Has it really been since April that I last posted? I was doing so well there for a minute.
Like, a real human minute. Literally, I only did well for like…a week. Guys, I am terrible at this whole blog thing. But I have so much to say, and I have learned so much about infertility, fertility, IUI, IVF, Endometriosis, nutrition, and so many other things. I want to share my knowledge, but I get stumped when it actually comes to the whole, “sit down and write a blog post.”
Well, I am back…for now. I mean, really. Who knows how long, but every day is a new day, right?
Anyway, I have been both off and on my “Endometriosis/Infertility/Anti-Inflammatory/Non-Gluten/Non-Dairy thing for nearly a year now. It’s been rough, and after my miscarriage in January it was damn near impossible (I don’t know what to tell you guys…I am an emotional eater).
The last time I fell off the wagon, I fell pretty hard. It wasn’t just going back on gluten and dairy, but it was also going back to fast food (which I have never been big with), and other random junk food.
I felt terrible.
The bloat was so bad that it was uncomfortable to sit down with pants buttoned, my IBS got worse, and the terrible PMS cramps returned with a vengeance. After a few months of this I finally realized something important: This was good news. My diet had been helping to at least treat the symptoms of my endometriosis. I had to go back on it. I’ve cheated from time to time, but finding replacements for my favorite foods has helped a lot. Finding good, non-dairy, non-soy cheeses that were made with real food (like nut cheeses) has saved my life here, and Trader Joe’s finally has some great Gluten Free bread options.
My cousin actually texted me a recipe she uses for an amazing Bouillabaisse back in May, and I finally made it last night. It was so good that I decided sharing this recipe was the motivation I needed to return to this blog. It is gluten and dairy free. It’s packed with low mercury seafood, which is great for fertility. It also has lots of tomatoes which are packed with lycopene which is great for egg and sperm health. Also, let’s be real. It was stupid delicious. I think this is a first for me. I don’t believe I have previously shared recipes on this site before. I am excited. 🙂
So, without further ado, I present to you: Bouillabaisse
Awesome Rich Shrimp Stock
To begin, make this stock recipe from Genius Kitchen. You can make less or more, depending on your needs, but since I only needed 3 cups of stock (and currently have zero freezer space), I used half the amount of water, and half the amount of shrimp shells. I used the same amount of everything else though. I mean, don’t you always need a whole onion in everything? I have included the changes I made to the original recipe below. What I didn’t change, I left as it was published on Genius Kitchen. I use all organic produce, so I also left the garlic unpeeled. I just crushed it and threw it in.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups shrimp shells (from 1 pound of shrimp fresh or frozen)
- 1 unpeeled red onion, sliced
- 1 organic carrot, sliced
- 1 organic celery, sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (or 1/4 cup leftover rich tomato sauce)
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 sprig parsley
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 sprig chives
- 1 sprig oregano (I forgot to buy this. I just skipped it)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄8 teaspoon fennel seed (I forgot to buy these, so I just used a handful of fresh fennel)
- black pepper
- 3 cups water (or enough to cover)
- In a stock pot heat olive oil. Add shells and cook till they turn pink up to 10 minutes to intensify the flavor.
- Add remaining ingredients except the water.
- Cover and cook for about 10 minutes the longer you can draw this process out, the more of the natural juices of the scraps will be released. This is awesome flavoring. Add just a pinch of salt to speed the process.
- Cover with water bring just to a boil: lower heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Strain into a container extracting out all the goodness from the scraps.
- Cool completely and freeze or use as you like.
While the stock is cooking, you can start the Bouillabaisse. I did most of the prep work for both at the same time.
The Bouillabaisse recipe can be found at The New York Times. It was created by Mark Bittman. It is a subscription recipe on the New York Times, but I found it on Dining and Cooking as well. Again, I have added my changes to the recipe. Also, since the recipe serves four, I used 4 scallops instead of 2. I mean, no one should have to share a scallop.
Mark Bittman’s Bouillabaisse
- Good olive oil, as needed
- 4 to 8 thick slices good (Gluten Free) bread
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
- 1 carrot, trimmed and chopped
- 1 medium new potato, peeled and chopped (I used yellow squash instead. You can also use zucchini)
- 1 small bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped
- ¼ teaspoon saffron, optional (I don’t recommend skipping this. So good. I used saffron threads)
- 3 cups Awesome Rich Shrimp stock
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes, with their juice (canned are okay, but I used fresh)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 to 1 ½ pounds chopped boneless fish and shellfish, preferably a variety (I used Salmon and the shrimp that I peeled for the shrimp broth)
- 8 littleneck clams
- 8 mussels
- 4 sea scallops
- 2 tablespoons Pernod or other pastis, optional ( I didn’t use this, but I don’t love licorice)
- Chopped fennel fronds, for garnish
- Orange Slices, for garnish
- Heat oven to 200 degrees; brush bread liberally with olive oil, and bake on a sheet, turning once, until golden and crisp. Set aside.
- Add enough olive oil to a Dutch oven, deep skillet or shallow pot to make a thick layer (don’t skimp) on the bottom. In it, cook onion, garlic, celery, carrot, potato, fennel and saffron until glossy. Add stock and tomato and bring to a moderate boil; cook until thick and stewy rather than soupy. Season to taste; it should be so delicious that you don’t even care whether you add fish (It was).
- Lower heat to a simmer, and, as you add fish, adjust heat so that the liquid continues to bubble gently. Add fish in order of how long they will take to cook. Monkfish, striped bass and squid are fish that might require more than a few minutes, so add them first. About five minutes later add clams and mussels, holding back any fish that has been cooked or will cook in a flash. When mollusks open, add remaining fish. Cut scallops into quarters and place one scallop in the bottom of 4 bowls. (I used cubed salmon and raw shrimp, which only takes about five minutes to cook, so you could almost add everything all at once).
- Add pastis if you’re using it; taste and adjust seasoning. Ladle hot soup and fish over the scallops, distributing clams and mussels evenly. Garnish and serve with toasted bread.
This was so satisfying and so delicious. Honestly, the broth and the soup base before the fish was added really was so good that you almost didn’t need the fish. I may make this again in the future as more of a soup than a stew.
It was amazing, fertility boosting, and just delicious. It’s nice to find such amazing recipes that I can actually eat.
I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.