Following our trials and tribulations as we attempt to remove all grains, many starchy vegetables and most sugars from our diet while maintaining our love of good food! We strive to make all of our recipes GAPS and/or SCD compliant. Note: We didn't know about "Grain-Free Gourmet" when we chose our name. We are not affiliated with those good folks.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Carrot Nutmeg Pie A La Mode

The recipe for this came from another blog called GAPS Guide by Baden. The recipe is called Carrot Mousse Cake and is about halfway down this page.

Baden says the recipe was loosely based on a recipe for a pie filling, so I decided to bake mine in a pie dish rather than a loaf pan. It is delicious! I decided not to use the coconut flakes yet, but I think they will add a nice touch soon.

The whipped topping is meringue batter that I put into my ice cream machine. It came out a little like soft serve ice cream, a lot like frozen whipped topping, and it works perfectly on the pie! The cold topping on the warm pie really gave this a "comfort food" sort of feel.

This would also work as a side dish- it's a bit like candied yams. It would really be nice with a roast turkey breast, chestnut stuffing, and Brussels sprouts.

Extravagant GAPS dinners

For Valentine's Day we wanted to have a dinner that was delicious and fancy and didn't remind us that we are on a special diet. This is what we came up with:

Crab legs
Artichokes with garlic mayonnaise
halibut steaks in a lemon sauce
Peas with mint
Green Salad with Vinaigrette dressing

Artichokes are a favorite food in our family, and are something that works on the diet fairly early. My favorite way to eat crab is alongside a green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The peas were cooked according to a recipe called "Peas in the French Style" from the book The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine by Rose Elliot. Basically, the peas are cooked in butter along with shredded lettuce, with a sprig of mint on top while cooking to impart a minty flavor (the mint is removed after cooking and discarded). This was an interesting variation on peas.

Around the second or third week of the diet, fillet Mignon was on sale at the grocery store and became the central player in our first extravagant meal, which also featured french onion soup and asparagus in ghee. Our family has been following various restricted diets for over 3 years now, and we have learned that this is much easier and more pleasant to do when we periodically splurge on something special. We never eat out anymore, so this takes the place of a restaurant meal. We call them "morale boosters".

Other ideas (some we've tried and some we haven't yet):

-Scallops and chanterelles cooked in butter and dry white wine
-Langostino tails (heck, why not lobster?) with a garlic butter sauce
-Bouillabaisse (may require a little modification, but probably not much)
-Mussels in a saffron broth
-Crab Cakes (again, some modification required)
-Shrimp cooked with coconut milk, lime, and cilantro

Hmm, I guess those are all seafood. If you'd prefer something else...

-Duck A L'orange
-Coq Au Vin
-Cornish Game Hens (or squab, or quail) with prosciutto and rosemary
(the next three recipes come from The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine by Rose Elliot)
-Pine Nut Roulade with Asparagus Hollandaise Filling
-Roasted Cashew Nut Roulade with Wild Mushroom Filling
-Hazelnut Roulade with Leek Filling

Even if you don't try any of these dishes, I hope this list inspires you to think of the many wonderful foods that are allowed on the GAPS diet. If you have ideas to add please do so as a comment!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Onion Torte

I wanted cornbread, but I obviously can't have it. I came up with this recipe that's not really like cornbread at all, but is very tasty nonetheless. It's more like a savory torte in that it's dense and moist. I'm sure it would be delicious with various herbs and spices added too.


1/4 cup GAPS "legal" bacon grease
2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion thinly sliced
3 eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup filtered water or chicken broth
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 cup almond flour*
1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground pumpkin seeds
1 tsp. sea salt
Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Melt grease and butter in an 8 inch cast iron skillet. Sautee the onion in the fat until translucent. Mix the remaining ingredients well. Add extra water, if needed. It should be about the texture of cornbread batter. Pour into the pan with the onions. Place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned on top and cooked through.

