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Vegetables are the key to nutrient-dense, elimination diets like the Paleo and AIP diet. Here are some recipes to give more life to our fibrous friends.
Lemon Rosemary Cranberry Brussels Sprout Recipe
Brussels sprouts are a multi-tasking vegetable packed with nutritional benefits! If they aren’t in your diet because you have sour childhood memories of boiled brussels sprouts (me), it’s time to change your tune! This recipe will help you achieve that crispy, restaurant-style sprout at home.
These Lemon Rosemary Cranberry Brussels Sprouts are a perfect spring-time vegetable. They are citrusy and herbaceous with a touch of sweetness from the dried cranberries. I love to incorporate them into my weekly meal plan routine because they are rich in fiber that regulates gut health and digestion, high in vitamin C which helps your body absorb iron and boost immune function, and are packed with your full daily recommendation of vitamin K, which improves bone health.
Time Required: 1 hour
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 40-45 Minutes
Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, AIP Friendly, Paleo Friendly, Nut-Free
Ingredients You’ll Need:
- 3 cups brussels sprouts
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½-¾ cup dried cranberries
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 medium lemon
- Sea salt ½ Tbsp + extra to taste
- Wild Zora Mediterranean Lamb Bar
- Preheat the oven to 450°.
- Cut all of your brussels sprout bulbs in half and lay them out on a sheet pan. Press them with a paper towel and sprinkle ½ Tbsp sea salt over them in order to draw out moisture. Let them rest there for 10 minutes while your oven preheats. This will dry them out and lead to those crispy leaves you are looking for!
- Place the sprouts in the oven on the middle-rack and let them bake for 10 minutes. Open the oven, shake the pan or use a wood spoon to turn over the sprouts. Bake another 5 minutes. The leaves should be browning and the sprouts will develop light golden brown color.
- While the sprouts are in the oven, dice the garlic and pull the rosemary needles off of the sprig and chop roughly.
- Take the pan out, and turn the oven down to 400°.
- Place the sprouts in a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, garlic, and half of the rosemary. Mix everything together, and spread the sprouts back in the pan.
- Bake for another 30 minutes. While the sprouts are baking, chop the Mediterranean Lamb Bar into small pieces.
- Pull the sprouts out and give the pan a good (and careful) shake so that you can get an even bake.
- Sprinkle the chopped lamb bars and the rest of the rosemary over the sprouts and add the juice from half a lemon over the top. Place the sprouts back in the oven for the last 10-15 minutes.
- Pull the sprouts out for the last time (phew!) and add the cranberries. Taste the sprouts and add more lemon and sea salt to your preference!
I oftentimes pair these with roasted chicken breasts or seared lamb chops! The kids love them and your gut will thank you.
Other AIP recipes to make your veggies delicious…
Michelle from Unbound Wellness provides so many Paleo, AIP and Whole 30 recipes that are highly creative and incredibly easy to achieve! Her Hashimoto's diagnosis has led to such empathetic and practical knowledge that makes her recipe content as educational as it is delicious. She makes me feel like a chef on a regular basis.
My favorite veggie recipe? Her Turmeric Cauliflower Risotto! She walks you through the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits and even teaches you to make your own bone broth. It’s a must-try!
I go to Angie from Autoimmune Wellness (I know I always talk about them, but they’re the experts) for recipes every time I’m in a cooking funk. Her recipes are incredibly well-balanced and thoughtfully put together.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: salads do not generally excite me. A bowl of greens, while great for me, often leaves me wanting more. This Beet and Blueberry Chop Salad is a very tasty exception! The golden beets prepared in this way are perfect. They are not overwhelmingly earthy as they sometimes can be in their raw state, and paired with the tart blueberry and slightly sweet balsamic dressing, they are beautiful. I’m gushing, can you tell?
Biohack U puts out tons of innovative AIP and low-fodmap recipes like this Rhubarb Ginger-glazed Bok Choy with Bacon. They often force me to branch out and try cooking things I haven’t tried before. This bok choy is savory and deeply satisfying, plus it really impresses at a dinner party!
Need more information about the AIP Diet?
In case you are new to the term Autoimmune Paleo Protocol Diet (AIP), it is a slightly more restrictive version of the Paleo diet. Along with the foods you cannot eat on the Paleo diet, AIP eliminates nightshades, alcohol, eggs, nuts, and seeds. These foods have nutritional benefits and are not harmful to everyone. But for some, eliminating them from their diet reduces inflammation, supports more prosperous gut health (no more leaky gut), and helps combat the frustrating, chronic effects of autoimmune diseases.
