The only Navy Bean Soup I ever had growing up came out of a can and I didn’t like it very much, so I wasn’t inclined to make my own – until I had clients needing a version that was delicious and easy to digest for myriad special diets. This Navy Bean Soup version is legal for Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Navy beans are one of few beans and legumes allowed on this diet. That means it has no grains and no starches in it that are tough for a compromised gut to digest. Kids with Crohns, inflammatory bowel conditions, irritable bowel, or multiple food allergies may be able to enjoy this satisfying soup. The key to this recipe working well for tender tummies is soaking the beans overnight before preparing the soup.
As I poked around for versions to launch from for this recipe, I found old standards like Senate Bean Soup – a thick and smoky soup that, in some versions, leans on mashed white potato to thicken it so it has a rich chowder-y texture. Potatoes are a no-go for SCD folks, so those are omitted here – but add them if you like! For the broth, I often use my own homemade chicken broth which is SCD legal in its preparation. If this isn’t an option, look for unsweetened plain organic chicken broth in quart boxes such as Imagine brand Organic Chicken Bone Broth.
Rinse the dried beans in a colander with running water until foamy bubbles diminish or disappear.
Place the rinsed beans in a large pot and cover with filtered water. Add ~ 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and let soak overnight, or for 8 hours.
After soaking, drain the beans and rinse thoroughly, then set aside.
Wipe the large pot dry. Add bacon fat, ghee and olive oil and melt over medium heat. Add the minced garlic, celery, parsley, and scallions. If desired, add other vegetables here also.
Cook these til nearly soft, about five minutes. Add thyme and bay leaves, and stir vegetables to blend herbs throughout.
Add rinsed beans and stir with vegetables and herbs to evenly combine everything. Then cover with 8 cups (2 quart boxes) of chicken broth. Stir again to distribute everything evenly throughout the broth.
Bring to a low boil. Add honey, optional maple syrup, tamari, and lemon juice. Cover to simmer at low boil for 2-3 hours, or until beans are very soft.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with sprinkling of fresh parsley leaves and enjoy!
Butternut squash with pasta and brats – ? What the – ?
When a family member first suggested this recipe, I couldn’t imagine it working. It just sounded weird. But, this butternut and brats combo works well, thanks to the unexpected collaboration between whole lemon, garlic, and good brats. It’s a regular in our rotation now, and it can be totally AIP (autoimmune Paleo) friendly – just use a grain free pasta. My favorite for this dish is Tolerant Organic Lentil Penne Pasta. It’s hearty in texture and flavor, and beats the bland, limp taste and texture that rice pasta can suffer. For the bratwurst, a good option if you are sticking to AIP, SCD (specific carbohydrate diet), or just fiercely avoiding sugars (common in cured or processed meats including sausage and brats) is this Organic Chicken Bratwurst from Whole Foods. Any favorite brand of your own will do!
If you have time to bake a fresh organic butternut squash, this tastes best, IMO. If not, a good option can be tapped with this organic canned butternut squash. It makes the recipe even faster and easier. And speaking of fast and easy, a couple of tools are handy for this recipe, if you don’t have them already: An ice cream scoop, to scoop fresh butternut out of its skin; and, silicone oven mitts, so you can handle said butternut once it is out of the oven. Since the recipe calls for adding honey and ghee to the butternut while hot, you’ll need to scoop it out just about fresh from the oven.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
AIP Butternut and Brats Pasta
A simple one dish meal, warm, hearty, satisfying, and surprisingly delightful!
If you are baking a fresh butternut squash for this recipe, start this about 90 minutes before you want the dish ready.
- Slice the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place face down in a glass ovenproof dish with 1/2 inch of water in it. Use two dishes if needed.
- Place in a 400 degree oven and bake x 1 hour, til a knife poked through the skin moves easily through the squash.
- Once baked soft, remove the squash from oven. Scoop the baked squash out of its skin - an ice cream scoop works well for this task. You may want to wear silicone oven mitts too, as the squash will be very hot, or simply let it cool enough to handle.
- Scoop it into a mixing bowl or food processor. Add the ghee (or butter), honey, and dash of salt. Blend til ghee/butter melts through and all ingredients are evenly mixed. Set aside, keeping the squash warm.
- If using canned squash, heat it in microwave or on stove top, add ghee, honey and salt, and set aside.
