When starting anything new it’s nice to have a roadmap. When I first started the autoimmune protocol I felt like most, lost. However, with the guidance of some amazing women, I find myself successfully sticking to the AIP diet. Here are 5 of my current favorite AIP recipes!
What is the AIP Diet?
The autoimmune protocol diet is a long term elimination strategy, which focuses on both food and lifestyle. The diet is designed to help rid foods that commonly cause inflammation, gut issues, or full-blown autoimmune diseases.
This protocol has been an effective treatment for some people that suffer from common digestive problems and mild stomach issues, leaky gut, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel disease, thyroid hormone issues, conditions that cause immune system attacks, and a long list of different types of autoimmune diseases. A similar diet is the FODMAP diet which cuts out high fodmap foods and has also been known to decrease inflammation and IBS symptoms.
If you’re looking for additional information on what the AIP diet is, check out this incredibly in depth overview from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (The Paleo Mom).
When first starting the AIP diet, breakfast can seem tricky. What can you have for breakfast if you have to say goodbye to eating grains and eggs? The answer is simple, protein and veggies! Starting your day with a savory source of protein and veggies may take some getting used to but it’s worth the extra effort and prep!
The trick to a good AIP breakfast is preparation. On the weekends, I prepare big batches of one or two recipes to have throughout the week. And if you run out, dinner leftovers will quickly become your new best friend. Here are two wholesome AIP breakfast recipes to get you started.
Apple Rosemary Breakfast Sausage
One of my current favorite AIP batch breakfasts is Rooted in Healing’s Apple Rosemary Breakfast Sausage. I tried this recipe while on the elimination phase of the AIP diet and my family loved it so much that it still makes regular appearances on our weekly grain free diet meal plan. This breakfast sausage is the perfect mixture of savory with a hint of sweetness!
What you’ll need:
- 2 lbs ground free-range chicken or turkey
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary minced
- 1/3 cup shredded apple
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
These sausages freezes really well, tastes delicious reheated, and pairs perfectly with arugula. You can refrigerate them for up to 5 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.
Butternut Breakfast Soup
My family and I love starting our day off with a good soup. A lot of the time, I have bone broth to start my day (here’s my current go-to recipe in an instant pot). But, I’ve also added this soup into our rotation! It can sound rather odd but the nutritional value and convenience factor will quickly win you over! Here are 5 reasons why my family and I love soups for breakfast:
- It’s convenient.
- It’s a warm and nourishing way start to the day, and it’s easy to digest so your body isn’t working overtime right away in the morning.
- It’s a great way to get tasty veggies, bone broth, and high-quality protein (hello amino acids).
- You can freeze it and reheat it and it retains its flavor and benefits.
- It’s delicious!
Recently, we love starting our days off with Autoimmunewellness’ Butternut Sqaush Soup. This recipe is versatile, delicious, and you can make it in a regular pressure cooker, slow cooker, or Instant Pot. If you can’t get your hands on fresh butternut squash or spinach, don’t worry frozen options work great as well!
It requires around 1 hour of cook time so I usually like to make it the night before and let it cool overnight. If you hope to freeze this recipe, give it at least 24 hours of cooling time before freezing to help optimize all the wonderful flavor in the broth.
What you’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon solid cooking fat (I’ve used coconut oil)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 3 cups water
- 1 small, whole chicken (about 4 pounds)
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ pound baby spinach
- ½ lemon, juiced
Tip: If you are low on time and leftovers, it’s nice to always have a few AIP Instant Soups in the pantry just in case. We have a total of 3 AIP Instant Soups that are made with the highest quality of ingredients and will help keep you nourished for the day!
Snacks are essential. Before starting the AIP diet one of my go-to snacks had to be nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds, however, those are not allowed on the AIP diet. With the help of Michele Spring I quickly found the next best thing, toasted coconut chips!
Toasted Coconut Chips
The crunchy, crispy, and oh-so-delicious Toasted Coconut Chips from Thriving on Paleo are simply delicious. What I love about this recipe is that you can get creative with the spices to vary the flavor. And as an added bonus, from start to finish creating the snack takes somewhere around 10 minutes!
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup Coconut Chips
- 1/2 – 1 tsp of any desired spices
Some AIP flavor combos I love are:
- A pinch of Cinnamon and Coconut Sugar
- A pinch of AIP Curry Powder (make sure it doesn’t have nightshades)
- A pinch of Sea Salt and a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
If you’re craving something more on the savory side and looking for more protein, give one of our AIP Meat and Veggie Bars a try.
Lunch & Dinner
Life is all about balance. Though I love to cook, I’ll be the first to admit that I also love to spend time doing other things like playing backgammon with the family or taking our dog, Pooh, for a walk. While on the AIP diet I quickly learned that it takes some planning and it’s always nice to a few recipes up your sleeve that can work for either lunch or dinner!
And for those days you are running low on time and food in your kitchen keep one of our AIP Paleo To Go Meals on hand.
Chicken, Bacon, & Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
What I love about All The Nourishing Things’, Chicken, Bacon, & Kale Sweet Potato recipe is that it's bright, really savory, and super nourishing. And also, I just really love sweet potatoes because they are packed with health benefits.
This recipe requires around 20 minutes of cook time, perhaps making this your new go-to recipe when you are short on time for dinner. A variation of this recipe usually makes an appearance for my office lunch at least twice a week!
What you’ll need:
- 3 large sweet potatoes, cut in half length-wise
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/4-1/2" chunks
- 8 slices bacon diced
- 1 cup red onion diced
- 1 bunch of kale torn from stems and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
While nothing beats a great authentic Thai curry, The Roasted Root’s Nightshade-free AIP Curry comes very close when having to eliminate nightshades. This curry recipe contains no tomatoes, bell pepper, chilis, or cumin and instead replaces the nightshades with coconut aminos, some extra turmeric and ginger, fresh lime juice, and cinnamon. Trust me, it is shocking how authentically curry-like this recipe tastes!
What you’ll need:
- 1 (15-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp minced ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced, optional
- 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
- 1 large crown broccoli chopped into florets
- 1 yellow squash chopped
- 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp sea salt to taste
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped for serving
Personally, I love having this over cauliflower rice! When I first started reintroducing grains into my diet, I was nervous to try almost every type of grain because I felt so good. If you are looking to reintroduce grains back into your diet, start with white rice as this grain is one of the easiest for your stomach to digest.
Starting anything new can seem overwhelming, but I hope that with these 5 recipe ideas you feel confident to begin or continue your AIP journey. If you are looking for more recipes that are simple, delicious, and can be made in batches please check out my family’s favorite AIP cookbook from Autoimmunewellness’, The Nutrient Dense Kitchen.
-Zora Tabin (Founder, Mom & Healthy Snack Enthusiast)
P.S. If you need any on-the-go AIP options, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of my favorites: