Hi Readers, do you ever wonder if certain foods cause you inflammation? Maybe you’d like to try an elimination diet, but you’re not sure where to start and seriously, who has time?!
My friend, Chef Mary Kachel of Seattle, not only specializes in restricted diets, she’ll plan your meals, cook them in your home, and leave them all ready to go in the fridge! How amazing is that?!
So in the spirit of healthy eating, and kitchen organization, I thought a guest post from Chef Mary would be just the thing to inspire us! Read on for her tips on how to stock a healthy pantry, along with two of her favorite recipes!
So many of us have inflammation in our bodies and it’s amazing how food choices can effect this. Utilizing an anti-inflammatory elimination diet will help you decipher which foods are the culprit. The AIP or auto-immune protocol is my choice for this process. You start by eliminating all inflammatory foods (nightshades, grains, dairy, nuts/seeds, soy, eggs, corn, sugar, alcohol, caffeine) for at least four weeks before starting introductions. Stay with me! I know seeing this list is daunting. There are resources available to help you through this process. Pinterest, Facebook groups (AIP Elimination Diet), cookbooks, or even talk with a naturopath.
My personal journey through AIP was not without struggle in the beginning. However the reward is worth the hard work! I found that eating just one egg would make my right hand go numb for over a week. Corn, makes me painfully nauseous. Dairy, contributes to my overall sluggishness. Rice and quinoa give me stomach upset. Dairy was no shock but I was really surprised by the eggs, corn, rice and quinoa. They were staples in my diet before this process! I went from tears in the doctors office with pain to a new me in just a few months. All managed by what I choose to put in my body.
Best tips for stocking your pantry to commence an anti-inflammatory diet:
Cassava, arrowroot, and tapioca starch. Others to consider or purchase as necessary: coconut flour and tigernut flour. These are utilized in so much more than just baking. Cassava makes a great dredge for meats as well as staple flour in baked goods. Arrowroot and tapioca are fantastic thickeners.
Apple cider and balsamic.
Coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil, or avocado oil. Having fancy olives as well as avocados always on hand too.
Dates, honey, and maple syrup. Carob powder or nibs are a common substituted for cocoa.
Canned coconut milk, coconut aminos (soy sauce/tamari substitute), as well as cream of tartar + baking soda (to make baking powder substitute). Also finding a plantain chip that is compliant is a great snack or breading for meats.
HOT TIP: Having olives you find to be indulgent and dates on hand are the perfect back and forth combo to curb the salty and sweet cravings.
Chermoula Chicken Skewers
Recipe by Chef Mary
1 pound chicken breast – cut into 1″ cubes
2 tsp salt – divided1 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves
juice of 1 fresh lemon
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil – reserve 1 tbsp
Post successful nightshade introduction also add:
2 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
Post successful seed introduction also add:
1 tbsp ground cumin
Cut chicken and season with one tsp of salt, set aside in medium bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients (reserve 1 tbsp oil) into a blender or use an immersion blender to create a smooth sauce. Season as desired with more salt.
Use 3 tbsp of sauce to coat chicken. In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat. Add chicken and toss to cook through, approximately 8 minutes. Do not overcook, breast meat does not take long to cook through. Remove from heat immediately and thread onto skewers to serve (optional presentation).
Recipe by Chef Mary
1 head cauliflower, cut into small bite sized pieces
1 tsp salt, or more if desired
3 tbsp olive oil
In a large cast iron skillet* heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, season with the salt and coat well. Periodically toss the cauliflower as it begins to brown on the pan. Allow time for it to actually brown/blacken before tossing again. As this process starts to speed up, it seems to be browning quicker as the pan heats up, turn down the heat to medium-low. Continue tossing as it blackens until cooked through and throughly charred.
*Can be done in stainless steal or non-stick, just not quite the same character and flavor.
You can visit my website at www.chefmaryseattle.com. I’m accepting new clients starting this spring!
Best to you on your journey of better health!
Chef Mary and Lauren