Saturday, September 19, 2015

Amazingly simple Allergy Free Slow Cooker meals - GAPS and Paleo inspired.

If your home has numerous allergies, meal times every day, of ever month, of every year gets very tiring. Throw into that mix after school activities and homework for each child and your cooking time gets seriously condensed! Enter the slow cooker... the most wonderful and economic kitchen appliance around!


I'm not an expert on gut health, but there seems to be an increasing awareness of how our modern diet can influence our gut health, which in turn can influence allergies and intolerances. I don't believe all allergies can be resolved by gut health, but I do believe that some gut allergies and intolerances may improve.

The GAPS and Paleo diets encourage the use of meat bones, bone marrow and offal. The belief is that our modern diet, eating only the "best" muscle meat, has lost some of the nutrients available within the bones, the sinew, the cartilage and various organs. Looking back at my asian heritage, I can see that my parents and grandparents used to eat a lot more stews and soups made with bones and offal that simmered for hours. In China, there is a soup that is supposed to be 100 years old, where ingredients are continually added to one very old soup. Apparently is has many health benefits. Maybe it does?!?

Our second son who suffers from numerous gut allergies actually loves bone marrow and offal. He eats Lamb's tongues in a tin, corned beef in a tin (which also contains hearts) and loves to get a straw and extract all the bone marrow from every piece of meat. But if your family aren't keen on eating bone marrow, that's OK. Cooking with the bones and bone marrow will infuse the rest of the pot with lots of natural goodness.

I've simplified the recipes for Red meats (lamb/beef) and White meats (chicken/pork). The recipes are remarkably simple because cooking them really is so simple. But you will be pleasantly surprised by the flavour and I'm sure you will be cooking them regularly. Enjoy!

Red meat recipe:
Enough meat for 4 adult serves - Lamb shanks / lamb chops /Beef Osso Bucco
Add 2 sprigs of rosemary and thyme for lamb dishes. Add 2 bay leaves for beef dishes.
Add vegetables like onion, garlic, carrot, swede, sweet potato, potato.
Add one handful of some dark fruit like grapes, cherries, sultanas or plums.
  • Tomato based sauce - add 400g tinned tomatoes, 2T tomato paste.
  • Cherry based sauce - add 800g jar of cherries and their juice.
  • Coconut milk based sauce - add 400g tin of coconut cream or milk. Add curry leaves, 2t curry powder or 2T curry paste if you are able to.
Add water to cover all the meat and vegetables, leaving about 3cm at the top to allow everything to simmer without splattering.

Cover and cook for 6 hours on slow, or 4 hours on high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the tomato or cherry based meals with a sprinkling of parsley for colour. Garnish the coconut based meal with a sprinkling of sliced spring onions.

White meat recipe:
Enough meat for 4 adult serves - Whole chicken, chicken legs/thighs, pork hock, pork spare ribs
Add vegetables like onion, garlic, carrot, swede, sweet potato, potato.
  • Apple based sauce - peeled apple pieces and apple juice or apple cider. Add enough juice to cover all the meat and vegetables, leaving about 3cm from the edge of the pot.
  •  Coconut milk based sauce - add 400g tin of coconut cream or milk. Add curry leaves, 2t curry powder or 2T curry paste if you are able to.
Cover and cook for 6 hours on slow, or 4 hours on high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish the apple based meals with a sprinkling of parsley for colour. Garnish the coconut based meal with a sprinkling of sliced spring onions.

If you would like to cook your pasta in the sauce, simply scoop out most of the meat and vegetables and keep them in a warm dish. Add enough dry pasta for 4 serves. Top with boiling water until all the pasta is well covered, with maybe 1cm extra on top. Stir well. Leave the slow cooker on high, with the lid off for a further 30mins if using wheat pasta or 20mins if using rice/corn pasta. If your pasta shapes are extra small, then cooking time will be faster. Don't forget to add more salt if needed.

Alternatively, serve with mashed potato, rice, bread or normal pasta.



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Coming soon... One Tray oven meals... allergy free of course!

I would love to hear your favourite combination.

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