Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Week of Cooking

After running out of good stuff to grab early in the week, I spent a couple days prepping AIP compliant foods to have on hand this week (and froze some of it for later!)  I had a lot of fun cooking this week. I made some basics, like baked chicken thighs, pork sirloin roast, burger patties and steamed vegetables, but I also did some baking from recipes I found online. Here are a few interesting things I made and tried:

Pumpkin spice breakfast cookies (recipe here). I made a half batch of these.

AIP autoimmune paleo cookies

I thought they were strange and not what I was expecting. They aren't sweet at all but taste good; it's the texture that was odd... kind of hard and crunchy outside and chewy inside. They were pretty good hot from the oven, but I'm not a fan when they are cooled. Also I think the tapioca starch in these bothered me. The redness in my face came back, so I plan to avoid tapioca for awhile (it can be a cross reactor with gluten). I won't make these again.

Next, I baked some prosciutto into crispy chips (idea from here):

AIP paleo prosciutto chips

If you're on AIP, you may be able to find this prosciutto at Coscto. No additives, and the ingredients are "pork, salt." Simple! I liked these. They're very flavorful, but even saltier than bacon. I think they'd be a nice garnish in place of bacon bits, but they're a bit too salty for me to eat straight.

I also made something from a recipe called "Strawberry Custard." But no. This was not custard. It was really rubbery. I think it had way too much gelatin. I tried to eat a few bites of this each day, but ended up tossing about half of it in the trash. Won't make again, or would try it with a LOT less gelatin and sweeter, local strawberries in season.

AIP strawberry gelatin dessert

Okay, here's a strange one. I got the idea from here:

AIP sweet potato recipe

Blueberry stuffed sweet potatoes. Yeah, I was hungry. It was actually pretty good. I didn't have coconut yogurt so I used coconut cream. I think this would be better with the yogurt. I might do this again. It was good in a strange kind of way.

Here's one I'd wanted to try for awhile: Rustic Apple Cinnamon Rolls with no added sugar:

AIP rustic apple cinnamon rolls autoimmune paleo recipe

I made these with one substitution which was okay'ed in the comments section: arrowroot instead of tapioca starch. They turned out nice. Look, it's no Cinnabon. There's no sugar in the "dough" so it is a bit bland, but nicely crunchy on the outside and moist inside. A little too mushy inside for me even after extra baking time. But the apple cinnamon filling is fantastic! I probably won't make these again, but I will definitively find some other way to use that filling recipe!

Next I made Baked Cauliflower Casserole (without the green onions on top):

AIP paleo cauliflower casserole recipe

Meh. This was just not as good as I had hoped. It's fine though, so I ate it with some protein.

Then I made these: N'Oatmeal Creme Pies:

AIP cookies, n'oatmeal creme pies

Okay. These were awesome!! I followed the recipe exactly. I made these on the same day we also made a birthday cake and cupcakes for a family member. I wanted to have something I would enjoy without going off AIP... and this was it! So good and so nutritious without any "junk." They also freeze well (I tried one from the freezer today). 

Foods I ate this week:

Chicken thighs, bacon, pork sirloin roast, hamburger patties, prosciutto, salmon
Cauliflower, onions, garlic, asparagus, pumpkin, sweet potato, Romaine, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots
Apples, Clementines, cantaloupe, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, bananas
Avocado, olives, coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut milk
Tapioca starch, arrowroot flour, decaf tea, honey, dates
Gelatin, kombucha, beef bone broth, sauerkraut

That's it! I walked (about 1.5 miles) a few times. Been busy, on my feet a lot, but no other formal exercise.

Scale this morning says 246... down one pound from last week. Slow and steady. But more importantly, I'm feeling better. I am just over two weeks in to my 30 days of AIP and glad I finally got a grip and re-started this. I hope to see it through with the slow reintroductions so I get the answers I need about which foods are best for my body. 


divad said...

I love experimenting with healthy alternatives to sweets and other off plan recipes. I think it's amazing how good some substitution recipes taste - like baked cauliflower casserole! I have a really good loaded baked fotato soup, made with cauliflower. I'm glad you're finding ways to enjoy your plan!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks tasty except that potato. I wouldn't even try that but I appreciate you trying and reviewing those recipes. I have seen so many AIP recipes popping up on blogs but I'm suspect of the results. Your honest opinions are helpful.

Anonymous said...

Is there some reason you can't eat chicken breasts and roast veggies?

