Sunday, January 31, 2010

Creamy Potato Leek Soup

The words creamy and soup usually elicit thoughts of a rich pureed vegetable base with heavy cream stirred in. This simple soup gets its creaminess by pureeing part of the soup after it has cooked. I grew up eating my mom's creamy (and dairy-free) potato soup which very much resembles this recipe. She used the simple combination of potatoes, celery, onions, salt, and pepper. I've added a few more ingredients, such as leeks, carrots, and dill, to make it more exciting.

This soup is a great way to test for a nightshade sensitivity in Phase 3 of the Elimination Diet. I've added a little salmon as a topping to make the soup more nutritious. If you are vegan or don't eat fish you could try stirring in a bit of cooked mung beans. I pressure cooked a large pot of those tender little beans the other day which I've been incorporating into main dish meals, such as casseroles and stews.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Collard Wraps with Raw Sunflower Pate

A few months ago I soaked a bowlful of sunflower seeds overnight with the intention of creating some sort of yummy pate to be wrapped up in a collard green. I wasn't quite sure how it would evolve but I trusted it would be, at the very least, edible. After rinsing and draining the soaked seeds I pulled out nearly every ingredient imaginable from the refrigerator. Now time has taught me to not go overboard and to just stick with a few ingredients when creating recipes. So I chose three (not including salt, pepper, and herbs) and tossed them all into the food processor along with the soaked seeds.

Both Tom and I were more than delighted with the results. Our toddler boys couldn't seem to get enough! A few days later I measured ingredients and whirled the food processor once again to figure out the amounts. We've made these wraps a number of times since then and even demonstrated them at a recent Elimination Diet cooking class. We never seem to get bored with them.

To make the collard greens pliable for wrapping I decided to blanch them. Just sixty seconds in boiling water creates an awesome flourless wrap folks! If you don't decide to use the filling ingredients below I hope you will venture into trying the wraps with whatever fillings you desire.

Turkey and honey mustard? Smoked Salmon with Avocado Mayonnaise? Refried Beans and Brown Rice?

The trick is to find very large greens with out too many slug bites or insect damage (holes)!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Raw Super Green Salad

We're back with fabulous elimination diet recipes. Oh how I adore the lovely lemon. I can't tell you how excited I was to taste lemon juice once again. This flavorful dark leafy green salad is a staple in our house this time of year. It utilizes hardy and super nutritious greens such as kale and collards. The lemon and salt help to break down the green's tough fibers creating an easy to chew raw salad.

I like to serve this salad along side my Quinoa-Salmon Burger recipe or use it to stuff inside Collard Wraps. Another way to use this salad is to take a large handful of it and process it in a food processor along with a few cups of cooked black beans (well-drained), a little chili powder, and sea salt to make "refried beans." I make quesadillas by placing a few dollops of the bean mixture inside of two brown rice tortillas. Simply cook on both sides in a large, hot skillet with a little olive oil, cut with a pizza cutter, serve with carrot sticks and you have a nutritious lunch for your children!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Moroccan Chickpea and Potato Soup

Welcome to day five of our Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner party. This month's theme is Winter Warmers. Today I offer you an easy, warming soup recipe from our cookbook. This is by far one of my family's favorite recipes. I probably make it about twice a week! My seven-year old loves to pack this soup in her lunch. Of course anything with curry and potatoes is sure to please.

My children adore chickpeas (otherwise known as garbanzo beans). They even eat them plain for breakfast with cooked quinoa and a sprinkling of sea salt.

I forgot, amongst all of the Elimination Diet hype, that I was participating in this wonderful event. I have more Phase 2 recipes to share in a few days. But for now enjoy this very flavorful vegetarian soup recipe (or cook it up for your children).

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quinoa-Salmon Burgers (Gluten-Free + Egg-free)

Alright, now we're Elimination Diet comfort food recipe, complete with parsnip fries and all! These quinoa-salmon burgers are so easy and quick to prepare that you might want to make a double batch and freeze a few for later. This delicious egg-free salmon burger recipe can also be found on page 297 of my Nourishing Meals cookbook!

Whether you are following the Elimination Diet or not I bet you'll really enjoy this recipe. My toddler boys just love these burgers. I think they ate about three of them today! I served them with a Raw Super Green Salad, Oven-Roasted Parsnip Fries and Soothing Tummy Tea. True comfort food in my book!

If you are vegan, then check out my Sunny Sunflower Burger recipe. Both burger recipes are a perfect Phase 2 Elimination Diet food!

Using part quinoa in this recipe keeps the cost per burger reasonable and also boosts the nutrients, which is key while following the elimination diet. For more info about adding salmon into the Elimination Diet you can read my Grated Beet and Carrot Salad post.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Gluten-Free Quinoa Seed Crackers (Vegan)

I wanted to take a moment away from the Elimination Diet frenzy and post a gluten-free cracker recipe. I have been very excited to share this awesome recipe and now is my chance. Before I move on to phase 2 recipes I thought I would offer this to those of you not following the Elimination Diet.

