Being prepared is the key to success on AIP, or any real-food healing diet. When I started AIP, I was home, Mommin’ full-time. I randomly batch cooked freezer meals to have on hand. I never had specific days or a specific amount of food to make, I just did it whenever I felt like it, or whenever our freezer was looking a little bare. Unless, we were planning a trip or a weekend at the cottage, then I go a little crazy with the food prep, never enough food!
But usually, being home full time, it wasn’t a huge deal if I didn’t have prepared meals on hand, I could just make them, because, well, I was home! But, now that I am working part-time and am away from the house four days a week, planning ahead and batch cooking is even more important.
When thinking about AIP lunches, my first thought is always salad. A nice big salad with tuna or sardines on top – your coworkers may not appreciate the fish smell, BUT it’s a great way to get in your greens, veggies, and omega 3s. However, salads every single day can get old, and cold – it’s still winter here and I sometimes like having a warm comforting lunch to warm me up in the middle of my day.
Enter bowl meals!
The best of both worlds in a bowl. Add warm comforting food and top it with greens. It’s perfect if you ask me! Also, there’s just something about eating from a bowl that is simply fun, especially if you pack it with flavor and bright colors.
I’ve been creating lunch bowls to bring to work, and clearly, I have been loooving it! You only need to batch cook two dishes, add them to a bowl, and refrigerate. Then, when it’s time to pack lunch, grab one of those bowls, as well as a handful of topping ingredients, and BAM, flavorful AIP lunch!
This savoury lamb bowl contains a warm celery root purée, seasoned ground lamb, arugula, mint, and creamy avocado. I work four days a week, so this recipe is what I make for one week. However, you can definitely get five bowls out of this. I tend to eat more than most – hey, I’m a tall breastfeeding Mama! These are also easy to pop into the freezer for quick healing freezer meals, which are always nice to have on hand.
What makes these bowls healing?
Celery root (aka celeriac): It may be a weird looking root vegetable but celery root has amazing flavour and contains a great profile of nutrients, including vitamin K, riboflavin, Vitamin B6. and magnesium. What I find most interesting about celery root is its effect on stress. It contains a compound called phthalide which is calming. Celery root is a great addition for a diet aiming to reduce blood pressure and stress. Isn’t food amazing? We can EAT stress reducers for lunch!
Lamb: I truly love lamb, and I’m still in disbelief over the fact I had never tried it prior to AIP (I totally missed out!) Lamb is easier to digest compared to other meats, and if you are going to buy meat from a grocery store, lamb is more likely to have been treated more humanely and raised on a pastured grass-fed diet, especially New Zealand lamb.
Arugula: Not only does arugula offer a peppery taste (a flavour AIPers may be missing), it also offers an impressive nutrient list, including vitamins A, K, and C. You know what else is great about arugula? It contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium, making it the second ingredient in this bowl to aid blood pressure! woot woot!
Creamy Avocado: another heart healthy ingredient! I really should rename these “Heart Healthy Bowls”. Contrary to popular belief, not all fat is bad for the heart. In fact, the good fats can be extremely beneficial. One of these good heart-healthy fatty acids includes oleic acid, which is found in, you guessed it, avocadoes!
Assembling your bowl:
Start with the purée:
Then add the lamb, refrigerate or freeze:
Pack a handful of arugula and mint and half a ripe avocado separately, add when it’s lunch time.
- 2 cups celery root, chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower, chopped
- 3 carrots chopped (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups bone broth
- 1.5 lbs ground lamb
- Avocado oil
- 1 tbsp dehydrated onion flakes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 4 large handfuls of arugula
- 4 small handfuls of mint leaves
- 2 avocados
- I like to use the instant pot for the purée.
- Add all ingredients to the instant pot.
- Press Manual and set to high pressure.
- Cook for 8 mins.
- Release pressure manually or allow to release on its own.
- If you do not have an instant pot you can make this on the stovetop. (Add all ingredients to a saucepan, cook over high heat, once it begins to boil reduce heat to low-med. Cook until vegetables are tender.)
- Add vegetables and broth from either the instant pot or saucepan to a blender.
- Purée until smooth.
- Divide evenly into 4 or 5 glass bowl containers. I like using these bowls as they are the perfect size and are freezer, microwave, and oven safe.
- While vegetables are cooking or while purée is cooling down, cook the lamb.
- Spray a large frying pan with avocado oil or add a tbsp. of avocado oil. Heat over medium heat.
- Once oil is hot, add lamb.
- With a spatula, break up the ground meat.
- Add the dried onion, salt and ginger. Stir.
- Continue to stir occasionally until meat is cooked.
- Divide the meat into the puree bowls.
- Allow the purée and lamb to completely cool.
- Add the lids to the bowls and either refrigerate, or freeze.
- Grab one of the bowls, and separately pack a large handful of arugula, a small handful of mint leaves, and half an avocado.
- Warm the lamb bowl.
- Add the arugula, mint, and avocado.