Grain-Free Spaghetti

I’ve heard people say spaghetti squash is a good substitute for spaghetti, and I think they must be smoking something. It’s delicious with olive oil & garlic, but it’s not fooling anybody.

I’ve discovered a much better approximation of pasta’s texture: Finely julienne rutabagas, and steam them for 20-30 min depending on how soft you like them. Serve the “spaghetti” with meatballs & tomato sauce, other vegetables, under grilled chicken, etc. I like to simmer in broth and maybe spices, then drizzle with olive oil. You could thicken the broth with tapioca/arrowroot to make a sauce. It won’t wrap around your fork, but other than that it’s a pretty good imitation.

Alternative: This works with turnips or probably most root vegetables. Also try frying the “spaghetti” in lard or coconut oil for a different flavor. I think you could also make lasagna noodles, but I have no idea whether you’d cook them first, or how you’d adapt the lasagna recipe.


“Don’t Tell Them It’s A Vegetable” Snack Bars

6 oz raisins (1 cup)
3 oz coconut (little less than 1 cup shredded)
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup baked mashed sweet potatoes
(or any sweet squash, or pumpkin plus a little honey)

Shred coconut flakes in food processor and pour in another container. Process raisins, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt until raisins are chopped tiny and want to stick together in a big clump. Add sweet potatoes and coconut and process until thoroughly mixed.

Form balls, or press into an 8×8 pan. Refrigerate 3 hours until firm. Cut into bars and freeze half or they’ll be gone in no time.

Simple Soy-Free Marinade

I used to use Worcestershire all the time, but it contains soy. So do most marinades. The first time I cooked rabbit I went looking for recipes, and found a marinade that turned out to be a great replacement for Worcestershire. This tastes great with chicken, beef, or venison. I think I used it for squirrel too.

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup molasses (optional)
1/2 onion, sliced or chopped (optional)
1-2 tsp garlic powder or 2-4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp rosemary, crushed (optional)
2 tsp salt
2-3 cups water, enough to submerge meat

Mix all ingredients and pour over meat. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Cook meat according to your preference. I like to bake it in the marinade, with rice or chopped vegetables, covered.

Variations: in place of garlic, use cinnamon, mustard, or other favorite spice. Or use multiple spices. 1/2 hour before meat is done cooking, add some cranberries, prepared as for sweet potato casserole, or some raisins.

For low-FODMAPs, leave out the onion and use different spices in place of garlic. For GAPS or SCD, use honey in place of molasses.

Loosely adapted from first recipe here:

Everything-free pumpkin pie

It’s TORTUROUS to have Thanksgiving dinner and be unable to eat the pumpkin pie. Here’s my solution for 2013. (And then I became sensitive to coconut. Sigh.)

1 pie crust free of your problem ingredients
(optional, the crust isn’t the important part anyway)
1 can pumpkin puree
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey (optional, see below)
1 Tb vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
3 envelopes powdered gelatin

Heat water in a saucepan and sprinkle gelatin over the surface. Whisk until gelatin is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and heat, whisking until smooth. Pour into 10in pie crust, dessert dishes, or fancy molds and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Alternatives: if you can’t have any sweetener, use 3/4 – 1 cup raisins, finely chopped in a food processor. Or replace part/all of the pumpkin with sweet potato. Or if you’re accustomed to not eating anything sweet, this will taste great with just the spices.

If you can’t eat coconut, replace the coconut milk with another 1/2 cup pumpkin & 1/4 cup solid fat such as butter or palm shortening. Increase the cinnamon & vanilla to 4 tsp each. I’d be generous with the nutmeg too.

This recipe is a combination of two others. Each has a different crust that would work for some people — The first is a traditional crust with gluten-free flour, and the second is made of dates!

Whipped Topping — modified from this recipe

1 can full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey, or to taste (optional)
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt

Pour off coconut water for another use — it could replace part of the water in the pie. Beat coconut cream with a hand mixer, add remaining ingredients, and continue whipping until fluffy.

There are a great variety of crust options depending on which ingredients you need to avoid. Ideally I’d make this pie with the coconut crust. Barring that, I think next time I’ll try a hash-brown crust made of rutabaga instead of potatoes, and cinnamon or ginger.

Thankful for Sweet Potatoes Casserole

Originally, this was my attempt to recreate part of a frozen dinner. I found several similar recipes online that gave me a general idea of how to make it work. With my improvements over the past few years, it’s much better than the original!

2 lb sweet potatoes, or a little less
4-6 oz cranberries
3 Tb coconut oil or butter
3 Tb cinnamon
4 Tb vanilla
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar (optional for people who are used to sugar in everything)

Turn oven to 350 and bake sweet potatoes for 20-30 minutes so they’re easier to cut. Peel and cut in about 1/2-3/4 in cubes. Cut cranberries in half crossways (easiest when they’re frozen) and rinse under fast-running water to clean out the seeds.

Melt oil and stir in flavorings and water. Mix everything together in a 2-qt casserole dish. (If the sweet potatoes don’t all fit in the pan, freeze the rest to use in Superfood Soup.) Cover and bake at 350 for 30-40 min or until sweet potatoes are soft.

Use winter squash instead of sweet potatoes.
Add 1-2 diced apples. (use a bigger pan)
Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut and an extra 1/2 cup water.

Faster option: Cut and freeze a bunch of sweet potatoes ahead of time. Either thaw before making the casserole, or baking time will be longer.

Irresistible fried liver

(I’ve read that you can mellow the flavor of liver by soaking it in milk before cooking. I’ve never done it because I love the flavor. If you don’t like liver but want to eat it for the boatload of nutrients it has, you could try that.)

about 1/4 cup coconut oil
5-8 garlic cloves, bruised
1 lb beef or pork liver, sliced
1 pkg frozen vegetables, thawed to save time
or equivalent of fresh chopped vegetables

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic cloves and wait until they turn golden. Push them to the edges of the pan and add slices of liver in a single layer. (About 1/2 lb at a time will fit in the pan.) Fry 3-5 min each side, until edges are brown and inside has just a hint of pink. Remove liver to a plate and tent with foil in a warm oven. Add veggies to pan and toss with garlic & oil until softened.


Superfood soup

Superfood Soup
(a.k.a. Poor Folks Soup — a cheap way to avoid doctor bills)

3-4 cups bone broth
1 huge sweet potato that only costs $1/lb
(or 3 lbs normal sweet potatoes))
1 lb pork or beef heart (optional)
Pastured lard or palm shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp turmeric
1-2 Tb fresh minced ginger
1-2 Tb fresh minced garlic
1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar

Option 1
1/2 pkg or more of chopped frozen spinach (5 oz)

Option 2
1 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Bake sweet potato at 350° for 60-90 min. Brown heart in oil. Peel sweet potato with a fork and cut in chunks. (It doesn’t matter if the chunks are big, you can cut them up with a spoon after awhile.) Add remaining ingredients to pot, and some water depending on preference. Simmer 2 hours, until heart is tender and sweet potatoes are mushy. Cut or mash them with a spoon.

For option 1, stir in spinach about 10 minutes before serving.

For option 2, stir in coconut flakes 15-20 minutes before serving. Add water as needed, depending how thick you want the soup to be.

Stir in apple cider vinegar just before serving.

Alternative method: You could peel the raw sweet potato and cut it up, but raw sweet potatoes are really hard to cut.