One of the first challenges I overcame when I started the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) was how to flavour my dishes.
I started by clearing out my pantry and putting all of the non AIP stuff like nut butters, mustard, tomato paste and seed & nightshade based spices into a sealed container and stored it away at the bottom of my cupboard.
I then compiled a list of all of the AIP approved foods I can use to flavour my meals, printed two copies out and stuck one on the inside of my pantry door.
I used the second list to go shopping and refill my pantry with AIP approved dish enhancers.
It wasn’t until I started this nourishing healing diet that I realised that I relied heavily on Tomato Paste & the same nightshade and seed-based spices to flavour my meals.
Starting AIP pushed me to explore different flavours, try new things and a whole new culinary world opened up to me.
And The Secret Ingredient Is….
Naturally smoked sea salts are an easy way to enhance the flavour of dishes.
I had no idea that so many varieties of aromatic delicious salts even existed until I started AIP!
A word of warning though, make sure you buy naturally smoked sea salt, like Maldon sea salts.
I once made the mistake of buying the box of salt next to the Maldon sea salts, and used it to make Rosemary Lamb Patties.
Rule 1 of AIP – Thou Shalt Read All Labels
The first sign that something was off was when the meat wouldn’t brown. Even though patties were cooked well done, they were still bright pink.
The second hint was when Max said that they tasted funny, and Leo who usually loves these patties, wouldn’t eat them either. But it wasn’t until I ate them and got sick that I realised that the smoked sea salts were not actually smoked at all. They were just covered in nasty chemicals that made them taste like they had been smoked.
Other than that little hiccup, I enjoyed exploring and restocking my pantry with lots of different AIP compliant herbs, salts and other delicious goodies to enhance the flavour of my meals, without inflaming my body.
I also started using more fresh herbs in my cooking too, which are not only delicious but are packed full of nutrients. My husband Cade is enjoying growing fresh herbs in his new Aquaponics set up.
I don’t know why I didn’t start using fresh herbs earlier, they have the power to transform simple dishes from meh, to plate scraping delicious!
Whole30 State of Mind
One of the interesting concepts I learned from reading Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 books is, instead of eating breakfast, lunch and dinner she prefers to look at her daily meals as Meal 1, Meal 2 and Meal 3 and it got me thinking…
Why can’t we have left over dinner from last night (stew, soup, stir fry, shepards pie etc) for breakfast?
Why do we have to eat “breakfast foods” like cereal, toast, yoghurt, muffins, pancakes covered in maple syrup and bacon etc?
The first couple of foods contain so much sugar they could be desserts. They are not the most nutrient dense foods that we could eat, and bacon is an expensive meat. The chemical free bacon I buy is about $35 a kilo. Why don’t I just cook mince for breakfast? Free range pork mince is about $9 a kilo.
When I first started the Paleo diet, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to recreate Paleo versions the foods I ate on the Standard Australian Diet (SAD) like breads, waffles, yoghurt, pancakes etc without pausing to consider if these were the kinds of foods that would help me achieve my goals.
If the whole purpose of doing Paleo or AIP was to help me heal my body, why was I filling up on sugary foods and other dishes that, while they were AIP or Paleo compliant, were not really the most nutrient dense foods I could eat.
Wouldn’t it make more sense to eat something really nourishing like meat and veggies cooked in bone broth and herbs instead?
I think it comes down to unlearning all of the marketing and societal norms I have been taught, and doing my own research, to relearn how to feed myself in a way that works best for me and my body.
I still eat some of these foods on occasion, but since I have shifted my mindset I now prioritise veggies & other nourishing foods that are going to help me achieve my goal of healing.
Allergy, Budget, Family & Freezer Friendly AIP Paleo Whole30 Recipe
My kids love to scoop up this nutrient dense mince dish using purple sweet potato chips served with some Crispy Lemon Roast Broccoli on the side.
It’s one of their favourite dishes – they reckon it’s “Nacho-riffic!”
My kids are both my most (sometimes brutally) honest critics & fiercest supporters. They reckon my Italian Nachos are "Nacho-riffic!" 😆🤣 They crack me up. The recipe for this AIP, Paleo & Whole30 compliant dish is up on my blog, the link is in my profile 👍 #nachoriffic #paleokids #paleolife #foodblogger #justeatrealfood #jerf #iqs #paleo #paleodiet #aip #aipdiet #aiprecipes #whole30recipes #foodblogger #instamum #eatclean #whole30 #allergylife #paleorecipes
I like to cook this meal in double batches and serve left overs for breakfast the next day and keep some in the freezer so I can quickly whip up a nourishing meal with ease.
Nutrient dense, budget friendly, AIP, Paleo & Whole30 compliant meal that is delicious to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Sweet Potato Chips
- 2 purple sweet potato roughly 1.5 kg
- 2 tablespoons good quality fat lard, duck fat, tallow, olive oil
- naturally smoked sea salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons good quality fat lard, tallow, olive oil, duck fat
- 500 grams beef mince
- 500 grams pork mince
- 1 zucchini roughly chopped
- 2 carrot's roughly chopped
- 500 mls bone broth
- 1/4 cup mix of fresh italian herbs; basil, italian parsley, marjoram, oregano, rosemary or 2 tablespoons of dried herbs
- naturally smoked sea salt to taste
Sweet Potato Chips
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (180 degrees fan forced) and line 1 -2 big baking trays with baking paper.
Peel the sweet potato before slicing with a mandolin or a knife. Try to get them as uniformly thin as possible.
Place the sweet potato slices into a large bowl and toss through the oil until each one is covered well.
Lay the chips onto the baking paper, single layer, and sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until crisp. You can flip the chips half way if you remember, they are crispier this way. I almost always forget to do it and they still turn out great.
Puree veggies and herbs in food processor until fine.
Heat the fat in a large frypan and have a big pot ready next to it.
Brown the meat in batches before scraping into the big pot.
Put the frypan to the side and put the big pot on the heat.
Add the herbs and veggies to the mince in the big pot.
Season with salt and stir well to combine.
Cook on medium high meat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Swish the broth around the food processor to get all of the veggies out before pouring into the big pot.
Pour the broth into the pot and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring every now and then.
Serve the mince with the sweet potato chips and maybe some extra greens like my Crispy Lemon Roast Broccoli.
For My American Friends
200 degrees celsius equates to 392 fahrenheit.
1.5kg of sweet potato = 3.3 pounds
500g mince = 1.1 pounds
500ml bone broth = 1.1 US liquid pint
For more allergy and budget friendly, nourishing AIP, Paleo & Whole30 recipes be sure to subscribe below.