Once your body has adjusted to the much more limited food selection and you feel better, you can slowly reintroduce foods. The process will give you a greater understanding of what triggers your own immune system. For more information on this, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne from The Paleo Mom provides detailed, step-by-step information about the AIP diet (like the graphic to the right).
So whether you follow the AIP or Paleo diet, these recipes are safe for you.
The Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP diet) has proven to be healing for those dealing with serious inflammation and gut irritation. The hardest part: finding delicious, AIP friendly snacks that can keep you on the right track towards relief. Here is our curated list of AIP snack ideas we tested and loved.
When you're craving snacks...
Having autoimmune disease can really shift your perspective on snacking. It was easy for me to feel negatively towards all snacking food because of the way that conventional snacks used to make me feel, which was terrible. However, you can enjoy homemade treats on AIP while still promoting gut healing. Plus, snacks are good for the soul.
It wouldn’t be right to give you snack ideas and not include something wrapped in bacon. These Bacon Wrapped Peaches are perfectly sweet and savory, and only last about five minutes in my house. If it is warm enough outside, I like to throw these on the grill for a little extra smokiness. They make the best brunch appetizer for everyone; even kids love them!
This Sweet Potato Chip Recipe recipe is incredibly simple and delicious. There are only three ingredients! Just make sure that you use extra-virgin olive oil (preferably organic) to make a more savory chip or use coconut butter to give them a little extra sweetness.
If you have made sweet potato chips a million times (me) and are looking to be a little bit more adventurous, find out if your grocery store has plantains. Once you make these addicting Baked Plantain Chips, you will be hooked. I like to toss them with diced garlic or turmeric before I bake them to add slightly more spice and nutritional value.
Where there’s chips, there should be dip! Louise at Healing Autoimmune created this Cauliflower Dip that I made for our most recent office party and it was a huge crowd pleaser. Cauliflower is such a versatile ingredient that can be blended into a wonderful, creamy consistency that seems too good to be AIP.
When you have a sweet tooth...
Anytime you are following a restrictive diet, you run the risk of feeling deprived. Ultimately, this can lead to a late-night binge. The best thing you can do to combat that: be prepared. That "I'm superwoman and I am stronger than any craving" mentality will not exist in every moment. You're human. These are sweet snack ideas that mimic that creamy, deeply satisfying dessert taste while being dairy free and compliant.
Ok, so I know what you’re going to say: these are supposed to be easy recipes and now I have to go buy popsicle molds? Of course not. Unless you are trying to create pinterest worthy pictures, just throw the mixture into a normal ice cube tray, cover it with plastic wrap, and poke some toothpicks through to act as your popsicle stick. They are tart and sweet without any of the added sugar.
You guys! I’ve been looking for a good AIP pie crust recipe for so long. It seemed like my days of enjoying a good flaky crust were over, until now! The Perfect AIP Pie Crust Recipe was developed by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. at The Paleo Mom. She uses Otto’s Cassava Flour, which is my AIP gluten-free, grain-free go-to product for baking.
I wouldn’t blame you for eating this pie crust on its own, but if you are looking for a tart, low sugar filling, this strawberry rhubarb filling is just right. The coconut oil really adds a depth of flavor that keeps you going back for more (and more).
When you don’t have time to cook…
In the elimination phase of AIP, it can feel like all you’re doing is cooking. While it is important to be able to cook yourself healthy AIP recipes, it is equally important that the diet doesn’t take over your life and make you miserable. Therefore, I’ve added some AIP snacks that you can buy and LIVE YOUR LIFE!
Wild Zora has created a whole line of interesting and compliant snacks and meals for the AIP community. Their Apple Pork and Mediterranean Lamb meat and veggie bars are both AIP and they are really good to take on the go. These bars are sort of like jerky, but they have a full serving of fruits and veggies in them, so they are more tender and complex in flavor.
Rhythm Superfoods makes a bunch of vegetable-based snacks that are simple and so tasty. Their Organic Carrot Sticks are crunchy, salty and aren’t oily like many of the other dried veggie snack companies. While they are my favorite, I have to give an honorable mention to their pickled beet chips, which are unlike any other AIP chip I have tried.
We double check all of our ingredients with Autoimmune Wellness' pantry stocking tool. They make it simple to assure you are prioritizing the ingredients that will make you as successful as possible.
Eating Paleo should lead to less inflammation and more healing, not anxiety. You do not need to spend a fortune to follow the Paleo diet at home. These recipes include cheap and easy paleo meals for beginners and experts alike.
When you want to cozy up with a bowl of soup…
This Orange Ginger Butternut Squash Soup recipe by Caroline at Olive You Whole is Paleo, Whole 30 and budget friendly. Not to mention: it’s DELICIOUS.