*I bought slivered blanched almonds and ground them to a fine meal in my food processor. I used raw seeds, but I will soak them and dehydrate them next time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Honey "Caramel" Meringues

I arrived at this recipe after modifying the ones I found online, which all called for more honey. I found that with more honey, the whites took much longer to beat, and the finished product was sticky and burned easily. These are crisp all the way through and only a little sticky. They are the color of caramel, and to a non-GAPS diet follower, calling them "caramel" will transform that odd honey flavor into something special.

To make these, I use:
about 5 or 6 egg whites
1 cup of honey
dash of salt

Combine all ingredients and beat on high for a very long time. Using the whisk attachment on my KitchenAid, I can beat it until stiff peaks form, although I wouldn't call them as stiff as normal meringue "batter". If you are not able to get to the stiff peak stage, this should still work.

Preheat the oven to about 175-200 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using two tea spoons, scoop up about a spoonful of the "batter" and drop it onto the cookie sheet, then use both spoons to form it into a flat circle. These do not spread and can be placed close together.

Bake them at least 2 hours, then check to see if you need to rotate the pans so that they will brown evenly. I then leave mine in the oven overnight with the oven temp set as low as it will go (about 150 degrees). When they are done, they will be mostly firm but still a little gooey and sticky. Turn the oven off, and leave them in the oven with the door propped open to let them dry. If after 30 minutes they are still too gooey, you can just turn the oven back on bake longer. Once they are dried and crunchy, they should immediately go into an airtight container, and make sure to close the container fully each time- these can get a little gooey if left out pretty quickly.


Put peanut butter between two of them to make a sandwich cookie.

Instead of baking the batter, put it into an ice cream maker- it makes something close to soft serve ice cream that my kids love.

The batter would work well as a whip cream substitute, which would be delicious served with berries or other fruit. It would also function as a light frosting, especially if a flavor extract where used.

The batter has the taste and texture of marshmallow cream. I will be experimenting soon with trying to make marshmallows out of it.


I used this recipe from The Spice House, and made my own sauerbraten spice mix from the list of spice blend ingredients that it links to.  It was delicious! I served it with green beans in a lemon vinaigrette dressing and purple cauliflower. When I took the meat out of the dutch oven, there was this fabulous soup left in the pot of the chopped veggies in this very flavorful broth. This can be turned into a sauce, but as I was running short on time, I simply served the veggies alongside the meat. I plan to use these veggies to stuff cabbage rolls to serve with the leftovers. My kids loved the meat and beans from this dinner.

Coconut Cappuccino

Coconut Cappuccino

Technically, I'm supposed to have only "weak" coffee. I'm not sure if the decaf espresso in this drink qualifies, but I'm limiting myself to once a week, on Sunday mornings. I used coconut milk instead of regular milk for the foam, and it really tastes great. I sweetened it with a touch of honey and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I made this last week when our guests were here, and my non-GAPS friend really enjoyed this too.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Light and Fluffy Intro Diet Pancakes with Lemon Honey Syrup

When it came time to try the pancakes for the intro diet- the ones made with nut butter, squash, and eggs- I was not inspired. I couldn't find suggested proportions of each ingredient, and the first batch I made came out dense and very flat and not terribly appetizing. I played around with this recipe until I came up with this version, which are light and fluffy, look like regular pancakes, and taste pretty good.

1 C pureed, cooked squash
1 C nut butter
5 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 T cinnamon
dash of cloves, nutmeg, and any other "pumpkin pie" type spice

Separate the eggs, and beat the whites until fluffy (soft peaks are fine). In a large bowl, mix together the 5 egg yolks, the squash, the nut butter, and the salt and spices. Blend thoroughly. Fold the egg whites into this mixture gently, so that the resulting batter is airy and light.

Cook on a well-greased griddle on a somewhat low heat, as they do burn easily. Flip them gently as they do not stay together as well as regular pancakes.

NOTE- Pancake batter provides a great opportunity to "hide" healthy ingredients. This morning, I blended in 2 T of beef marrow and about 1/4 of pureed mushroom soup, and the pancakes looked and tasted fine.

For the syrup, you will need:
1/4 C honey
juice of half a lemon
vanilla (optional)

Combine the first two ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium heat. They will heat up and become much thinner very quickly. Turn off heat, and add vanilla, if using. At this point you can further thin the syrup by adding in some filtered water.

