Bibliophiles' Lunch

Sisters share paleo recipes, books, and DIY


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Paleo Chicken Pot Pie

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I love chicken pot pie but I don’t make it often, particularly since I avoid grains and potatoes.  Today I had a left over roast chicken in the fridge and some left over breadfruit in the freezer and figured I could put them together pretty easily. Since I am trying to adhere to a low fodmap diet, I didn’t include any oniony vegetables or garlic. I don’t know if breadfruit is low fodmap or not.

breadfruit crust:

1-1/4 cup breadfruit that has been diced and steamed
3 TBS red palm oil
1 tsp salt
2 TBS coconut flour

Combine the breadfruit, palm oil and salt in a food processor. Add coconut flour as needed to thicken the crust. I didn’t get the crust into a condition in which I could roll it out. I just flattened it with my hands and put it on the top of the pie.

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filling:
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 carrot, sliced into rounds
2 stalks celery, sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
6 oz frozen peas
1 TBS coconut oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 TBS chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the oil in a frying pan and saute the mushrooms, carrots, and celery until the mushrooms have lost some of their liquid and the vegetables are partly cooked. Add the peas, chicken, parsley and broth. When the mixture is warm, place in a pyrex dish or deep-dish pie plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with the breadfruit crust. Place in a 400 F oven until filling is bubbling and top is nicely browned (about 20 minutes).

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Paleo Ham Soup

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I began with the Paleo Ham and No-Bean Soup from mellowmama.com, but of course I changed a few things around. This is such a simple recipe that I couldn’t resist trying it. I find simple soups with limited ingredients come out much better than soups where I throw everything in the kitchen into the pot. I had an applewood smoked ham from Whole Foods that was a bit too salty for me, so I figured it would work in a soup.

1 head cauliflower
1 small ham, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 slender scallions, chopped
pepper

Separate the cauliflower into florets, cover with water and boil until soft. Use the stick blender to puree the cauliflower. When it is smooth, add the diced ham, carrots, celery, and scallions. I had no ham bone, so I left this out. Bring soup to the boil and simmer half an hour.

Paleo cooking uses cauliflower as a base for gravy and as a grain substitute among other things, and I thought this would be a great soup base. Even without broth or a bone to boil, this soup came out satisfyingly rich. I think it would be even better with broth, but I didn’t have any on hand.


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Carrot & Squash Soup

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I had a butternut squash and wanted to make it into soup, so I looked through some recipes online and modified one to suit the ingredients I had on hand. I began with a recipe for Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup but modified it as I didn’t have parsnips and didn’t think an apple was necessary.

3 oz pancetta rounds
1 medium butternut squash
1 lb carrots (I had a bag of mixed colors and used all the yellow carrots and a few of the orange ones)
1 small onion
1 clove elephant garlic (which is milder than regular and much larger)
1 tsp chopped ginger
2-1/2 chopped fresh turmeric root
1/2 tsp piment d’espelette (a milder French red pepper)
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 qt chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt

Chop the pancetta and fry it in the bottom of the kettle. When it is crisp remove the pancetta and reserve it to use as a garnish for the soup. Using the fat rendered by the pancetta, saute the chopped onion until it has softened. Add the squash peeled an diced, chopped carrots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, piment d’espelette, cardamom, salt, coconut milk and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are softened. Puree the soup with a stick blender and serve garnished with pancetta.

This soup is a bit spicy and nicely warming for a cold winter evening. It is also a lovely rich yellow color and delicious.


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Coeur Braise aux Carottes

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When I asked the guy behind the counter at Whole Foods if they had a beef heart he looked as if he’d like to gag,  but he went and looked for one in the back.  My recipe calls for a veal heart weighing 1 kg but I got half a beef heart weighing 3-1/4 lbs and used half of that.  I am trying to eat more organ meats as they are supposed to be so good for you, but I have to work at getting over the yuck factor in order to do so.  I figured that in a stew heart would seem pretty much like regular beef cuts–it is a muscle after all. This recipe is pretty much a straight translation of “Coeur de Veau Braise aux Carottes” on p 161 of Les Recettes Faciles de Francoise Bernard.  This is like The Joy of Cooking of France–the basic cookbook that you receive when you get married.  Everyone seems to have it.  This is considered an easy and inexpensive recipe.

1 veal heart (I used 1/4 beef heart)
1 shallot (the original recipe called for 2 onions, but I didn’t want to eat so much onion)
3 Tbs butter or other fat
1 kg carrots
2 stalks celery
1 clove garlic
bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay leaf)
salt
pepper
1 quart broth (the original recipe calls for water)

Francoise Bernard tells you to ask the tripier to remove the tough membranes from the interior of the heart. I didn’t get it from a tripier (tripe butcher) so I removed the tough bits and silverskin from the heart myself and chopped it into small pieces. Brown the meat in several batches. Chop the shallot and saute it for a couple of minutes while you chop the carrots and celery. Return the meat to the pot along with the carrots, celery, herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and cover with liquid. I used broth for a richer and healthier option, but water would work too. Bring to a boil on the stove top, cover and place in a 300 F oven for about 2 hours. Remove the bouquet garni before serving.

The stew was tender and savory. Beef heart is rich in iron, phosphorus, copper and selenium, and it is a good source of B vitamins and Coenzyme Q10.


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Potage de Crecy — Carrot Soup

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I love carrot soup, so I turned to my favorite recipe in The Soups of France by Lois Anne Rothert.  However, she uses potatoes, butter, milk and curry powder none of which are currently on my diet, so I adjusted the recipe as follows:

2 T red palm oil
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 to 4 cups chopped carrots
1 T chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, mashed
4 cups chicken broth to cover vegetables*
1-1/2 cups coconut milk**
salt to taste
shredded chicken to garnish

Melt the palm oil and saute the onions until they’re soft. Add the carrots, ginger and celery and saute a few more minutes. Cover the vegetables with broth and add the garlic. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Puree the soup with a stick blender and add the coconut milk and salt to taste. Add the chicken to bowls and pour the soup over the chicken.

* Broth: Take a chicken carcass, break into pieces and remove most of the meat. Cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer covered for 3+ hours. Let cool and strain out the pieces.

**Coconut milk: Blend 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut in a high speed blender to reduce the size of the pieces. Add 3-1/2 cups water and bring to the boil. Let cool for 1 hour. Blend in a high speed blender for 1 minute. Strain through a nut milk bag. Alternatively, use canned coconut milk if you can find any without guar gum, gellan gum or other stabilizers and additives.


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Sarah Ballantyne’s Carrot “Tabouleh”

I had accepted never eating tabouleh again, but Sarah Ballantyne’s recipe from The Paleo Approach Cookbook p 315 has some of the same flavors–parsley, mint, lemon–as well as a nice crunch.  It is a really gorgeous color because I used a variety of colors of carrot for this.  In the past I had always shredded carrots for carrot salads, but this recipe has you put large carrot chunks into the food processor with the regular blade in the bowl, which turns them into crunchy bits reminiscent of tabouleh.  I threw the carrots into the food processor and pulverized them then added the herbs, raisins, and dressing and pulsed to mix.  Easy, beautiful and delicious! The Paleo Approach Cookbook, by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD.

This is the second time I have tried the recipe.  Last time I made it I didn’t have mint or raisins on hand so I used apricots and extra parsley.  That was good, but the mint really brings it closer to the flavor of the real thing.  I really like this salad as a change from the usual leafy greens. Great recipe, definitely worth trying.

I look forward to trying this technique with a variety of veggies to create different kinds of salads.