.  They turned brown.  I growled a little about having to repeat the entire process.  Then…I tasted the golden meringue hearts.  Oh my!  Like caramel or perfectly toasted marshmallows!  My husband tried one and said that he couldn’t wait to nibble them with coffee.  GAPS friendly biscotti?  Oh, yes!  Piped into strips, maybe?  Not long after, when I chopped almonds and melted chocolate for my other planned Valentine goodies, I decided that these ingredients could only make the darker meringue hearts more special.  So I started dipping them and decorating them.


I baked the second batch of Sweet ‘n’ Low pink meringues for two hours at 200 degrees.  The honey in them still turned them a bit, but only to a more golden hue of pink.


Meringue Hearts

1 egg white

Pinch of salt

1 and 1/2 tablespoons raw honey

A touch of Wilton Rose Petal pink food color gel, just the tiniest bit on the end of a toothpick.

Pinch of cream of tartar

Turn oven to 200 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Whip the eggs on medium speed with an electric mixer until they are frothy.


Sprinkle in the cream of tartar and salt.  Whip on high speed and drizzle in the honey and color.


Keep whipping until the mixture holds a soft peak.


Spoon into a piping bag with no tip.  Press the tip of the bag to the paper and squeeze to make a dollop of meringue.  Lift to release, making a point or half a heart.  Repeat alongside to make the other half of the heart.

043I sprinkled a few of them with colored sugar.  Now tomorrow I have to remember that those few are not allowed in my mouth, as they no longer qualify as GAPS.


Bake for 2 hours.

To make the darker meringues I unintentionally baked (I meant to do that. ), turn the oven to 250 and leave them in for 1 hour.  Boy. what a difference 50 degrees makes!

As soon as they are cool, store them in an airtight container.

The idea for my second Valentine sweet creation came from Cara at Health, Home, & Happiness.  She has been my GAPS guru through the last few weeks.  I can hardly wait each morning for her latest news to pop up in my inbox.  Her recipe for GAPS Friendly Chocolate truffles has had me in a tizzy for days and wondering if I would I would be able to wait until Valentine’s Day to try them.  I did it!  And though it’s around 3a.m. and technically Valentine’s Day, I can wait until this evening for sampling them with my sweetheart.


I changed the ingredients a bit but they turned out beautifully.  Some I added an entire almond to, then rolled into a ball before coating in chopped almonds.  Others I dipped in 85% Lindt chocolate which is dairy and soy free but contains a touch of turbinado sugar.  A true GAPS cheat that hasn’t been hurting us since we added it in a couple of weeks ago.  As a nod to my favorite chocolate shop, French Broad Chocolate Lounge, I sprinkled a hint of Himalayan salt on a few (The sea salt caramels in the shop make me drool, though I’ve yet to sample one.), and a pinch of cayenne on a couple of others.

Chocolate Truffles

1 cup of cocoa powder

1/4 c. melted coconut oil

1/4 c. honey

Pinch of Himalayan salt

1/4 c. almond milk

I just melted the coconut oil over very low heat.


I mixed in the almond milk and honey, then stirred in the cocoa until no lumps remained.


The GAPS truffle mix is so thick that a spoon can stand up straight in the center. VERY rich and creamy!

I found that I didn’t even have to chill it as recommended, but was able to start rolling and dipping.  The only problem with that was that the cocoa that I rolled some of the truffles in was absorbed by the room temperature coconut oil.  I will have to re-dip them after dinner before serving.




Gaps friendly, dairy free almond truffles made with coconut oil, raw honey, and almond milk.

And, wow!  I was sure after all that dipping and decorating and sampling as I went along that I was sporting a chocolate mustache and goatee.  Very romantic on Valentine’s Day.  Pretty.  But no, just a mustache.

Apple Dumpling Chicken


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Just before Christmas, my friend Stacy shared with me the method she used to roast her Thanksgiving turkey.

When I made our turkey this year, I stuffed it with apples, pears, oranges, brown sugar, butter, and rosemary! It was so moist and delicious and you could taste the fruit in the meat….also the gravy made from the drippings was some kind of awesome!