Remove bratwurst from the package and slice it into thick coins, before cooking.
Heat olive oil in large skillet to medium-high temperature. Add the sliced bratwurst and brown on both sides of coins.
Lower heat to medium and add minced garlic and scallion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, enough to soften but not burn the garlic.
Squeeze juice of each lemon wedge in to the sauté to deglaze the pan. Once juice is squeezed out, drop each lemon quarter in to the skillet and continue cooking on low-medium heat for 2 more minutes, so the lemon rinds soften.
Stir in the cooked squash and blend well with the sauté.
Toss the squash sauté over the cooked pasta and serve warm.
We happened to have a bigger than usual squash to use up on the day that we cooked up this recipe - so our images show a lot of squash. No need to go that big, but it works either way.
This vanilla pudding is easy to make. It’s also auto-immune paleo friendly – no dairy, no refined sugars, no eggs – so it’s a good helper for anyone with Top 8 food allergies, FPIES, or eating carefully due to IBS/IBD. And though it technically contains a nut in the coconut ingredient, I’ve found in my pediatric nutrition practice that coconut is often tolerable for kids who are allergic to other nuts. This is a good helper for kids with food allergies who are looking for a treat but need to avoid junky ingredients.
So simple, just six ingredients, and simple to make. It has more of a custard feel and is sure to please. Enjoy this warm with a softer texture from the stove (perfect for older infants and young toddlers), or chill for an hour or two for classic firm pudding texture and a cooling treat. It’s also a serious calorie boost at about 360 calories per serving – a plus for picky eaters or kids with weak appetites who need a shortcut to daily intake goals for growth and gain.
Use coconut cream for pudding that will thicken faster, although canned whole full fat coconut milk works well too – just stir a little longer and if necessary add an extra teaspoon of arrowroot starch. Have fun with toppings: Organic roasted flax meal (this brand is my favorite, found some at Costco), crushed nuts, berries, or even chocolate chips (use this brand if you want a gluten, dairy and sugar free chocolate chip). If you haven’t used arrowroot starch before as a thickener, this brand has worked well for me and is in many supermarkets, but there are also organic options available. To keep it strictly casein and dairy free, and for optimum texture and taste, use ghee instead of butter. Lastly if you are avoiding Top 8 allergens be sure your vanilla flavoring is gluten free.
AIP Friendly Delicious Vanilla Pudding
Ultimate delicious vanilla pudding. Or is it custard? Coconut cream is my preference for easy thickening and best flavor, but whole plain canned coconut milk works well too.
In a sauce pan over low-medium heat, combine the honey, arrowroot starch and salt. Stir continuously to combine evenly, about 3 minutes.
Add coconut milk and turn up to medium high heat. Stir continuously until thick and smooth, 5-8 minutes. Do not boil, and don't let the bottom burn.
Once thickened, reduce heat to low. Continue stirring while adding the vanilla and the ghee. Stir until all are combined evenly throughout.
Pour into individual serving cups. Add any desired toppings, allow cooling for a few minutes. Then cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge til firm. Option to enjoy the pudding warm from stove and less firm, if desired.
An easy fast dinner to make, just assemble a few ingredients and serve up hot. The only work is some minor slicing and mincing, and making zucchini zoodles. You don’t need an expensive piece of equipment to do this, and it doesn’t take long. I use an Oxo hand held spiralizer, pictured below (I have no affiliate relationship) which works well. I don’t recommend buying pre-made packaged zucchini noodles, which I have seen for sale in supermarkets. They lose flavor, nutrients, and moisture when packaged this way, and your dish won’t taste as vibrant, but can work in a pinch if need be. This recipe gives each person 5 pieces of jumbo shrimp and plenty of zoodles. I also love to use sweet mini-peppers in bright orange and yellow colors, but regular size peppers can work fine too. Julienne slicing works best to help peppers cook quickly and release their sweetness, rather than large chunks of pepper, which end up competing with the big delicious bites of shrimp for texture. Last tip: It’s easy to overcook zoodles, or to make your frozen cooked shrimp tough by cooking too long. Err on the side of undercooking everything. If you have to as a last step, toss your skillet contents for a few extra turns, cover, and let everything heat through a bit more. The zoodles should have a mild crunch to them, rather than be entirely cooked to soft limp texture.
