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Being on a special diet, it can become very difficult to find useable recipes on a regular basis. Cara at Health, Home and Happiness has some wonderful resources that help tremendously with that challenge.
Cara has a number of grain free resources. Her meal plans are divided out on a monthly basis with seasonal changes for variety and cost effectiveness. She has 12 months worth to be exact. These meal plans can really help with that “what can I make now with the limited amount of food we can eat.” They can be purchased by the month (broken into seasons) or by the year (or course cheaper to get a year’s worth).
She also has a Best of the Grain Free Meal Plans Cookbook which is available in paperback as well as pdf format. It has over 70 recipes with full color pictures.
If you are contemplating the GAPS diet or actually on it already and stressing about Intro, Cara has a book to help with that too. Called What Can I Eat Now? It is 30 days of menus and recipes to help you get through the various stages of GAPS intro. We used this book when my oldest daughter did the Intro portion of the GAPS diet and found it very helpful. There are some great recipes along with lists of what can be eaten at each stage. She also has some great charts and printables to help organize how the diet is going for each person.
Here is a recipe from the Intro Book:
1 pound cauliflower florets
3 large carrots
1 celery root, peeled and chopped (optional)
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 pound asparagus, chopped (if in season)
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons dried basil or other seasoning blend
Toss veggies with sea salt, olive oil, and seasoning. Place into a 9×13 “ glass oven safe dish. Cook at 400 Degrees for 45 minutes
(I have not made this with asparagus but I have made it with broccoli and the olive oil and salt and it was absolutely delicious.)
Then there is the Holiday Grain Free menu plan, a very handy little e-book to help you navigate those special days and needs. This book includes recipes for Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years’, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and birthdays. Not only does she give you menus and recipes but she tells you what to prepare ahead of time, so the planning is all done. All you have to do is follow through with action. Let me tell you sometimes that makes all the difference.
Here is Cara’s vanilla cupcakes that are perfect for a birthday.
Orange Vanilla Grain Free Cupcakes
Makes 1 dozen cupcakes
¼ cup coconut oil, butter, or ghee
¼ cup coconut milk
1/8 cup honey or grade B maple syrup (maple syrup is not GAPS legal, but some people are okay with it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (optional)
½ cup coconut
½ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tray with coconut oil or use cupcake liners. If using cupcake liners, drop approx. ¼ teaspoon coconut oil in the bottom of each liner and place in the oven while combining ingredients- the oil will wick up the liner to grease it, a healthier alternative to pressurized baking sprays.
In a food processor, blender, or in a bowl with a whisk, combine all ingredients, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure the coconut flour is mixed in well.
Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. These freeze well and be taken along to birthday parties for your children.
Another handy e-book is the Grain Free Meal Plans Freezer Cooking Guide. Designed for busy families she has both instructions and recipes for cooking ahead and freezing meals and portions of meals for those crazy days when there is not time to cook. On the Gaps and even grain free diet there is really not an option not to cook so a resource like this is very helpful. She utilizes the concept of cooking in 2-3 hour blocks rather than a whole day as this is more realistic for most families.
Or you can buy the whole GAPS Starter Package which includes the following books:
- What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the GAPS Intro e-book! Step-by-step, day-by-day, progress through the GAPS intro, read time-saving tips, use the daily checklists to make sure you’re getting what’s recommended, and learn from other people’s frequently asked questions.
- 4 full months of meal plans – a month of meal plans suitable for the full GAPS diet, perfect to use while transitioning onto GAPS intro. You get a full 28 days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes, instructions, and tips to use- one from each season.
- Grain Free Freezer Guide – a printable guide for freezer cooking on the GAPS diet, specifically for busy GAPS families! Meals are made in block segments, rather than one monster cooking day, to divide up with friends or do yourself during nap time rather than one full exhausting day. Printable recipe cards are designed to remind you of the ingredients included in the recipes (for those with food allergies and sensitivities) and easily provide the re-heater with instructions
- Best of Grain Free Meal Plans Full Color Cookbook e-book -A handy guide of GAPS legal recipes and full color pictures of every recipe for quick reference. The recipes are favorites from the meal plan, 80 in total!
I heartily recommend any of these books and plans if you are on a grain free diet or contemplating one. Cara has taken much of the hard work out of the changes for you. Believe me, it can be overwhelming to make significant diet changes and we can all use all the help we can get.
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