I’ve mentioned it in recent newsletters, if you’re subscribed to my mailing list, but there have been several awesome cookbooks that were recently released! This fall has been generous to us with Paleo cookbooks. 🙂 Just one such cookbook is Without Grain by Hayley Ryczek, and I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy–and not only that, but Hayley gave me permission to share a recipe, so keep your eyes peeled for that at the end of the post!
For the last several months, I’ve been posting a fair amount about the Autoimmune Protocol (A.K.A. the AIP), and I talk about Paleo quite a bit, too. However, Without Grain is actually a primal cookbook. By “primal” I mean that the book is entirely gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, etc., but its recipes actually call for dairy. Of course, you can substitute alternative options in place of the dairy, but the cookbook is representative of Hayley’s personal foodie mantra. Which, by the way, is totally awesome, and more power to her for recognizing what her body can and can’t handle and eating what makes her happy!
When I first received my copy of Without Grain in the mail, I read her introduction. I don’t know what it was about it, but reading it made me sorely wish that I had time to just sit and pore through it all at once. I really enjoyed Hayley’s voice as it came through on the pages, and I found her story to be really interesting. I loved how she talked about discovering her issues while she was in college, which is a time when many of us ignore those kinds of issues and pretend they aren’t happening. It was also heart-warming to read about how she learned to cook from her grandmother and how her family’s diet while she was growing up was based in real, whole foods.
Hayley’s first chapter discusses why being simply gluten-free isn’t enough and why you should also consider going completely grain-free. She talks about the negative effects that these foods have on your health and even discusses “the healthy grain myth.” Then, she writes about how you can still get the nutritional benefits (i.e., fiber) that grains are touted to have through other foods, like fermented foods. Then, her next chapter guides you through what you should eat and what you should avoid. She gives excellent lists of hidden sources of grains in things like alcohol and processed foods, including a list of additives that contain grains. She writes about the grain-free starches and flours we’ve all come to know and love, like coconut flour, tapioca starch, and blanched almond flour, and she even includes recommendations for how to substitute these grain-free options into recipes that call for the yucky gluten- or grain-filled flours. After that, she goes on to talk about important topics such as healthy fats, budgeting for a grain-free diet, and guidelines for buying organic. These chapters are incredibly informational and useful!
Finally, we get into the recipes! Each chapter of recipes starts with a nice long introduction from Hayley, which is a nice change of pace from most cookbooks, which provide a short paragraph of an introduction at most. Hayley’s chapter introductions span two pages! She has over 100 recipes in this cookbook, ranging from common grain-free basics to kid-approved recipes to main dishes to desserts. She really left no rock unturned in her quest for providing her readers with a plethora of grain-free recipes! Her photographs are beautiful, and the recipes are clear and concise. As I said earlier, the recipes are primal in nature, but it’s easy to substitute other options, like coconut cream for heavy cream. I think the recipes would be extremely easy for someone who follows a Paleo template to modify, but I do have to warn that it was very hard for me, as someone who follows the AIP, to find recipes that I could modify. I suppose I could’ve modified more of them if I’d thought about them more creatively, but I only found two that I could easy modify to fit the AIP.
There are definitely several recipes in here that I can’t wait to try once I’ve completed my AIP reintroductions (and can hopefully tolerate enough foods). I’m talking about recipes like the Creamed Chicken and Biscuits (p. 123), Potato Soup with Bacon and Scallions (p. 101), Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling (p. 188-189), and Pasta Dough (p. 37). I’m sure there are more, but you get the idea! What a yummy, yummy future I have ahead of me. 🙂
So, now for the part I know you’ve been waiting for: the recipe I tested. Like I said previously, I only found two recipes that I could easily modify for the AIP (because I’m somehow very busy again and don’t have a lot of time for messing around and recreating), and they were pretty similar. So, I only made one of the recipes, which was the Beef Stroganoff with “Zoodles” on page 126. I’ve had beef stroganoff before, but this was a really delicious clean version. It was pretty easy to make, especially since I split up the prep and cook workload with my boyfriend. I included everything she called for in the recipe, with a few minor exceptions: I omitted the black pepper (not AIP), as well as the onion powder and onion (boyfriend is intolerant to onions), and I used coconut cream/coconut milk instead of heavy cream.
We shop at Costco, and although it doesn’t usually provide the most sustainable offerings, we buy almost all of our meat there. So, we bought the sirloin there to have with this dinner, and we like to double our recipes so that we have leftovers for another night. Well, with the amount of steak that we bought, we kind of needed to triple the recipe…so we had a LOT of this leftover! I think we each got three meals out of it! But, of course, it was delicious, and it has bone broth in it, so that was perfectly acceptable to me. My boyfriend loved the sauce so much I caught him just standing there slurping it from a spoon instead of putting it into food storage containers! I think that’s how you know you have a great recipe, no?
Without further ado, I give you the recipe for the beef stroganoff. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did, and may you also stand there and slurp the sauce with a spoon because it’s so good! Oh, and don’t forget to order your copy of Without Grain; your belly and your family will thank you!
This family favorite is your classic beef stroganoff, only served with thinly sliced zucchini instead of noodles.
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1/2 x 2-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons cooking fat
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 cups beef broth/stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 medium zucchini
- In a large bowl, combine the starch, salt, powders, and pepper. Add the beef strips and toss to coat.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the fat. Brown the meat strips, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the heavy cream, and season with additional sea salt and pepper, to taste. Replace the lid and allow to rest.
- Wash and remove the ends of the zucchinis. Cut into thin zucchini noodles (aka "zoodles") using a spiralizer, julienne peeler, or mandoline. Add 1 to 2 cups of water to a pot fitted with a steamer insert. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, place the zoodles in the steamer basket, cover with the lid, and steam for 1 minute.
- Serve the beef stroganoff on top of the zoodles, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and fresh parsley, if desired.
This recipe is shared with the permission of Hayley Ryczek.
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