Lyn said...

Thanks all! Feeling very good :)

Anonymous (2)~

Chicken thighs were on sale this week! I like them better too because I can use the bones to make broth. I don't mind breasts either and do eat them sometimes. I do eat roasted and steamed veggies (see my food list) but don't usually take pics of the boring stuff like plain meat and veggies.

Anonymous said...

What I meant was that all this planning, "wanting to try," cobbling together desserts (cookies? oatmeal creme pies? We all remember your love affair with Little Debbie; this seems a sad attempt to recreate those nasty little cakes -- apple cinnamon rolls) -- you're obsessed with treats, baked goods, etc. -- things that people who are serious about their health and weight loss DO NOT EAT. You complained in your last post about being too busy (doing what?) to batch cook...when you "find the time," you make cookies, pastries, etc. Why not make a couple of whole chickens? A big bowl of steamed veggies? Why not? These foods may fit your AIP rules by virtue of their ingredients. That does not, however, make them conducive to weight loss or health.

Lyn said...

Anon (last) ~

I don't really see a benefit to roasting whole chickens (which I didn't have) over baking 5 pounds of chicken thighs (which I did have). I think whole chickens would be fine, but I generally shop what's on sale and healthy. I also did mention in my post that I steamed veggies. I do enjoy baking and like trying AIP-compliant, healthy recipes from the Autoimmune Paleo blogs I follow. Now I have several things in the freezer for future use (for example, I might take out a cinnamon roll when others are having sweets that aren't on plan for me). Planning for success!

so wa said...

I just want to say hi. I've just found your blog and am really learning alot about myself and my weight through your experiences.
The food looks delicious!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for detailing all this! Love reading your your successes and failures in finding new recipes. I think it's great that you r trying so many new recipes this week, having fun with it, and not obsessing too much on what others might say or think is what you should be doing.
I've been reading your blog for three years now (remember nursing my last baby late at night and catching up on your blog while the house was quiet and dark) and I too am now focusing more on myself. I'm making a great effort to lose weight (80 so far) by eating a lot less. Now that I've got a lot less to lose I have really had to focus more on 1200 cals a day and exercise. Keeping up on struggles like yours helps me keep my own struggle and goal at the top of my mind. Thank u.

Anonymous said...

I’m curious about how all this baking fits into “normalising” food and what your goal template for “normal(ised)” eating looks like. We’re all different and we all have different ideas about what normal is regarding food and activity, but in my case — I’m a thin, highly active (running, cycling to get about, and heavy weight training 3x a week) individual and it’s nowhere near my normal to make or eat this many snacks in the course of a week. I do bake — love to do it, actually — and eat snacks and treats but it’s more like a once-every-few-weeks type of thing for me rather than something I’d eat daily or even weekly. That’s my normal. Baking large batches of treats or snacks is something I’d only do for a special event like a party or Christmas; it’s not something I’d do so that I had treats available to snack on during the week.

I know that AIP is based on a ‘Paleo’ template and this has always been something I’ve been sceptical of regarding Paleo; since the idea of the diet is that it supposedly hearkens back to the way people ate in the Palaeolithic Era and forbids all foods that followers believe would not have been available to Palaeolithic man, it doesn’t seem in the spirit of the diet to make snacks and treats that mimic modern non-Paleo/AIP options from Paleo/AIP ingredients … since Palaeolithic man would not have been doing that.

I guess what I’m saying is that if you had baked all of this over the course of a few weeks I wouldn’t have batted an eye, but the fact that you’ve only been following this diet plan for a couple of weeks and you’ve baked dozens of treats from ‘allowed’ ingredients to have on hand makes me feel like you still view food as an emotional crutch, and would like to continue relating to food in that way without gaining weight/borking your health. I really believe that changing your relationship with food should be of paramount importance over and above any diet plan for weight control or health, not least because it really is a key element of successful weight control. Personally I would suggest following AIP, if that’s your chosen plan, on a very basic template at least for a couple of weeks — no batch baking snacks, just whole allowed foods like chicken, vegetables, etc. I know you’re eating those things anyway but what I’m suggesting is cutting out the snacks for a while to try to change/break some of your food habits (because as far as I can tell this is really just a continuation of your habit of driving to the bakery to buy brownies to self-soothe and getting a cookie “for later”). Because to be honest right now it looks less like you’re planning for success and more like you’re setting yourself up for failure; I hope I’m wrong about that!