I assumed that she remembered from all of my pork with fruit posts that I LOVE meat cooked with fruit, and was very grateful to have her pass this idea on to me.

We had a second Christmas dinner when my dad and his wife came to visit after the holiday had ended.  I used Stacy’s idea to roast a fruity chicken.  Guess what.  Stacy was right.  The whole thing was “some kind of awesome”!

It struck me yesterday, after a wave of discouragement smacked me for temporarily turning my blog into a health nut cooking site, that GAPS food doesn’t have to be boring.  Without cream and whippy chocolate things, and bread to sop everything up with, it is really very mundane, so I decided that I would just have to look harder at the list of foods we are allowed to have and get creative.   After all, the whole purpose of blogging for me is to try to think outside the box.

Then I remembered Stacy’s turkey.  Okay, so I totally stole the idea, no creativity required, but I realized that we can have apples on GAPS.  We can have raisins, cinnamon, honey, and roast meats on GAPS…and there were these two birds sitting in the fridge needing to be made into stock…

Rather than dumping them in a pot to simmer away so that we could eat more and more and more of the brown boiled chicken we’ve had so much of over the last month, I stole the bones from the chickens, ripped them right out of their yeller skins, refusing to eat another wimpy, limp piece of cooked-to-mush chicken, and set to work.  I turned one of the birds into Apple Dumpling Chicken (Get it?  The chicken is the pastry?  When I’m off GAPS I’m going to wrap the entire apple/cinnamon/raisin stuffed bird in an enormous sheet of puff pastry.  I really am.) and marinated the second chicken to use another day.

An hour and a half later, my family and I were sitting down to the most tender, juicy chicken I have ever eaten.  Dark meat, white meat…didn’t matter.  Moist and tasty through and through.  Like Stacy said, the meat picks up the flavor of the fruit, but I think it is so tender because the fruit steams the bird from the inside out and it just melts in your mouth.  Like butta!


1 whole chicken.  I needed the bones for stock so deboned my bird, but an easier method would be to just leave it whole and stuff the cavities.

4 peeled, cored apples cut into wedges.  Choose apples that keep their shape during the cooking process, if you are using a deboned chicken, so that the whole thing doesn’t fall flat when it’s roasted.

1/4 c. raisins

Himalayan salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Ghee or butter.  I’m using ghee, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil for cooking while we are on GAPS.

3 T raw honey

3 T water


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan, then rub it down with ghee or butter.

Season it, inside and out, with salt and pepper.


Stuff the cavities with apples and raisins and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Add a few dollops of butter or ghee.  Seal up the bird if necessary, truss if you like.


Roast for 35 minutes.  Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and roast for an additional 30 minutes.

Mix together the honey and water to make a glaze.

Brush the honey/water over the bird.


Increase oven temp. to 400 and allow the bird to brown for 10 minutes.  Baste with the pan drippings and more honey glaze and roast for another 5 to 10 minutes.


Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes or so.

Serve sliced with apples and raisins.


Use the “some kind of awesome” pan drippings to lace each serving with apple dumpling goodness.


Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Drops ~ Low Fat Whole Grain


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I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally figured out what to do with that last bit of steel cut oats that is left when I make oatmeal for my boys, that last little bit that usually gets frozen or fed to the chickens because my sons aren’t fond of oatmeal enough to eat it two days in a row.

I can make oatmeal cookies from rolled oats, but don’t buy them very often.  I can’t make oatmeal cookies from cooked steel cut oats, or at least I haven’t yet figured out a successful method, and I can’t make oatmeal cookies with raw steel cut oats.  But now that I’ve put my mind to it, I can make Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Drops in my cake pop maker with cooked steel cut oats that end up tasting pretty darn close to cinnamon raisin oatmeal cookies.

Ah…it’s the little things in life…that keep a frugal woman up at night fretting.  One less thing to ponder.


3/4 c. cooked steel cut oats

1/4 c. raisins

1 egg

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 c. turbinado sugar

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Heat cake pop maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Beat together the oatmeal, raisins, egg, almond extract, and sugar.


Sift together the dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold until combined.


Grease cake pop maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Drop one hefty teaspoon of batter into each donut maker hole.  Seal the lid closed and bake for 5 minutes.