This is a crispy cracker made from cooked quinoa, sorghum flour, extra virgin olive oil, seeds, and NO xanthan gum! It is very easy to make if you own a food processor. Plus, there are so many ways to tweak it.

Say, Cracked Black Pepper and Coarse Sea Salt?

Or, Olive-Rosemary Quinoa Crackers?

I imagine that the variations are endless, so please dig in and get creative!

These gluten-free crackers are super kid-friendly! I mean, hey, what's not to love in a slightly salty, crunchy snack served with Hummus and apple slices? My children are smitten for sure!

This recipe has a little story behind it. Over Christmas we were visiting Tom's family. My sister-in-law made a variation of these using brown rice flour and cooked brown rice, no seeds, for a birthday party to celebrate all of the January birthdays. (Hint hint: Both Tom and I have birthdays in January, in fact, today is Tom's birthday!) She got the recipe from a friend who had adapted a recipe from I tweaked the brown rice version into a quinoa-sorghum version because I am a curious cook. I like to see what happens with different ingredients. Kitchen alchemy never gets boring!

Quinoa-Seed Crackers

The trick to making crispy crackers is to roll the dough extra thin, as thin as you can get it. If need be, divide the dough into two balls to work with. Use two cookie sheets instead of one large one. To make the whole process easy, roll out the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and then slide the one holding the crackers onto a cookie sheet. Once cooled, store crackers in an airtight container at room temp. I don't yet know how long these keep as they don't last more than a day here!

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
6 to 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup water

1 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons flax seeds
1 to 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the sorghum flour, sweet rice flour, arrowroot, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Give it a whirl or two then add the quinoa and olive oil. Process until combined. Slowly add the water, while processing, just until the dough forms a ball. Stop at this point and don't add anymore water.

Place the dough ball on a sheet of parchment paper. Place another piece on top, flatten the dough with your hands and then begin rolling into a large, thin circle. To make it easier, divide the dough into two and roll separately. Just be sure to keep rolling to get the dough ultra-thin.

Remove the top layer of parchment and sprinkle with seeds. Gently roll them into the dough (gently).

Slide the rolled-out dough onto a large cookie sheet. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into small squares.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Watch baking time carefully as it will totally depend on the thickness of your crackers! Crackers will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight jar. Source:

I am reading a book right now called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Anyone heard of it? It is a new book that I came across on while buying some reading workbooks for my daughter. Getting through all the day to day stuff with four young children can sometimes feel like drudgery. But I don't want it too.

Don't get me wrong we have many, many joyous moments each day, but I would like to broaden my view of life and enjoy the unpleasant things the poo diapers that need changing just when you are ready walk out the door. This book is witty and fun. It offers perspective on the little things in life and reminds us to live in the present. I quickly became absorbed in this book and think it may bring joy to those who read it. It is written by a mom with two young daughters which is probably why I resonate so much with her writing and stories. Currently it is one of Amazon's bestsellers!

Happy Cooking! Ali :)

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Grated Beet & Carrot Salad with Radish-Miso Dressing

This Asian inspired salad dressing is vinegar-free and citrus-free; two ingredients that are often hard to omit from salad dressings. I received and email from a reader asking for Elimination diet recipes that don't contain any fruit.

Finally, I had the idea to use radishes! This fabulous salad dressing also contains Adzuki Bean Miso, a soy-free and gluten-free miso available from the South River Miso Company. I demonstrated this dressing and salad yesterday evening for an Elimination Diet Class I taught at one of our local co-ops. It was a hit and I am sure you will enjoy it too.

For those of you on the Elimination Diet, how are you feeling? We have received so many emails in the last week regarding this diet I am finding it hard to keep up with! Instead of replying to you individually (since there are many similar questions) I thought I would answer one in each of my next few posts.

A few of you have asked us about protein, specifically animal protein. Some of you have asked if it is possible to up the animal protein content during the beginning of the diet. If you experience blood sugar dysregulation or are pre-diabetic, then following the 2-day detox might be difficult and could pose more problems. We suggest you add in wild caught salmon, healthy fats (like avocado, coconut butter/oil, chia seeds) and crunchy raw salads like this one. These foods pose the least possible reaction, while adding in anti-inflammatory compounds to assist in healing. I hope this will help some of you so you can have the best and most beneficial elimination diet experience!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Adzuki Bean & Yam Hash

Alright, an elimination diet breakfast recipe seems to be in order. We've been enjoying this recipe all week. I just don't think it gets any better than yams, beans, and collard greens! What a nutritious way to start your day! Use this recipe during Phase 2 of our Elimination Diet

Tom couldn't get enough of this recipe and kept going back for more each time I made it. In fact, I keep finding his empty bowls in the office! We have been serving this over cooked quinoa with sliced avocado on top. I bet it would also be great wrapped in Napa cabbage leaves as a "burrito."

