I've kept a pretty up beat tone about this whole elimination diet, but let me be honest, cutting out all these foods sucks. If you have gone paleo and think that eliminating grains and dairy is bad.... try giving up coffee, chocolate, eggs, garlic, ginger, and anything fermented. I thought I'd be able to use some of the AutoImmune Protocol recipes but I was totally wrong. Most of them contain coconut, garlic, ginger, and cabbage or green beans. Of course, other recipes in the paleo world also use a lot of tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, salmon, and almonds, so those are all out too. Thus, the last two months have left my tongue feeling very bored. No indian or Thai curry. One or two stir-frys turned out ok but not great, along with a few dry taco salads, and NO MAYONNAISE!! No mayonnaise means no broccoli salad or chicken salad two of my favorite summer time dishes. Going out to eat has been a huge challenge and I've pretty much had to "cheat" just a little, but only 2 times, so I'm ok with that.
As I think of my frustrations, I am humbled by the fact that I should just be thankful this is only temporary. I am also thankful for the abundance of food (high quality food) that is available to me; while many people within my own community struggle to purchase cheap, low quality food such as peanut butter, bread, and frozen pizza.
Any whooooo... Ryan has been traveling during this time and that has made these changes a little easier. At least I don't have to subject him to these restrictions all week long, just on the weekends. He did grill up some amazing chicken breasts one Sunday. Just salt and pepper, for the most delicious crispy chicken skin. You really can't go wrong with a piece of grilled meat, as long as it doesn't get overcooked. Speaking of chicken, Whole Foods has two rotisserie chickens whose seasonings do not include garlic. During my first or
second week on this diet I picked up their herbs de provence chicken in desperation of something that I didn't have to cook for dinner. But I didn't necessarily feel like eating rotisserie chicken 4 days in a row, and figured I could use the leftovers to make a soup or stew. When on an elimination diet, you're really not supposed to eat the same thing multiple days in a row; but with Ryan traveling during the week that's almost impossible for me. Unless I want to cook everyday and shop multiple times a week to prevent over buying and having food go bad. So...sticking with the French theme I also grabbed some herbs de provence seasoning and two fennel bulbs before checking out. After eating a leg and thigh with a salad at home I got to work making soup. What I ended up with is something I will definitely be making in the future.
French Fennel Stew
2 fennel bulbs thinly sliced
1 large onion thinly sliced
1 Tbs ghee or lard
the breasts of a rotisserie chicken, skin removed, diced or shredded
1 quart chicken broth/stock
1-2 Tbs Herbs de provence
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, melt the ghee and sauté the fennel and onion until just softened.
2. Stir in the Chicken, broth, and seasonings.
3. Bring to a simmer and cook 15 minutes.
DONE! Adjust salt, as needed.
I did a crock-pot version using a small pork roast this week, and it turned out just as tasty. Just Nestle a 1-1.5# pork roast in the bottom of your slow cooker, surrounding it with the fennel and onions. Pour in the broth and seasonings. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove the roast and shred, returning the meat to the veggies and stirring to combine. DONE!