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.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Classic Hamburger or Cheeseburger

We've been eating hamburger patties since nearly the beginning of the diet, which we enjoy, but we really wanted "the real thing" the other day.  For the bun we used large bread-like pancakes which held together remarkably well.  We topped off our burgers with homemade mayo, Bubbie's pickles (which are raw and lacto fermented), sliced tomatoes and GAPS-legal mustard.  You could also make your own ketchup for this.

Here's the basic recipe we use for hamburger patties:

1 lb ground beef or buffalo
1 egg
1 T honey
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/4 cup marrow or liver (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and kneed with your hands.  Form the meat into patties (we prefer to make 6 patties from 1 pound of meat).  The patties can be fried in cooking fat, broiled, or grilled.  We like ours topped with melted cheese and fried onions.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Roasted Garlic and Zucchini Soup

The roasted garlic really gives this soup a hearty, robust flavor, that is just right for autumn.  This is based on a recipe in the book "Nourish" by Holly Davis.  Her culinary background is in vegan and macrobiotic diets, but this book contains some meat as well.  Her approach to cooking is a focus on healing, nutrient dense foods, which makes the book an interesting source of inspiration for GAPS food.  If you're feeling adventurous it's worth checking this book out.


10 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
3 large zucchini (this soup is a great way to use those zucchini that grew a little too big in the garden)
3 T olive oil (or melted fat), approximately
2 T butter or ghee
1 tsp salt
2 onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 leek, sliced
4 cups of meat stock (I used chicken, beef would work well too)
2 T toasted walnuts


 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Slice the zucchini and place in a large bowl with the unpeeled garlic cloves.  Pour the 3T of olive oil or melted fat over the veggies and stir to coat, Adding more oil if necessary.  Add the salt and stir.  Pour into a shallow pan and roast in the oven for 30 mintues, making sure the veggies don't burn.

 When the veggies are done roasting in the oven, let them cool enough to handle.  Put the zucchini into the bowl of a food processor.  Peel the garlic and add the roasted pulp.  Add the toasted walnuts and blend until smooth.

In a soup pot, melt the butter or ghee and saute the chopped onions and leek until soft.  Add the meat stock and bring to a boil.  Add the pureed zucchini mixture and cook a little longer.  Taste and adjust the seasonings. 

The original recipe called for pureeing the whole soup, but I personally liked having the chunks of onion and leek still in the soup.  This would of course be up to you.  Also, the original recipe called for 2 tsp of umeboshi vinegar.  I don't know much about this vinegar, so I don't know if it's legal or not.  I have heard that it is healthy so it may be worth looking into.  I didn't feel that the soup needed vinegar so I didn't substitute for it.  I did however add sour cream, which was delicious!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

This dish is for those who aren't as wild about brussels sprouts.  By shredding them and adding other strongly flavored ingredients, such as bacon and lemon juice, the strong flavor that these little veggies can have is toned down a bit.  Of course, if you really love their flavor, you can let it shine through!


About 2 cups of brussels sprouts (shredded)
About one large handful of sliced leek
3-4 slices of bacon
salt to taste
dash of lemon juice or vinegar

optional- dry white wine, bourbon, anchovies, olives, or Parmesan cheese


 Chop the raw bacon into small pieces and put them in a shallow pan on medium heat. Stir them frequently so they cook evenly.  Prepare the brussels sprouts while the bacon cooks down and becomes crispy.  When it does, remove the bacon into a dish and set aside.  Leave the drippings in the pan!

Rinse the brussels sprouts and remove any tattered outer leaves, and cut off the stems.  To shred them, cut them in half from pole to pole, then make thin slices from top to bottom.  Don't worry if oyu don't have exactly 2 cups- the recipe can be flexible.

Add the leek to the hot bacon drippings and let cook for several minutes.  Add the shredded brussels sprouts and stir.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the brussels sprouts become bright green and soften.  Try a little to see if it's done.

Remove from heat, slat to taste, and add a dash of either lemon juice or vinegar.  Add the bacon pieces back in or serve them on the side.  At this point you can add any of the optional ingredients if you'd like.