Use a zucchini noodle maker and make noodles (zoodles) out of the zucchini. Set the zoodles aside in a separate bowl til ready to toss in skillet. Before cutting lemon into quarters, use a grater to grate zest. Set this aside too.
In a large skillet, melt olive oil and ghee together over medium heat. Add minced garlic and heat gently til just starting to soften.
Add julienned peppers next. Increase to medium high heat. Stir quickly for a minute, coating peppers and garlic generously with oil and melted ghee. Cover for one minute and let it heat through.
Next add thawed, rinsed, and peeled shrimp, in whole jumbo pieces. Sprinkle lemon zest throughout; squeeze the chunks of lemon over the skillet, so juice drizzles in. Quickly drop lemon chunks in and toss everything to coat with ghee and oil. Keep heat medium to medium high, but don't allow burning. Cover and allow to heat through for one minute.
Next, toss in zoodles, and combine briskly so all skillet contents are coated with ghee and oil. Work quickly to avoid overcooking the zoodles, which will cause them to release too much water and become limp. Then add garlic powder, cilantro and scallions, and toss again thoroughly to coat everything. Let sit covered for one more minute.
Once everything is hot and zoodles have a slight crunch left in them, toss once more and serve immediately in to generous pasta bowls.
If nobody ever made made scratch pudding for you when you were a kid, you’re in for a treat. This is so deliciously yummy and it’s completely dairy, gluten, and sugar free. Ghee in this recipe is important, even though there are plenty of other fats; ghee is okay for most kids in my practice with dairy allergy (I say “most” because I can’t find any I’ve worked with who couldn’t have ghee due to dairy IgE, but check with your allergist if you’re not sure in your own child’s case). This is also a great option for yogurt, sugar, and smooth-food junkies who need some more nourishing options besides sugary low fat dairy products. But most of all, it is just Really. Good. Pudding.
This recipe isn’t mine. It comes from Our Paleo Life (where you should poke around for even more recipes) – I’ve made it several times. I get perplexing results because sometimes it doesn’t set well, even though I follow the same exact steps. I’ve modified the recipe to enhance odds for setting better. I’ve also added some stevia to even out the sweetness and removed steps to strain lumps from the pudding. I’ve had no lumps at all each time I’ve made this recipe without straining, so have left that part out. See the variations for other flavors at the recipe’s source link too – chocolate, butterscotch, and peanut butter pudding!
Creamy Dairy Free Paleo Vanilla Pudding
Really. Good. Pudding. Worth the time it takes to cook and set. Enjoy.
In a sauce pan, combine the tapioca starch and salt, without heat - do not turn on the stove yet. Blend these dry ingredients with a whisk til evenly mixed.
Slowly add the coconut milk over low heat, and whisk in to dissolve the dry ingredients. This will take 5-10 minutes of steady whisking. Do not boil.
Once the coconut milk is evenly mixed in with no lumps, whisk in the egg yolks evenly, then the honey and vanilla. Continue on medium high heat til bubbles begin to form around the edges, about 5-10 minutes, whisking constantly.
Once bubbling gently, reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking and whisking. Let the pudding become thick enough to plop back into the pot when you lift the whisk, instead of being drippy or runny. This may take 10-15 minutes.
Higher heat may speed this up but you will also need to whisk more quickly to keep the pudding from burning, sticking to bottom of pot, or boiling.
Stir in stevia drops, ghee, and vanilla. Continue whisking til evenly mixed and pudding is thickened.
Pour into individual heatproof glass or ceramic serving dishes. To prevent a skin from forming on the pudding, place plastic wrap directly on the pudding in each dish and seal. I don't mind the skin and prefer to leave the plastic wrap off. Refrigerate for about 3 hours or overnight. Or, eat right away, warm and a little less set - also delicious!
You may use arrowroot starch instead of tapioca, but I have not tried this yet; potato starch may work too. For salt, I use Himalayan salt because it has a wider mineral profile than ordinary table salt and because sea salt is now (sadly) under scrutiny for having plastic in it. If the pudding hasn't thickened enough after lengthy heating and stirring, remove 1/4 cup of pudding from the pot into a small Pyrex or ceramic bowl or cup. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of starch and blend til smooth and thick. Add this back to the pot and continue stirring with whisk til smooth and thickened.