This would also be good with a different fruit juice, such as pomegranate or cherry. The Knudsen's Just Juice line is supposed to be acceptable for GAPS, and this could offer some welcome variation.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Honey Pork Breakfast Sausage Patties

1 lb ground pork
1/4 C honey
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp chopped or grated onion
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Dijon mustard (optional)


combine all ingredients with a stand mixer or with your hands.

Form the meat into patties and fry in fat or oil. I find that smaller patties work better, so I make 6 out of this amount of meat.

This is a great way to "hide" healthy things, such as marrow or pureed or chopped soft tissue. Pureed veggies also blend in well, as do chopped mushrooms.

These patties can also be made in large batches and freeze well, with a square of wax paper between each patty to keep them from merging together.

Sierra's Introduction and recipe for Sesame Sauce

Hi everyone, my name is Sierra and my family began following the GAPS Diet in January of 2009. We have been having fun experimenting with ways of making the food interesting and enjoyable, and we now have an assortment of recipes and ideas to share with you- I hope you find them helpful!

First, a note about my family's dietary needs so that you know what to expect from my recipes. We are coming to GAPS from a gluten-free, casein-free, low histamine diet. We are still in the intro phase and moving slowly, and will be extra slow in adding in high histamine foods such as tomato and berries. My family has a number of health problems that we are hoping will be corrected or helped by this diet, including allergies, poor immune function, sensory processing issues, visual impairment, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, insomnia and other sleep problems, and moodiness and mood swings. Additionally, my younger child has Hyperlexia, which in his case is a mild Autism Spectrum Disorder. For more about Hyperlexia and my son's progress towards recovery, you can visit my blog here.

And now, here is a recipe I came up with the other day to bring more variety into our still-so-limited diet:

Sesame Sauce and Dip

In a blender or food processor, combine:

1/2 c. nut butter (or tahini)
2 T sesame oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T honey
1 T grated fresh ginger
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, depending on how salty the nut butter is

This makes a thick paste which works well as a dip, or can be thinned with broth, oil, or water to make a thinner sauce.

Some ideas for using this sauce:
mix with cold meat as a salad
dip steamed veggies, such as broccoli or red pepper in it
mix with cauliflower "rice"

Friday, February 13, 2009

Going Off-line

I'll be off-line for the next week. We are having guests from out-of-town. Wish us luck, as my toddler and I try to stick to GAPS amidst the inevitable onslaught of non-GAPS foods and eateries! (I have prepared lots of soup, sauerkraut, boiled eggs, homemade date-nut bars, etc. in anticipation. We've also laid in a huge stock of fruit, easy veggies, GAPS-friendly sausages, ham, hot dogs, pickles and nuts.)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Belgian Endive and Broth

I seem to need constant inspiration (especially at this time of year) for my menu planning, so I thought I'd post was we had for dinner.

Last night we had a roasted chicken, garlic-thyme butternut squash, belgian endive and homemade mayonnaise. After dinner, DH removed the leftover meat from the bones and threw the carcass in the slow-cooker. The meat went in the fridge! I added a little salt and apple cider vinegar to the water, and put it on low. I'll leave it simmering all day today, and it will be good!

I have been enjoying using Belgian endive leaves as dippers lately. I've tried it with eggplant caviar (from Nourishing Traditions) and my own guacamole, as well as the mayo last night. I really love it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blackberry Smoothie

We didn't have any bananas or avocadoes today, but the boys still wanted a smoothie. So I tried it with extra flax seed oil. The result? My six year old said, "This is delicious!" and "I love blackberries!"


10 oz. frozen blackberries
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp. flax seed oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Honey to taste

Blend and enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ginger-Watercress Soup

This is a nice light starter or side soup. If using on intro, you might like to boil the veggies for a few extra minutes and leave out the honey. This makes a striking visual presentation for company.


1 bunch fresh watercress
4 cups chicken broth
1 inch piece fresh ginger
1 scallion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. honey (if desired)
Salt and pepper, to taste


Wash, trim and chop watercress into one inch lengths. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Add watercress and remaining ingredients to pot and simmer for a minute or two until watercress is bright green. Serve immediately.