Pecan-glazed butternut squash pudding

This is good. (My husband says that "good" is not an adequate description of this dish. He says, "I took one little bite, and it was phenomenal!") I am using it as a substitute for my usual sweet potato dish for Thanksgiving. I am also having butternut squash in my winter vegetable medley, so I'm skipping the pumpkin pie and opting for apple cobbler instead.


1 small butternut squash
1-2 Tbs. honey
2 Tbs. butter (I used salted pasture butter, if yours is unsalted, add a pinch of salt)
1 egg
2 tsp. bourbon (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla extract


2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup chopped pecans


Bake whole butternut squash in 350 degree (F) oven until fork-tender, about 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut in half and remove seeds, pulp and skin. Shred or mash the flesh into a bowl. Mix in remaining ingredients for filling. Spread in a greased 8 inch square baking dish.

For glaze: mix first three ingredients together in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to carmelize (honey will turn slightly darker). Do not overcook, it will continue to carmelize in the oven. Add pecans, and spread glaze over filling. Bake at 325 degrees (F) for about 30 minutes or until glaze looks consistent and filling looks firm.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Candied Butter Pecans

This is basically the candied nuts recipe from Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall.  I made this for Halloween along with some other candies it was by far my favorite.  It would make a great praline topping for ice cream if crumbled up.`


1 pound pecan pieces (or other nuts), previously soaked and dried
2 egg whites
1/2 cup honey pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon (or more?)


Toast nuts in oven at 300 degrees for 10 minutes on a large baking sheet.  Let cool.

Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form.  Slowly add in honey until well mixed in.

Fold in nuts and cinnamon.  Spread mixture on a large shallow pan, such as a jellyroll pan, that has been generously greased with butter or ghee. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees, turning nuts every 10 minutes.  Bake a little longer if the butter hasn't disappeared.

Let cool in pan, then break into bite-sized pieces.  Store in a covered container.

Chile Verde

 This was a delicious treat after being in a GAPS rut for awhile.  It was a time-consuming meal, especially since I started out by going into my garden and harvesting the tomatillos!  If you make a lot of the sauce ahead of time and freeze it, this would be an easy crock pot dinner. 

Amazingly, the recipe I used was the first one that came up in a google search.  The steps of the recipe are nicely pictured, which I appreciated.  The only modification I made was not to drain off the excess fat.  Here's the link:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pie Crust II

This is my second take on pie crust, and I think it's better. It's crispier without the egg yolk, I think, and yummier with more butter! One of my non-GAPS friends says she likes this better than regular pie crust. I don't concur, but I still like it!


1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup ground pecans or walnuts
4 Tbs. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
2 egg whites


Pulse all ingredients except egg whites in food processor until butter is blended through. Add egg whites a bit at a time and pulse through after each addition until mixture forms a ball. Chill for an hour or so.

Press dough into a 10 inch pie plate. Fill and bake according to directions for filling.

For a pre-cooked or raw filling, place in oven at 325 degrees Farenheit for 10-20 minutes until lightly browned. (The timing here is a ball-park estimate. I took it out when I smelled the pecans toasting.)

Honey Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

This is yummy. I hope some of you have a chance to try it for Thanksgiving.


8 oz. organic cranberries, washed and picked over
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup honey
zest of half an orange or whole lemon
1 Tbs. good quality bourbon


Bring all ingredients except bourbon to a boil. Simmer until all of the cranberries pop. Allow to cool a bit in the pan. Add bourbon. Refrigerate. You can pass the sauce through a sieve of food mill, if you don't like whole cranberry sauce.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts

I was looking for a simple recipe for brussels sprouts and found this one online on the website 101 cookbooks.  It was really good.  The only modification I made was to cook them in butter, and I kept the heat very low so as not to burn the butter.  These would be very good with some toasted nuts on top.  The recipe calls for grated cheese, which we skipped, and they were fine.  Here's the link to the recipe:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peanut Butter Brownies

This recipe is from Breaking The Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall.  This was the first SCD recipe I ever made, back when I had just read BTVC and was convinced that we would benefit from the diet but equally convinced that it would be impossible for us to do.  This is still my favorite recipe from that book, and an excellent way to introduce anyone to how good this diet can be!


