Tuesday, October 16, 2012

...and GAPS is back!

Since the last time I posted, I got a new job, quit my old job, flew to Minneapolis, crashed at my brother's house for three week, flew back to Portland, drove to Minneapolis with Laurel and the cats, camped in our new house until our things arrived, unpacked our things when they arrived, and finally set up my new kitchen.

Needless to say, I fell off the wagon a little. The GAPS wagon that is. When we got the news that I got the job in Minneapolis and that we would be moving across the country shortly- I held out, thinking that if I just prepared and froze enough almond flour muffins to get us by until I could cook again in our new kitchen, then we would be able to stay true to our GAPS doctrine. I prepared the best I could, however due to my kitchen implements slowly disappearing to moving boxes and one incredibly disruptive construction project, I had to let go.

At my brother's house for three weeks I tried to enjoy my unplanned dietary freedom-- I drank beer and ate ice cream, feeling guilty but knowing I would soon be back on track. On the road from Portland to Minneapolis, we ate cheese, fruit, salami, and kombucha. Once in our new house, it took some time to get the kitchen set up, stock our fridge and pantry, and prepare the foods we would need to sustain us on GAPS, so we gave ourselves another break-- we would do the best we could through the move and the month of October, and in November we would start fresh. We would start with the GAPS introductory diet.

Full of bone broths and boiled meat, the intro diet now looms ahead of us. We tell ourselves that since we are both feeling pretty well, we should get through it quickly, maybe only a couple of weeks. Time will tell. For now, I am contently preparing a multitude of full GAPS foods and ferments to sustain us on our journey. 

Recent culinary adventures:

Above: Crispy Squash Chips and Stuffed Peppers:
     The squash chips were inspired by my mother! Slice delicata squash thinly and lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with melted coconut oil and sprinkle on celtic sea salt and  crushed pepper. Bake at 375 until crispy and a little caramelized.
    The Stuffed peppers were inspired by the stuffed jalepenos in Natasha Campbell McBride's cookbook, "Internal Bliss." I had a bunch of small banana peppers from the farmer's market so I used those instead of jalapenos  For the filling I mixed up some dry curd cottage cheese, a little grated cheddar, some chopped scallions, a couple pieces of natural pepperoni chopped up, an egg yolk, and some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake at 350 or so until slightly brown and cheese is melted.

Below: Sprouted and slow cooked navy beans, now in the freezer for future quick use, roasted and pureed winter squash, slow cooker mixed bone broth (buffalo, pork, and beef bones from my beloved seward coop), and good ole chicken stock.
 New batch of sauerkraut fermenting in the covered crock with farmer's market veggies: green cabbage, yellow beets, fennel, carrot, fresh ginger, celery seeds, caraway seeds, black pepper, celtic sea salt, and love. The red jar next to it is Beet kvass: red and chiogga beets, apple cores, ginger, whole cloves, zest and juice of half a lime, whey, celtic sea salt, and filtered water.

My beautiful new kitchen cart and gas stove (at last!)

 Nourishing Traditions fermented apple cider! I bought 4 dozen apples at the farmers market, juiced and strained them, then mixed the juice with a little salt and whey and let it sit in a big bowl on the counter for 3 days. Today I strained it again and poured into bottles in the fridge. Tastes a little reminiscent of kombucha but not so vinegary. I am excited to see how the flavors develop over the coming weeks.
Bonus: I made apple fruit leathers with all the pulp leftover from juicing. I mixed in a little honey, all the foam I skimmed off the top of the juice, and some chopped dates. Then I blended it up and smoothed onto parchment paper and popped them in the dehydrator for 14 hours.

    Homemade yogurt and creme fraiche! I have not been able to find raw milk yet in Minneapolis, so I settled for some nice glass jars of pasteurized milk and cream from a local dairy. The creme fraiche is rich and buttery and the yogurt is thick, and even thicker after dripping the whey out.

So nice to have a kitchen again!