I’m kind of obsessed with Moroccan flavors. This is an adaptation of a recipe from the Balanced Bites Holiday eBook that Diane Sanfilippo sends out every year, but this dish is awesome for any time of year, not just the holidays. It’s so flavorful with the cumin and coriander, and the dried figs give just the perfect amount of sweetness. This is awesome over cauliflower rice (or real rice, if you’re #teamwhiterice!)
Have you ever had Russian tea cakes? You know, the kind that are little round shortbread balls rolled in powdered sugar? They were always one of my mother’s favorite kinds of cookies and she made them frequently when I was growing up. I always loved how buttery and delicious they were. She decided recently to make them again, and I, being jealous, decided to make a batch for myself that were grain free and dairy free.
Kholodets is one of those recipes that sounds really weird, but it’s actually not too weird when you think about it: it is simply bone broth poured over shredded meat, but allowed to cool so it’s gelatinous. Then, you spoon it out and eat it with mustard or horseradish mayonnaise. Meat Jello? Yes, okay, meat jello. That sounds weird, BUT there was a time when it was quite normal to eat this gut-healing, nutrient-rich dish here in the US of A! Have you heard of aspic? Kholodets is basically the Ukrainian version of that.
An acquaintance gave me a recipe from The Bulletproof Diet for a chocolate truffle pudding. I wanted to try to make it for Christmas, but didn’t have all the ingredients and couldn’t have the butter that it called for. So, in Rosemary fashion, I gave it a few tweaks (read: make it completely unrecognizable from the original recipe), and what turned out was perfect! I am a huge, huge fan of peppermint chocolate. I used to be obsessed with those Andes Mints back in the day (helloooo, sugar addiction!) and this reminded me of that.
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.
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!