Ham “Cheddar” Chowder (AIP/Paleo)

Ugh. Our master bathtub and tile had to be redone this past weekend…WHAT. A. HASSLE. The workers didn’t cover the bathroom door while working, so our house was covered in drywall dust. It was even in the kitchen, which has a few walls of separation. Then once they started with the paint and spackle, I felt like I could’ve gotten high on my landlord’s dime! We’ve been airing it out for the past few days, and it’s still there. Trying my best to detox while someone tosses toxins at me is just a freakin’ blast, lemme tell ya. Time to drink some dandelion and lemon teas.

But do you know what is fun?? Reintroducing wine and cheese in one week and not spontaneously combusting! YES. My favorite wine is moscato, but I am apprehensive about the sugar content now. I reintroduced with Riesling, and it was sweeter than I remember! As for cheese (much more missed than alcohol), I reintroduced with pecorino romano–it’s made from sheep’s milk, which contains A2 casein instead of the highly inflammatory A1 casein (from cow’s milk). No symptoms, other than possibly an increase of histamine intolerance. Both wine and cheese are high in histamine, but so are many Paleo foods. We’ve also finally had some cooler weather in Texas, so the air is drier than normal, and my skin has taken notice. My symptom of histamine intolerance is usually just itchiness; my psoriasis and dermatitis are intensified. So it’s hard to tell if it’s the weather, or histamine. I’ll wait until I see how my hormones are affected by the dairy in a week before I pass my final judgment. FYI, histamine intolerance worsens menstrual cramps too. So if my insides don’t feel like they’re simultaneously being stabbed and set on fire, then I’ll consider pecorino romano a true success!

Moving on to the recipe…it’s so gratifying to modify recipes to fit my current lifestyle. I have probably hundreds of recipes still saved on Pinterest that contain gluten/grains and dairy. I’ve deleted some that I thought were lost causes at this point, but I love a good challenge! I love having as many options as possible, and I know fellow AIPers do too! I made this recipe when I was just gluten-free, and when I recently revisited the post on my Instagram, I remembered how yummy it was. I wanted to attempt my AIP rendition in the Instant Pot, but I was afraid of screwing up my lunch for work…so I may experiment with that in the future. This version is still simple, and it’s deliciously “cheesy.” Something about the combination of bone broth, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast is magical! I’ve been heating it in my new Lunch Crock (wonderful invention) at my desk and taking it outside to enjoy the beautiful weather at work this week.

Ham “Cheddar” Chowder


Time: 1 hour; Serves: 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ C bone broth (I used chicken)
  • 2 C Hannah (white) sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ½ C organic carrots, sliced
  • 1 C white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp pink salt
  • ¾ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp organic ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp black pepper (omit for strict AIP)
  • 2 C organic zucchini, diced
  • 2 C uncured ham*, diced
  • ¼ C pastured ghee, or sustainably-sourced red palm oil for AIP
  • ¼ C arrowroot starch
  • 2 C unsweetened full-fat coconut milk (this one is free of emulsifiers and preservatives)
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (non-fortified if you have a MTHFR gene mutation)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, bring bone broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic to a boil. Stir in pink salt, garlic salt, turmeric, and black pepper.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until sweet potatoes and carrots are tender. Add the ham and zucchini. Reduce heat to lowest setting.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the ghee or red palm oil over low-medium heat, then whisk in the arrowroot starch. Make sure to not overheat, or else the arrowroot will get stringy.
  4. Add coconut milk to the fat/starch mixture. Once fully mixed, whisk in nutritional yeast. Cook until it thickens and starts to bubble, stirring frequently.
  5. Pour the “cheese” sauce over the ham/vegetable mixture. Heat through over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

*I used Applegate uncured black forest ham, but you may be able to find a fresh antibiotic-free ham at the Whole Foods meat counter around Thanksgiving. Even better! Any other hams I’ve found have spices and preservatives that are not AIP, so always read labels.

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