1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey (I use 1/4 and find it plenty sweet)
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda (not GAPS-legal, it works fine if you leave it out)


Thoroughly mix all ingredients (I find an electric mixer works best).  Pour into a generously greased 8" x 8" baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean.   Do not overbake- these are so moist and chewy but get dry if baked too long.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bacon Ranch Chicken Wrap

The other day I went past a fast food restaurant with signs up for bacon ranch chicken sandwiches.  While the smell of that particular restaurant was far from appealing, I thought the combination sounded great and I had a strong sense of nostalgia for the convenience that such a sandwich would provide.  I had this version for lunch today and it was nearly as easy.

When I boiled a chicken last night to make stock, I set aside a small portion of the white meat to use today.  I like to have a batch of Teri's fabulous ranch dip in the fridge for easy snacking anyway, so whipping up a batch today was something I had planned on doing anyway.  We made bacon for breakfast so it was easy to set aside a strip to use for lunch.  While it took a little coordinating and planning ahead, it made for a very quick and satisfying lunch (simply combine the ingredients on a lettuce leaf). 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Braised Red Cabbage

This side dish is so simple yet so incredibly good.  It works really well as a bed for serving pork or fish on.  it's bright color makes it a nice side dish for the holidays as well.


2-3 T butter or ghee
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium or 1/2 large red cabbage
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
small amount of meat stock
2 tsp lemon juice or balsamic vinegar


Saute onion in butter until soft.  Add the coriander and salt, then add the cabbage.  Saute for 5 minutes or until the cabbage becomes softer.  Add a small amount of stock (maybe a quarter cup?), mostly to keep the cabbage from sticking to the pan as it continues to cook. 

Cook, uncovered, on medium-low heat for about 20-30 minutes more, adding a little stock when the cabbage needs more moisture.  It is done when it is very soft and has cooked down.  Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice or vinegar.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lentil Stew with Greens

This may not sound like anything special, but it is delicious.  This has been a favorite recipe of mine since my college days, and the original recipe is GAPS legal- the only modification I made for our current use was to substitute other greens for spinach (because spinach is so high in both oxalates and histamine). 


2 T butter or ghee
1 large onion, chopped
3 (or more!) cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
2 cups of lentils, soaked for 24 hours and drained
2 cups of chopped greens, somewhat tightly packed
1 quart (or more) of meat stock
1 T vinegar or lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
optional- equivalent of 1 can of chopped tomatoes in juice


Saute onions in butter for several minutes until they become soft.  Add the garlic, salt and spices and continue to saute on moderate heat another 5 minutes or so.

Add the lentils and greens and cook another few minutes.  Add the stock, tomatoes and juice (if using), and bring to a boil.  Simmer until lentils are tender, 30-50 minutes depending on lentils.

If the stew is thicker when done than you want, add more stock and heat through.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice or vinegar (real balsamic vinegar is the best if you can get it).  Taste and adjust the seasonings. 

This stew is delicious with meat.  You can either use leftover meat (I added 3 leftover sausages to the batch pictured), or fresh ground meat or stew meat.  Add the meat, cut into pieces, at the time you are adding the spices.  Depending on the flavors in the meat (if sausages or leftovers), you may want to reduce or alter the spices used.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. I've been thinking about menu ideas, and I'd love to hear yours too. Some of the things I'm considering:

Olive and pickle tray.

Artichoke soup.

Sauerkraut, onions and apples sauteed in butter, then braised in dry champagne.

Roast turkey stuffed with fresh herbs, lemons and onions. Covered with melted butter, sea salt and fresh pepper.

Smoked turkey is yummy too!

Celery Root and Apple Puree

Cranberry sauce made with honey, orange juice and rind, finished with a tablespoon of bourbon.

Roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, onions and chestnuts.

Butternut squash casserole.

Green beans with italian vinaigrette, toasted pecans and shaved parmesan.

