Thanksgiving 2015

apple tarte tatin surrounded by fall leaves

When people ask me if I feel deprived on my “diet” I just look at them like they’re nuts. Why would eliminating dairy, gluten, most nuts, all major allergens, processed foods, low nutrient histamine foods and oxalates bother me when nature has so much left to offer? Like my first tarte tatin! 40 years on this earth and this is my first. When people tell me life isn’t worth living like this – I say, imagination is your only limitation. Use it and you’ll never feel deprived again.

apple tarte tatin surrounded by fall leaves

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Sweet & Sour Turkey

Prep Time: 10mins | Cook Time: 45-60mins | Servings: 2

thanksgiving meal: turkey, jerusalem artichoke fritters, sweet potato mash, on a wood background surrounded with leaves

This year I decided to go turkey for a change. The whole day of defrosting thing and spending an entire day roasting one don’t appeal to me, so I chose to go with an organic turkey thigh. In any case, given that I’m spending the holidays this year in a tiny French village, I don’t have too many options! 

You can use any liquid sweetener (honey for example) and granulated (sugar cane for example) that you like. Coconut nectar has a lovely soft taste and that’s the main reason I chose it. Granulated is also an option but that has more of a tendency to burn up unattractively. 

INGREDIENTS

500 g/1 lb turkey thigh

1/4 cup coconut nectar

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1 lemon, juiced

PREPARATION

Pre-heat oven to 200C/380F.

Place the turkey in a roasting tin. Drizzle with coconut nectar, sugar and lemon. I also added a little sprinkle of salt.

Roast for 45-60 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

You can periodically spoon some of the roasting fats onto the turkey as you go. 

BENEFITS

Anti-inflammatory: lemon, coconut.

Ginger Smashed Yams

Prep Time: 10mins | Cook Time: 10mins | Servings: 4

sweet potato mash in a food processor, with slices of sweet potato and whole ginger on a wood background

You can go for any kind of squishy veggie here. I’m still totally in love with sweet potatoes (yams) despite their high oxalate content. I’ve found studies showing sweet potato possesses antihistamine properties, but this might not be the case in humans. Another factor is that oxalic acid may intensify the inflammatory activity of histamine. 

A couple of alternatives would be arrowroot or cassava. Why not regular potatoes? They’re nightshades, so potentially inflammatory and they don’t have much going for them nutritionally. Other than that I have nothing against them. 

INGREDIENTS

4 cups cubed sweet potato/yam

4 tbsp grated ginger

4 tbsp olive oil

pinch salt

pinch pepper

optional garnish

chopped chives

cracked black pepper

PREPARATION

Boil the sweet potato for about 10 minutes or till cooked through. Place in a food processor and combine with the ginger, olive oil, salt and pepper. You could also easily use anything you have on hand, like a pestle and mortar or potato masher, to smoosh it all together.

Sprinkle with chives if desired.

BENEFITS

Antihistamine: sweet potato, ginger.

Anti-inflammatory: sweet potato, ginger, olive oil, pepper.

Jerusalem Artichoke Fritters with Cranberries and Basil

Prep Time: 10mins | Cook Time: 10-15 mins | Servings: 10 fritters

jerusalem artichoke fritters

Did I ever mention that I never willingly ate a vegetable till the age of 35? Ok that’s a slight exaggeration but pretty accurate. Another thing I hated was fruit in the few vegetables I ate. Thankfully, I got sick and totally changed my life. Shocked to hear me say that? This illness was a wake up call – it could have been something far worse. It spurred me into becoming the healthiest I have ever been. Thank you MCAS, I owe you one. But I’ve learned my lesson and now you can go! Yes, seems silly, but I’ve often spoken to my body this way over the years. 

I’m in a small village in France as I write this so had limited props to work with for this shoot. This fritters are incredibly tasty! 

You can substitute absolutely any vegetable that’s easily shreddable for the Jerusalem artichokes. I used dried cranberries because I could’t find fresh and they turned out really well. You can use anything you like, or omit them entirely. If you would still like a bit of sour in there, you could add some cherries (frozen ones at this time of year), blueberries or mango would work quite nicely. But these fritters will be tasty without any of that. Don’t fancy the rice flour? Then don’t use it: chestnut, gluten flours like kamut or spelt, almond or coconut flour for example could be used, but in that case I think you’d have to use an egg or two. Which is fine – I just prefer my fritters without that eggy taste. Of the gluten free flours, the more sticky ones like rice, lentil or chickpea are your best bet if using the aquafaba/chickpea water like I did to bind these. You can read all about using bean water to replace eggs here. 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups shredded Jerusalem artichokes

50 dried (or fresh) cranberries

1 cup rice (or other) flour

1 cup chickpea/bean water or two eggs

1 loosely packed cup chives

1/2 cup loosely packed very finely chopped basil

1 medium onion, very finely chopped

olive oil

PREPARATION

Toss all the ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well. Scoop a bit of mix and press into your palm. The fritter mix should just fit within your palm. Squish your palms together and place onto a mat or plate.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan. Once warm, gently place the fritters one by one into the pan. Gently turn over once after a few minutes.

You can also bake these at 200C/380F for about seven minutes on each side.

Cover a plate with some paper napkins to absorb excess oil from the fritters and transfer them to it.

BENEFITS

Antihistamine: basil, chives, onion.

Anti-inflammatory: basil, chives, onion, olive oil, cranberries, chickpeas.