While butternut squash soup pretty much always pleases, the addition of orange and ginger make it a much more refreshing bite that is more appropriate as we approach springtime. It gives you the feeling of eating comfort food without the guilt. Plus, most of the ingredients, like olive oil, garlic, ginger, orange juice, and chicken broth are common pantry items that you likely won’t have to hit the grocery store for.
When all you want is chicken wings that you can never have at a restaurant…
Bone-in chicken wings in restaurants that don’t appear to be breaded are usually coated lightly in flour. Thankfully, Dr. Sarah Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D., AKA Paleo genius and recipe goddess behind The Paleo Mom, made this simple and delicious Honey-Garlic Chicken Wings recipe so you don’t spend another dinner munching celery and longing for wings.
Chicken wings are often very affordable at the butcher in your local grocery store. I always ask them to separate the drumsticks from the two-bone pieces for me to make my life easier. This is my favorite Paleo chicken wing recipe because it gives you the nice crispy skin that you crave and the flavors are lighter than the usual buffalo wing, so you don’t leave dinner feeling weighed down.
When you are in need of leafy greens...
Let’s face it: it’s not often that I crave a salad, but after whipping this one together I found myself thinking about it a few days later. So, I figured I would share the love and report back on this super simple recipe that takes way less than the 30 minutes I normally allow for putting dinner together for my family.
What you will need:
- 1 Large Sweet Potato
- Mixed Greens (preferably with dark greens like spinach, kale and arugula that have greater proven health benefits. But hey, if you all you have is iceberg lettuce, go with that)
- ⅓ Red Onion
- 1 Lemon
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Dried Cranberries or Raisins
- Sea Salt
- 1 Cup Herbs (I used dill because I love the tang that it adds, but if you have cilantro or basil lying around the house, they will work)
- 1-2 Large Avocados (depending on your preference)
- Wild Zora Meditteranean Lamb Bar
- Stab your sweet potato many times with a fork so that it has holes evenly dispersed around the peel. Cover with olive oil and sea salt and wrap in aluminum foil. Place it in the microwave for 6-8 minutes until tender.
- While the sweet potato is cooking, place greens in a large mixing bowl. The amount really depends on how many leaves you’re looking to eat or share, up to you!
- Slice your red onion into long, thin strips and add to salad.
- Cut avocado into cubes and add to salad.
- Pull apart herbs by hand and leave them in larger pieces, no need to dice them finely.
- Add dried cranberries.
- Remove sweet potato from microwave and peel back aluminum foil. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes. Then, cut the sweet potato into cubes and add to salad.
- Cut up the Mediterranean Lamb bar into small cubes and sprinkle over the top as a healthy "bacon bit" option!
- Pour olive oil and juice from lemon over the salad, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix, mix, mix and enjoy!
This salad has a clean balance of fiber from the leafy greens, whole food sourced carbohydrates from the sweet potato and healthy fats from the olive oil and avocados. It’s a healthy and yummy salad you (and your wallet) won't regret adding to your weekly rotation. I usually whip up a huge batch of it on Sunday nights and add it as a nutrition-packed side for multiple dinners; it makes my meal planning much simpler.
When you are craving a burger…
This Sassy Southwest Paleo Slider by Trina at Paleo Newbie will fulfill your longing for a juicy, fast food burger without saddling you with the drive-through shame.
Other than the sauce (that is delicious but optional), it only takes five simple and affordable ingredients to make this meal. The one place to splurge is in buying quality ground beef that is grass-fed and free-range. There is a misconception that meat only has to be organic to be safe for you, your family, and the environment, but there is so much research that says otherwise.
When you want to throw something in the slow cooker in the morning…
This Smokey Paleo Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken is a tried and true favorite of mine. Michele from Paleo Running Mama is the master of easy paleo recipes that will make you feel like a pro in the kitchen and have your family drooling.
She adds coconut aminos in her recipe, but I usually skip that and use coconut oil that I have around my house. I love to put this in my favorite coconut flour tortilla with spinach and topped with a slaw of red onions, green apples, and lemon juice.
For the fish lovers out there…
There is a common misconception that you can’t eat fish on a budget, but I’m here to tell you that buying frozen salmon is a great way to save money and enjoy cooking fish at home!
This Baked Honey Mustard Salmon recipe by Krista at Joyful Healthy Eats is a showstopper. It has a deep, flavorful crust that is sweet, salty and bright. Salmon is one of the cleanest sources of protein and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that decrease inflammation and lower blood pressure. Generally, I pair this salmon recipe with roasted asparagus or zucchini sauteed in garlic.