Apple pie with a walnut, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed crust, topped with a walnut honey butter and spice crumble, served with a dollop of kefir creme fraiche.

Pumpkin pie made with coconut milk instead of evaporated milk and honey in place of maple syrup or sugar, with a hazelnut, pumpkin seed and sunflower seed crust, served with sweetened, whipped, kefir or yogurt creme fraiche.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Honey Caramels

These are really creamy and delicious, but they are a little soft. It is best to serve them straight out of the fridge. I used raw honey, which I know kills the enzymes, but I buy it in bulk for a better price than "regular" honey. That's why there are flecks of dark in the candy.


2 1/2 cups honey
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup water


Grease a square pan 8x8x2 inches with butter or coconut oil. Heat all ingredients in a three quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until boiling. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture reaches 245 degrees F. on a candy thermometer (firm ball stage). Pour into prepared pan, and chill uncovered until set. Cut pieces as needed.

Honey Marshmallows

I modified this recipe from one by Alton Brown. These are a fun treat for kids at holidays or on campouts. You can even toast them, but you have to be quick, as they melt faster than the commercial variety. I am going to try more vanilla next time, but this amount works.


3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
2 cups honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
Coconut oil or butter for greasing pan


Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Use the whisk attachment.

In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, honey and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.

Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the honey syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pan as follows.

Grease a 13 by 9-inch glass baking pan. Add the shredded coconut and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Save any extra for coating marshmallows after cut.

When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled or greased spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining shredded coconut to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel or scissrs, dusted with coconut flour. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with shredded coconut, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Celery Cheese Soup

My family, including my formerly profoundly casein-sensitive son, are now able to eat cultured dairy including cheese!  I am amazed at the level of healing that my family has experienced from the GAPS diet.  I am also so grateful to be able to include cheese in our meal planning as it opens up so many possibilities!  This soup is a simple and delicious step into the lovely world of cheese.  The recipe that this is based on comes from the book The Complete Vegetarian Cuisine" by Rose Elliot, and originally called for Stilton, but I used very sharp cheddar and the result was fabulous.


1 head of celery
1 onion, chopped
2 or more T of butter or ghee
1 quart of meat stock (I used chicken)
1 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Saute the onions in the butter for 5 minutes or so, until they soften, but don't let them brown! 

Clean and chop the celery, including the leaves.  You may want to save a few leaves for garnish.  Add the celery to the onions and stir.  Then cover, and cook on low for about 10 minutes.

Add the stock and let it simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, until the celery is very soft.

Add the cheese and puree with a hand blender.  A regular blender or food processor will also work but will be so much more work to clean.
Adjust the seasonings, and serve a few celery eaves for garnish.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mexican Caprese Salad

I can't harvest a beautiful, ripe red tomato from the garden without thinking of Caprese Salad- the wonderful summer dish of fresh tomato, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella.  Since the fresh mozzarella is out, I tried to think of what else has a creamy texture and goes well with tomatoes....  Once I had the avocado and tomato combo, it seemed only natural to give it a more Mexican feel.  This is a bit unorthodox, but it is delicous!


2-3 vine-ripened tomatoes, depending on size
1-2 avocados, depending on size
handfull of cilantro
olives to taste
olive oil
salt to taste


Slice the tomatoes and avocados, and then arrange them on a plate in a circle, alternating tomato with avocado.  Drizzle generously with olive oil, then sprinkle with cilantro and olives.  Salt to taste.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ranch Dip or Dressing

This is a simple and delicious recipe that Teri came up with.  It is basically the "real thing" rather than the sugar-and-MSG concoction that tends to pass for ranch.  This is an easy and wonderful thing to bring to a potluck or buffet.


1 cup mayonnaise (yogurt and thick kefir would also work if you prefer egg-free)
2 T chopped parsley or cilantro
1 (or more!) cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
2 green onions minced, or 1/4 regular onion minced
squeeze of lemon juice
ground pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  This is great for simply dipping veggies in, or can be thinned to make salad dressing with olive oil, nut milk, kefir, or water. 


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