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cinnamon-Sunflower Truffles

If you are following the elimination diet then you're in for a real treat today! I created this raw truffle recipe a few days ago in order to have a quick and nutritious snack ready in the fridge. Just one or two and I am good to go for a few more hours. I have also found that they are a perfect after school snack for my children!

For those of you following me on the Elimination Diet, how are you feeling? Energetic, sick, tired, achy, wonderful? Sometimes during the very beginning of the diet there is a feeling of un-wellness. Don't worry, your body is going through many changes. For one, you are detoxing and you may be experiencing a die-off of unfriendly bacteria in the gut. This is a great time to be consuming plenty of raw sauerkraut. This will help to replenish healthy bacteria in the gut. I have many lacto-fermented recipes in the Get Cultured! chapter of my Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook or you can purchase raw sauerkraut at your local health food store. The truly raw sauerkraut will be found in the refrigerated section.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

This warming, nourishing pumpkin soup is the perfect thing to warm you up on a chilly day. This soup recipe is an Elimination Diet recipe for Phase 2. It is free of nuts, citrus, tomatoes, dairy, and peppers ~ all ingredients commonly found in creamed soups.

I like to add a swirl of coconut milk to each bowl and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup or dark agave nectar. Each batch of soup will be different and vary in sweetness depending on your pumpkin. I use sugar pie pumpkins which actually are not as sweet as many other winter squashes. We harvested over 100 pounds of winter squash this past fall and have them in boxes in our garage. If you can not find a sugar pie pumpkin at this time of year, try butternut squash.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Winter Green Smoothie

This is one of the green smoothies we make in the winter. It is chock full of healing dark leafy greens, cabbage, fruit, and cranberries! Adding the tart green apples and tart cranberries make it palatable without lemon juice.

This smoothie is ideal if you are following The Elimination Diet. I've been enjoying it all day today! I think my toddler boys each drank 2 cups this morning. I couldn't pour it fast enough!

We own and use a Vitamix 5000 series for making our smoothies. If you don't have a high-powered blender then you'll want to make sure your blade is very sharp. You'll also want to half the recipe below.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Elimination and Detoxification Diet ~ It's about Feeling Good!

What is the Elimination Diet? It is a program of eating designed to calm inflammation and balance the body. Once the body is calm, and the disease symptoms diminish, it becomes noticeable to a person when a “trouble” food is eaten and the symptoms come back.

If you have felt sluggish, had chronic health complaints, or just not felt quite right then an elimination diet is a useful tool that may help bring you to that optimal state of health you desire. Yes the elimination diet usually results in, on average, a 10 to 15 pound weight loss, but more importantly it promotes healing at the cellular level by identifying foods that are causing an immune reaction.

Everything you need to know about elimination diets is now in Print!

Learn how to safely and effective follow an elimination diet with our new book!

Complete with 125 delicious recipes, shopping lists, and meal plans, The Elimination Diet is a complete functional medicine resource for you to improve your health and feel better, naturally.

Go to our website,, to download your FREE Elimination Diet Cookbook and Quick Start Guide!   

The main focus of the Elimination Diet is getting the gluten, dairy, eggs, yeast, corn, and soy out of your diet. Doing this, along with eating a diet high in plant foods, calms inflammation and gives your body a break. Additional foods that can be problematic for some people are citrus, nightshade vegetables, certain nuts, among others. These foods are removed in the first two phases and are then slowly added back during phase 3 to note any negative reaction. 

An Elimination Diet is useful in treating the following health conditions:
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Psoriasis
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Eczema
  • IBS
  • Chronic Migraines
  • GERD
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation / Diarrhea
  • Sinus problems
  • Weight loss / Weight gain
  • Infertility

Items to stock in your pantry and fridge:
please make sure you always use "organic"
  • dark leafy greens (dandelion greens, kale, collards, chard, bok choy, mustard greens...)
  • cabbage (all varieties)
  • lettuce
  • cucumbers
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • onions
  • yams
  • winter squash
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • Brussels sprouts
  • carrots
  • celery
  • avocados
  • cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • blueberries
  • bananas
  • cherries
  • raspberries
  • plantains
  • pears
  • apples
  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • wild rice
  • adzuki beans
  • mung beans
  • sunflower seeds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • chia seeds
  • hemp seeds
  • pumpkin seed butter
  • sunflower seed butter
  • wakame and nori seaweeds
  • wild salmon
  • organic chicken
  • organic ground turkey
  • organic lamb
  • wild game
  • organic virgin coconut oil
  • organic extra virgin olive oil

Visit the Elimination Diet page on our website to get started today with a Free Cooking Video Series!

Elimination Diet Recipes: