Recipe: Russian/Ukrainian Herring Under a Fur Coat Salad (Селёдка под шубой)

One thing that I really liked about Ukraine is that a lot of the food and traditional dishes are pretty darn Paleo. So, a lot of foods take little or no adaption to make them healthy and nutrient dense. (Our ancestors were onto something…) This salad is one of those dishes! It’s called ‘herring under a fur coat’ (selyodka pod shuboi/cеледка под шубой, or simply shuba/шуба). It’s a colorful layered salad with diced herring, onion and grated boiled vegetables under a red ‘coat’ made of beets and mayonnaise. It’s customary to have this on New Year’s and Christmas, in addition to a bunch of other cold salads. So, if you are looking for something different and adventurous to try this holiday season, give this one a whirl! Or, you know, if you’re reading this in April, still make it. It’s really good. I promise. If you’re squeamish about herring, or you can’t find it, just used diced cooked chicken; it will work just as well. There are lots of variations to this salad, but this is the version that I like the best.

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Meal Crust [Paleo, Grain-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, AIP Option]

So, I recently found out that I have an IgG allergy to dairy and eggs (yeah, I said some swears), which means that parts of these foods are making their way into my bloodstream, and my body has created antibodies to fight them. The reason this happened in the first place is because my gut is leaky (things are getting past the intestinal lining into the bloodstream that shouldn’t be). I’m currently on a protocol right now with my functional medicine practitioner to get rid of some unpleasant bugs that have been bothering me for a while and heal my leaky gut. The good news is that once my leaky gut is healed, I theoretically will be able to eat eggs and dairy again. Buuuuuut for now, it meant that I had to find a way to enjoy pumpkin pie minus the dairy and eggs!

Copycat Recipe: Paleo Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden

Zuppa Toscana used to be one of my absolute favorite dishes at Olive Garden. I recently found this recipe for a copycat soup and it looked so darned good that I decided I needed to try to adapt it to make it gluten free and dairy free! It is, hands down, my favorite soup that I’ve made all season. It’s so good that I immediately wrote down exactly what I did so that I wouldn’t forget it for next time (because, you know, I have a brain like a sieve and that happens much more often than I would care to admit)! It reminds me a lot of the Senate Bean Soup I used to make all the time and loved, but this tastes better than that. I mean, bacon. AND sausage.

How to Make Homemade Liver Pills

I’ve talked before about the fact I don’t particularly care for liver and ways that I have tried to sneak liver into my own food so that I can’t taste it. It would be fantastic if the world’s most nutrient dense food tasted like Reese’s peanut butter cups, but unfortunately it just isn’t so. I really liked the idea of making frozen raw liver “pills”, but in practice I found that they were fiddly and often froze with sharp edges so I couldn’t get them down quickly and I would still taste the liver. I knew that I could buy desiccated liver pills from different supplement companies, but they were expensive, especially the ones that were good quality, i.e. organic and grass fed, and many of them had fillers such as maltodextrin (what), which is derived from corn (yep). I wondered if it would be possible to make my own liver pills from local organic grass fed beef liver and gelatin capsules. I stumbled upon this blog post and was so excited to find that someone else had successfully done it and that it was a possibility! I found some high-quality, grass fed organic beef liver from Neiffer Ranch, which I can highly recommend if you have access to their products here in Eastern Washington State.

How To Make Water Kefir

I love making a variety of fermented foods and beverages, especially water kefir. I often give away water kefir grains to people and they ask me about how they should make their water kefir, so I figured that rather than explain the process to lots of people many times, I’d just write it all down here and direct people to my blog! I’m all about efficiency. And if you, dear reader, are lucky enough to have received some water kefir grains from one of your friends, or if you are just generally interested in learning how to make water kefir, read on!

How I Wash My Hair Without Shampoo

I work at a health food store and I often have people ask me about options for natural shampoos. They know they want something less harsh than conventional shampoos, but don’t always know what are the best ‘natural’ options. We do have a range of organic and sulfate-free shampoos at work. Inevitably, they will ask me, ‘Well, which one of these do you use?’ And the answer is… none of them. The cleaning method I use for my hair is something I’ve done for a little over a year, and let me tell you, I will never go back to the way I washed my hair before. It’s that big of a difference.

Recipe: Creamy Asparagus-Tarragon Soup

I invented a new soup! I had wanted to make The Domestic Man’s asparagus with bearnaise sauce, but it occurred to me that bearnaise wouldn’t keep very well for leftovers and perhaps it would be a recipe better left for when I have guests (if anyone wants to come over… you know, so I have an excuse to make this recipe!) I still liked the idea of cream + tarragon + asparagus, and I still had some of a bag of orange tarragon spice from World Spice Merchants, my favorite spice store ever (with the exception of the The Spice Lady at our local market in Ukraine, whose spice blends and all-around loveliness go unmatched), so I threw together a bunch of veggies I had in my fridge and prayed to the cooking gods for good fortune. Luckily, it worked! So I thought I’d share this soup with you guys. I’m trying to go easy on the sugar in preparation for my sister’s wedding, but a splash or three of dry white wine would probably kick this soup up a notch, as well.

World-Famous Ukrainian Bandito Salad

This salad has a story behind it. It came from a Mexican restaurant that used to exist in Zaporozhia, Ukraine, where I lived last year. The Ukrainian told me that the name of the restaurant was 'Potato House' and I burst out laughing: "Mexicans don't eat potatoes!" At...

21-Day Sugar Detox Recipe Round-Up

I’m beginning to realize that a lot of the success of a sugar detox comes down to good preparation and making it easy to make good choices for yourself. After falling flat on my face with my last sugar detox effort, I’ve decided that this time around, I am going to be better prepared.

I’ve compiled a list of twenty-one 21DSD-friendly recipes with no sugar; hopefully it can provide some inspiration for you, too! These are mostly nightshade-free, so many of these will suit those of you on the autoimmune protocol. I don’t plan on religiously sticking to this list like a meal plan and I probably won’t make every item on the list, but it’s a starting point.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Doing a Sugar Detox

I’m a little over one week into the sugar detox now and… so far, it’s been a little unsuccessful.

I would love to tell you that I’m ‘over the hump’ of the carb flu and that I’m beginning to feel the glorious effects of sugar-free-ness (yep, that’s a word. Well, it is now.)

The reality is that I’ve been using not-really-sugary treats as a crutch to prop myself up when the cravings hit. At the same time, I’ve been busy training at my new job (yay!) at a health foods store, and I haven’t had as much time to cook for myself as I normally do.