This is going to be a quick post, but if I write it I’ll do it.

This weekend I am starting the Autoimmune Protocol. I’ve been struggling with my own gut health for a long time. Now that I think about it, Gutsy Health was kind of prophetic. Back then, I had not idea that I suffered from any kind of anything. I just thought the issues I had with my gut (and energy and joint pain…) were normal.


In the past few months, I have been slowly realizing there is something much more going on. I’m working with a variety of healers to figure it out. One piece is food. Which I know. But it’s so hard. So, I’m putting it out there that I am doing this AIP thing. And I’m going to share about it. I’m not going to commit to sharing every day, but I will keep you posted. And hopefully you can share too.

For now, I’m doing a lot of reading. This page pasted here comes highly recommended and seems like a fine place to start. Without coffee, cuz apparently I can’t have that during elimination.

The Paleo Approach

I don’t know if it was the crazy weather, or the fact that Rick dumped an entire packet of lettuce seeds in the garden. Whatever the reason, we had an insane lettuce crop this year. And that made me so very happy. I could happily eat salad for every meal.

However, there are limits to what I can consume. Try as I might, I could not keep up with the harvest. So imagine my profound happiness when a friend whispered two magic words in my ear — lettuce soup.

Really. It’s a thing. Traditionally it’s made with potatoes. But I’m trying to give up carbs as much as I can, so I got create. Okay, not too creative. I simply substituted cauliflower for the potatoes. The result: O.M.G.

This is one of the most delicious and satisfying snacks I have ever made. It is rich and creamy, smooth and satisfying. I put it in jelly jars and froze it, which was one of the smarter choices I’ve made. It freezes beautifully, so you can just pull one out in the morning and have a nice afternoon snack. It’s good hot, warm, or cold…whatever you’re in the mood for.

I’m going to stop writing now and get to the recipe. Enjoy!

Lettuce Soup
This lettuce soup is so rich and creamy you have no idea it’s vegan!


  • 6, 8 oz servings
  • 62 calories per serving


  • 1 cup chopped onions and/or shallots
  • 2 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup diced cauliflower
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped lettuce leaves including ribs (3/4 lb)
  • 3 cups water


  1. Cook onion mixture and garlic in 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. Stir in cauliflower, lettuce, and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is very tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Purée soup in batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) and salt and pepper to taste.

We had a historic snow storm yesterday and I’ve got the sore muscles to prove it. So. much. shoveling. Fortunately, I’ve got the phone numbers for a few neighborhood teenagers looking to earn some extra cash. So this afternoon, I will hunker down with a bowl of black bean soup and gaze out the window, watching them work.

Snow storms make me want to cook soup. In addition to pulling out this tried and true black bean soup recipe, I also made roasted tomato soup and turkey chipotle chili (recipes to come). Black bean soup just makes me happy. Well, anything with cumin and cilantro in it makes me happy. I love how the flavors meld with the beans.

I also like how hearty this soup is. I feel like I’ve eaten a stew more than a soup, and it gives me the energy to do whatever needs doing (like shoveling more snow, or strapping on the snowshoes for a romp in the neighborhood).

Also, this is super easy to make! I tend to use canned beans because, well, I never plan far enough in advance to soak the beans. Either way is great.

Black Bean Soup Recipe

black bean soup recipeServes: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes (if using canned beans)
Cook time: 1 hour and 10 minutes


  • 2 cans black beans (or 1 lb bag dried black beans)
  • 4 to 6 cups stock (I used turkey, but you can keep this vegan/vegetarian with vegetable stock)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • cilantro (as much as you like…I use an entire bunch)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 tsp salt


  1. If you’re using dry beans, you need to prep them the night before. Pick over beans and remove any that are an odd color; rinse well. Place in a large bowl with cold water, enough to cover them by 2 inches. Let the beans soak for at least 6 hours or overnight. Drain. To cook, put in a sauce pan and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours (I check in every 20 minutes to test and add more water).
  2. Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the green pepper and jalapeno, and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock, black beans, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a light boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour.
  4. Puree about three quarters of the soup in a blender until fairly smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids—they can make the blender explode. I either cool the soup before blending, or I blend in very small batches).
  5. Return the pureed soup to the pot and heat through.
  6. Serve the soup garnished with a pico de gallo (pictured) or dollop of sour cream (or plain greek yogurt) and cilantro, if desired.