My personal preference for posting recipes here is that they be "company-worthy". That is to say that someone who is not on a special diet would eat the dish, and say "Wow, this is good!" and not even think that it's part of some unusual regimen. (Other posters here may have a different standard, and that's OK!)

These pancakes are an exception to my "rule". I don't think regular eaters would enjoy them very much, but for us...they're pretty darn good. My toddler can't get enough of them, and it's a good way to get eggs into him.

Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes

1 very ripe banana, mashed
2 Tbsp. salted peanut butter
3 eggs


Blend all of the ingredients together with a whisk or hand mixer. Pour onto a greased (I use ghee) griddle that's been preheated to "medium". Cook until done on one side, flip and watch carefully as second side seems to cook more quickly.

I serve these with butter and honey mixed with fresh lemon juice. I also had them with a quick raspberry syrup made from heated frozen raspberries and honey. That was good too.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Well, I was reluctant to do smoothies without dairy or some commercial dairy substitute. Before GAPS, I had been using hemp milk. But I finally gave it a try a few days ago, with great results. I figured if I added something fatty like avocado or flax seed oil, the result would be creamy, even if the base was water. This is also a great way to get my kids to consume some things they might otherwise not try.

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

1 Banana
1/2 avocado
10 oz. frozen blueberries
1 1/2 cups filtered water
Honey to taste
Cinnamon to taste
Cloves to taste

Raspberry Smoothie

My six year old said this was the best one yet. I think I preferred it with strawberries instead of raspberries, but they were both really good.

1 Banana
10 oz. frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp. flax seed oil
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Honey to taste

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Honey lemon curd

This is so good! You can make this for a special occasion during intro, if you've already introduced egg yolk, with the modifications noted.

In the photo, I've put the lemon curd into a simple hazelnut/butter tart crust. You do not need a crust though. It is great as a pudding! I also want to try it with the honey frosting from Breaking the Vicious Cycle.


4 Tbs. butter (or ghee) at room temp.
1/3 cup honey
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg (switch to yolk only for intro)
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest (leave out for intro)


Cream the butter and honey together. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Mix in whole egg. Mix in lemon juice. Mix in zest.

Pour mixture into a heavy-bottomed non-reactive sauce pan. Cook over low heat*, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Taste now. You can add a bit more honey if it's too tart, but the flavors will mellow as it cools. If you add more honey, cook until mixture coats the back of your spoon again.

Pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap touching the curd (so you don't get a yucky skin). Put in the fridge for several hours. It will keep for several days, but I guarantee it won't last!

*Some people are finding that they need to raise their heat slightly to get their curd to thicken. Feel free to do so, but I would recommend you do it incrementally and be patient. If you heat it too quickly on too high a heat, it will curdle. If that happens, you may strain the whole product through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove the scrambled egg bits.

Zucchini Avocado soup

This is really delicious and light tasting, yet filling. Leave out the avocado, if you haven't reached that stage on intro yet.


1 Tbs. ghee
1 large onion, chopped
2 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
4 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 avocado, diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Sautee the onion and carrot in the ghee over medium heat until softened. Add zucchini and stir to coat with ghee. Add broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer until zucchini is cooked through. Remove from heat.

Just before serving, add garlic, avocado and lemon juice.

Do not reheat with avocado in the soup. It must be added just before eating.

Pistachio Date "Truffles"

My whole family loves these. My six year old says they are better than chocolate chip cookies!


1 cup unsalted roasted pistachios
2 cups pitted dates
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt


Grind pistachios in a food processor. Remove to a plate. Chop dates as finely as possible in food processor. Add about 3/4 of the pistachios, the vanilla and salt to the food processor and mix everything together. You will have a big sticky mass.

Roll "dough" into balls about one inch in diameter. Roll the "truffles" in the reserved pistachios.

I couldn't tell you how long these keep--they haven't lasted longer than an hour or two around here!

Update March 2010: I used the beans from one vanilla pod and very soft dates this go round. I had to use all the pistachios for the truffles and chop more for the coating.


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