Plantains with Rub

Prep Time: 5mins | Cook Time: 15-20mins | Servings: 4

chopped plantains on a baking tray with oil

This recipe is from my Man Food book which is why it contains the same nutritional information I include in it and the Anti-Cookbook. High in Diamine Oxidase (DAO) enzyme boosting Vitamin B6, plantains are also a prebiotic food, which hopefully our guts will turn into good bacteria. I serve mine with a spicy rub made from coconut sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, a dash of powdered turmeric, and very finely chopped chives. These are the ONE thing I will actually fry once in a while, but usually I just toss them in a little oil, dip in the rub, smother in chives, and then bake. You could always start with the coconut sugar and salt and see how you go. Then again, we need treats once in a while and this is as good as anything you’re going to pull off the supermarket naughty shelf. 

INGREDIENTS

4 plantains, chopped into any shape you like (not thicker than quarter of an inch)

1/4 – 1/2 cup chives, finely chopped

1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped

Olive oil

optional 

2-4 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 – 2 tablespoons paprika

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

Pre-heat your oven to 200C/390F.

Toss the plantains in a little oil, then the chives (or the optional ingredients).

Place on an oiled tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. Alternately, fry the plantains in a little oil of your choice and then add the chives and optional ingredients.

BENEFITS

Vitamin A: 526%, Vitamin B6: 188%, Vitamin C: 160%, Magnesium: 105%

Antihistamine: chives, coriander, turmeric.

Anti-inflammatory: chives, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, olive oil.

Tarte Tatin (French upside down apple pie) with Cranberries & Ginger

Prep Time: 30mins | Cook Time: 30-45mins 

Thanksgiving apple tarte, side shot, on a white plate on a wooden background surrounded by fall leaves

When people ask me if I feel deprived on my “diet” I just look at them like they’re nuts. Why would eliminating dairy, gluten, most nuts, all major allergens, processed foods, low nutrient histamine foods and oxalates bother me when nature has so much left to offer? Like my first tarte tatin! 40 years on this earth and this is my first. When people tell me life isn’t worth living like this – I say, imagination is your only limitation. Use it and you’ll never feel deprived again. 

I originally made this tarte with apples and pears, mainly because I didn’t have enough of either and Sunday in a small village means you’ve nowhere to go to buy them. The apple side of the tarte was by far my favourite so that’s what I’m using for Thanksgiving. You can use any fruit, sugar or fat that you like. 

I don’t bake many pies/tartes so am still getting the hang of crusts. For this recipe I lightly adapted one from the website Serious Eats. If you don’t like the ingredients, you’ll find many online that work wonderfully. 

INGREDIENTS

8 or 9 apples (I used Gala)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 tsp raw vanilla

4 tbsp coconut sugar

4 tbsp grated ginger

Crust

1/2 cup sorghum or white/brown rice flour

1/2 cup sweet rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 egg or 1 tbsp xanthan gum

4 tbsp coconut sugar

200g/8 ounces coconut butter, gently melted

4 – 8 tbsp water

PREPARATION

Peel, quarter and core the apples. The next step, the French way, the approach I used, is to warm up a little coconut oil in a pie tin on the stove.

Please be very careful and use a heavy tin pan and use oven mitts to hold the pan over the lowest flame, taking care not to set your hand on fire! 

Add in the ginger, cranberries and then place the apples in concentric circles or haphazardly as you choose. For the purposes of the photo I went for the former, but in real life I love the messy, gooey look – it’s just so much more fun and organic.  Sprinkle with the coconut sugar and vanilla, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Allow to cool while you prepare the crust.

Crust 

Combine the dry ingredients. Add in the egg, coconut oil and half the water. Get in there and start kneading it till you have a nice ball of dough, adding a tbsp of water more at a time as needed. Place the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes but preferably an hour.

tarte tatin crust dough rolled out

Place a sheet of baking paper on your worktop, dust it with some flour, place the dough on it and then cover with another sheet of baking paper. Use a pin to roll out the dough. Use a pan cover to press into the dough to make a large circle, then use a knife to trim the edges.

tarte tatin crust dough over tin covered in baking parchment

Place the dough, still between two sheets, over the now cooled pan.

tarte tatin crust over pie tin

Then peel the topside sheet off. Flip the dough only (not the pan) onto the pan and then peel away the top layer of baking paper.

tarte tatin in a pie tin ready to go into the oven

Tuck sides of dough neatly into the baking tin, really pressing the dough into the apples. Poke a little hole in the dough and then place in a pre-heated oven at 200C/380F for 30-45 minutes, depending on your oven. Once done, place somewhere to cool. Once cool to the touch, very carefully, using oven mitts, place a plate large enough to cover the pie tin over it, and then quickly flip over.

BENEFITS

Antihistamine: ginger, blueberries (but they’re high in benzoate which may bother some).

Anti-inflammatory: ginger, blueberries, coconut, vanilla, mango, lemon.

It’s finally here! Man Food – a high nutrient antihistamine and anti-inflammatory ingredient filled book geared towards guys, women who love to work out, yoga like they mean it, or just load up on healing nutrients. Features my personal shopping list of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods. 

The Anti-cookbook and all liquid Anti-Detox Book, don’t treat any conditions, but feature a plethora of the high nutrient antihistamine and anti-inflammatory ingredients that have been instrumental in helping me feed myself on a limited diet. The Anti-cookbook features a six page list of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods and comes in regular and Paleo. 

The Low Oxalate Cookbook features antihistamine and anti-inflammatory rich recipes. 

Don’t miss the Low Histamine Beauty Survival Guide for non-toxic beauty tips, the skinny on histamine releasing (mast cell degranulating) beauty ingredients, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory beauty alternatives and the top brands natural brands I’ve found.

Take a peek at my other low histamine and antihistamine cookbooks for more high nutrient recipes and sign up to my mailing list for freebies.