Lyn said...


I understand your viewpoint. I think all of us are different in our 'normals'... like, I have never been a thin person who runs and never will be (due to my knees) but I would like to be a healthy-weight person who has an active lifestyle. But as you probably know from reading my blog, my normal was, for decades, one who cooks, bakes, is relatively sedentary and loves to eat junk food and sweets. I have found from many, many attempts at changing the way I eat that cutting out treats completely just sets me up to crash and burn hard after a few weeks or months, so I am trying to adjust my "sweet tooth" now to much less sweetened treats, in smaller portions, with less frequency. I know it looks like I focused entirely on baked treats if you just glance at the pictures (I baked 3 different 'dessert' type snacks this week). Consider that I generally halve all sweet recipes (to reduce temptation) and immediately freeze most of them for later use.

I do sometimes still use food as an emotional crutch, and am working on doing that less. I also just flat out like to have a 'treat' sometimes, or am in a social situation (like the birthday this week) where I have to avoid what everyone else is having. In the past I have experienced cravings and a sense of deprivation when I've sat and watched everyone else around me eating cakes or pies or cookies while I just watch them and say no thank you. It's resulted in me going home frustrated and being triggered to eat off plan. This way, when something like that comes up, I can pull out my choice of a cinnamon roll or a cookie and have tea with everyone else and be okay about it. I know others have a different history with food and it may be easier for some to just pass things up completely but I am not there. So I am trying to take care of myself in the best way I can.

I also agree whole foods are wonderful, and 90% of my diet is just that (see the list... every day I am eating basically plain meats and veggies for at least two meals, and fruit for most snacks). If mixing my bananas with coconut and honey to make macaroons helps me stay successful, I don't see a problem with it. I don't think getting a teaspoon of honey a day in the form of two macaroons is harmful; I think if it keeps me from flipping out with half a bag of Oreos, it's a very good thing!

I guess you have to look at where I have come from (with the binges, eating half-pans of brownies, the processed foods, the loads of sugar, salt, gluten, carbs, chemicals) and where I am (no junk, treats that are so low in sugar that my kids think they are too bland to eat, single servings of natural, homemade foods) to appreciate the progress I am making. I see there could be a potential for some kind of freezer-raiding binge, but these foods do not seem to trigger me at all and so far, not a problem.

Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

Lyn said...


oh, and re: Paleolithic diet: I agree and am also not really a believer that we all need to go back to eating like our ancestors did. I have no interest in going "Paleo" for that reason. My main goal here is an elimination diet for 30 days and then reintroductions to see if some of my symptoms resolve and what foods I may be sensitive to. So the #1 goal is to only eat foods from the approved AIP list... not to mimic a caveman diet. I also think AIP may really be a way to help heal autoimmune disease, so I am intrigued by that possibility too.

Anonymous said...

When I originally read this post yesterday, I didn't have the time to comment. I'll post that comment now.

I appreciate that you've detailed those recipes, complete with the actual instructions and pics, here. I don't like messing about in the kitchen, but I am a decent cook. That means if you do the experimenting for me, I may just come upon something I think I'd like--and make it myself. :D

The sweets? Probably not. I derailed in a big way last month making healthy, two ingredient cookies to have on hand for the grandkids and company that I could eat one or two of as well. Ate them all. Kept telling myself, "Two cookies is just a half of a bowl of oatmeal and 1/2 a banana. Healthy.) Right. 12 cookies? Not so healthy.

At any rate, I don't have an eating disorder--I am an addict. One SF/GF cookie that even pretends to be a real sugar/fat/gluten concoction sets me off. (Hoping you are not similarly afflicted. Doesn't seem as tho you are.)

So, no sweets subs for me, but I do appreciate your efforts and will likely find some dinner recipes that will work.

So, thank you.


P.S. Some time ago, you posted a Greek yogurt recipe that was wonderful. I produced yogurt that tasted exactly like Fage, except fresher for 1/3 of the cost.

Lyn said...

Thanks Deb! AND you're welcome!

I think I am an addict too, but an addict to processed crap and/or high sugar/flour concoctions. I think wheat might be addictive to me because I respond the same way to fresh bread as I do to brownies. But these grain free and very low sugar treats haven't triggered me. I think part of it is they are so bland that one is enough! My kids think I have lost my mind when I try to feed them these "sweets".... the kids said the creme pies "taste like vegetables" but to me they were awesome!