Yield: 1 1/2 dozen

I’m convinced that every recipe I’ve created for my cake pop maker would perfectly double as mini muffin batter, so I’m sure these little guys could be made in muffin form as well.  I don’t think, however, that they would be as stinking cute as they are as little, round puff balls, perfectly sized and shaped for popping into an open mouth.


Almond Crusted Pork Sirloin Roast


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023That Paula Deen…tempting me with her insanely delectable Southern food combinations!  This time I was able to outsmart her.

Sick baby (well, as tall as me but still my baby), sick mama.  He had fevers all day and asked if he could camp out in the living room where he had been lying for hours and if I could sleep close by to comfort him.  Of course, my poor, sweet baby.  So I’m in the recliner watching The Walking Dead marathon through half the night, which isn’t helping my nausea one bit, but finally have enough and change the channel somewhere near dawn.  I fall asleep and wake up after 9 to find the queen of the Southern kitchen rolling a pork loin in a combination of cracker crumbs (makes sense) and crumbled sugar cookies.  SUGAR COOKIES!  By this time my stomach is growling and I’m hoping that this will not be day three of the quease, and am grateful to Paula for restoring my appetite.  Little Guy’s fever has broken.  I get up and make breakfast, lunch, snacks, cooked vegetables, and heat broth for the day in case the ick creeps back up on me.

How can I have what I want?  Roll the dang pork sirloin I have planned for Sunday dinner in the almond meal I have left from making almond milk, of course.  Everything goes in almond meal these days.  And it wasn’t sugary sweet Southern, but turned out just as beautifully as Mrs. Deen’s.

Little Guy informed me after eating his piece that he doesn’t like almonds at all and requested that I cut the crust from his pork next time.  Well that’s a first and really made me giggle.  I mean I’ve cut the crust off of bread once or twice… His almond repulsion is also new to me.  I’ll try to remember that.  Guess I’ve been overdoing it with the almonds lately.  He did enjoy the Cinnamon Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Drops that I made for a snack for him and his brother. They were almond free.  I’m blogging them tomorrow.  Maybe I should add an “Almond Free” category to the blog for him and a “Kale Free” list for my husband.  Giggle.  They make me laugh.

Here’s the recipe.  It was easy as pie!  No, wait…much easier.


2 1/2 lb. pork sirloin roast

1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt, coarsely ground

1/2 tsp. black peppercorns, coarsely ground

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/4 c. almond meal


Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place a rack inside a baking pan or dish.

Combine the almonds, salt, pepper, and coriander.


Roll the sirloin in the mixture to coat.


Place on the rack.  I followed  Paula Deen’s instructions here and it allowed the roast to crisp all around.

Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  I don’t know how Paula’s pork loin cooked for only 30 minutes, but it looked done to me.  My sirloin was thicker and took much longer to reach the proper internal temp.


I let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing.


BBQ Kale Chips


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After watching a few cooking shows this morning, (Has anyone seen Baron Ambrosia?  So silly and ridiculous I laughed till I cried.) I found myself craving a crunchy, flavorful treat.  It seemed like every dish that was featured on the shows was something I couldn’t have.

My menu idea for Kale Sausage & White Bean Soup was a bust the other night when I realized we had gone through the batch of sausage I had made to make GAPS “biscuits” and sausage “gravy”.  More on that another time, but as I was already omitting the beans, I gave up on the soup idea.  Who wants plain old kale soup?  Not I, and I know my husband would have wondered why I was giving him a bowl of his least favorite vegetable boiled in water.  The promised Lemon Olive Oil cake my kids were expecting never happened that day, either, because I found that we had no back-up eggs in the fridge.  Despite my begging and pleading and divvying of kitchen scraps, our chickens refused to lay any more that day.  Sigh.  Some days are just like that.  I don’t even remember what we ended up eating that night for dinner.  I have been trying to remind myself every day since, however, that I still had a bag of kale in the fridge that needed to be used.  I was very glad it was there this morning when I decided I needed something to snack on.

Some Facebookers were discussing BBQ flavored potato chips in a post the other day which had me strumming my fingers until I gave up on finding a way to get them and went ahead and ladled myself another bowl of beef broth.  So…kale chips+a BBQ potato chip craving=BBQ Kale Chips!

I forgot how much kale shrinks in volume as it roasts when I chose to use a full teaspoon of salt, so they were a little on the salty side.  My husband didn’t complain about that, he took full advantage of my mistake, but he did do a little whining about the kale-full aftertaste, as did I.  But kale chips are allowed on GAPS, potato chips are not.  Nor are they allowed on any other healthy eating plan that I know of.  But someone please, PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong.  😀


8 cups of washed, trimmed kale leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp. (or less) Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper.  I ground it on the course setting of my grinder and loved every spicy bite on the finished kale chips.

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1 T granulated garlic

1 T smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. turmeric

1/2 tsp. chili powder


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Lay the kale out on a sheet pan.


Generously drizzle with olive oil to keep the leaves from scorching.  Toss well to coat.

Mix together seasonings.


Sprinkle all over the oiled kale.


Toss well to coat.


Bake for 10 minutes.  Stir.


Bake for another 10 minutes.  Stir.


Bake for 5 minutes and stir.  The kale on the outside crisps before the leaves on the inside.  Mix then around to keep them rotating.


Bake for 5 more minutes or until all the leaves are crisped.


Cool and munch!

Almond Milk


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Grasp almond firmly, pointy side down, between thumb and index finger.  Squeeze.

No, no.  Just kidding.  We have completely switched from cow to almond milk over the last year, though there have been times of weakness when we’ve switched back over for a little while.  During Christmas is one example, when I get too busy to milk almonds and we decide that nothing goes as well with holiday baked goods as cold cow’s milk with that plasticky (or sometimes waxy paper carton tasting) flavor.

But why did we switch?  I have heard too many bad things about cow’s milk, particularly the effects of homogenization on the milk and how this affects the cardiovascular system, and can’t ignore all the health benefits that almonds provide.

I haven’t always made almond milk myself, either.  In fact, I prefer Blue Diamond almond milk, in all it’s creamy sweet goodness, better than my own.  It is full of things I don’t think we need in our diet, however, so I make sure I find time to grab those almonds by the utters every few days to replenish our supply.

But enough with the milking jokes.  Here’s how I really do it.

Step 1:  Soak 1 1/2 cups of raw almonds in water overnight to help them swell and release all of their creamy nutrients when it comes time for milking.


Step 2:  Drain the brownish water that is produced during the soaking process.

Step 3:  Grind the almonds to a pulp in a high powered blender or food processor, adding water as needed.

Step 4:  Here comes the milking part.  Strain the almonds through cheesecloth, a clean t-shirt, or, in my case, a jelly bag on a metal frame.  Add 2  to 2 1/2 quarts of water, stirring almonds as the milk drains until the liquid runs clear.  My jelly bag is tall enough to hang over a pitcher.  Squeeze the almonds until all the liquid has run from them.


Now here’s where you can get creative.  I spread the wet almond meal onto a sheet pan and leave it in a warm oven until the almonds are dry.


Then I grind them into almond flour.


Almond Meal Pancakes

Or you could just use the moist almonds immediately to bake with.

Or you could put the moist almond meal into a container in the fridge for a couple of days until you are ready to use it.

Or you can grind them further and add honey or sugar to make a sort of marzipan.  I have done all of the above.

You can also get creative with the milk itself.

009Before we started on the GAPS Diet, I was thickening each batch of almond milk and adding in nutrients by mixing in a few tablespoons of Vanilla Spiru-tein shake mix and crushed, chewable probiotics.  My husband loved it this way because it tasted most like commercially produced vanilla almond milk.  Since starting GAPS, I just add in the probiotics.  I have also made a sort of almond kefir by adding probiotics and letting them grow in the yogurt maker overnight.


I am still working on perfecting my method, however, and will be using yogurt culture the next time I try it.  I’m hoping to have almond yogurt when I’m finished.

So there you have it.  It was such a mystery to me when I first heard of almond milk that I felt silly when I realized how simple it is to make.  So if anyone else out there is clueless when it comes to making almond milk at home, I hope my little post will prove helpful.