It’s not always easy to be confident about making your old favorites AIP friendly. I’ve often asked myself, “Can I really make a pizza without cheese?”, “How can I make oatmeal without oats?” My most recent question was, “How can I make fajitas without peppers and nightshades?” Well, challenge accepted and conquered with these AIP Chicken Fajita Bowls!
Fajitas were a staple meal in my family growing up. It wasn’t always my favorite (I was more of a pasta and pizza gal;) ) but fajita night was mostly fine by me. As I got older and realized that nightshade vegetables like bell peppers were seriously flaring my Hashimoto’s and completely cut them out, I grew to hate fajita night. Not because I couldn’t eat them, but because of the smell! A few minutes of being in the same house or building as cooking bell peppers and I get a full on migraine. Not fun! I can’t even go into a Mexican restaurant without getting a headache these days. Consequently, my Texas raised husband loves Mexican food, and it’s always a favorite here in Dallas. So that’s why I decided to make these fajita bowls!
But what can swap out for a bell pepper? Zucchini, squash and onion make a perfect fajita bowl swap! Throw on some avocado or AIP guac, green onion, cilantro, and some fresh lettuce, and you’ve got one heck of an AIP dish!
Chicken Fajita Bowls (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)
- 2 lbs pastured chicken breast, sliced thin
- 2 medium zucchinis, sliced into vertical slices
- 1 medium yellow squash, sliced the same
- 1/2 white onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp dried cilantro
- 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
- 1/8 cup (more or less as needed) avocado oil or coconut oil
- 1-2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, diced
- 1-2 avocados
- Fresh cilantro to garnish
- Add 2 tbsp of oil to a pan on medium heat.
- Season the chicken with garlic, and half of the oregano, turmeric, cilantro and salt
- Add the chicken to the pan, adding more oil as needed
- Cook for 8-10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 F
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside
- Add 2 tbsp of oil to the pan on medium heat
- Season the white onion, zucchini and squash with the remainder of the ingredients
- Cook until vegetables soften for about 5-6 minutes, reheating the chicken in the pan for the last minute or so if needed
- Add the chicken and vegetables to bowls (about 4 bowls) with chopped lettuce
- Top with avocado, red onion, fresh cilantro and more salt to taste
Taco bowls and fajita bowls just like this one are what I always serve when we have company over! Not only is it delicious all on its own for anyone, but it’s the perfect base to modify for non AIP friends. You can easily add white rice, salsa, hot sauce or a good quality tortilla chip to those who want to spice it up a bit.
Regardless of how you modify, it’s a low effort, easy to make meal that family and friends will both love!
Are you a snack food fan? SAME. I’m not a football fan, but I am definitely a snack day fan. Super bowl Sunday is pretty synonymous with both, so it’s always a perfect time to pull out the game day snacks. All too often that can mean processed junk, soda, and delivery pizza, so I decided to turn game day snacking on it’s head with these squeaky clean Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers!
These chicken poppers are gluten free, paleo, AIP, and egg free, while still being delicious enough to fool anyone who regularly eats otherwise!
Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers Are the Healthy Comfort Food You’ve Been Looking For…
Let me tell you a little story… This is a story about a girl named, Lucky (Brittney, anyone 😉 ) who literally ate zero animal protein until she was about 20 that wasn’t in chicken nugget form. She was so unhealthy and out of touch with her bodies innate intelligence to eat real food that she would gag at any protein that wasn’t a nugget. She did not discriminate when it came to nuggets… dinosaur shaped, fast food, frozen, they were all gucci. Until she grew up, was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and leaky gut, and actually got a grip and realized that those nuggets were not the best choice. So… clearly I’m talking about myself here. Maybe dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets weren’t my friend then or now, but these chicken poppers are the real food, adult version of the chicken nuggets that I loved for years!
When I first made these and got a whiff of them cooking in the oven, it seriously smelled like any game day snack that you’d find in a sports bar or at any party. My mouth was water the second they came out of the oven! The smell, the texture, and the nostalgic feel that I was eating chicken nuggets makes these little dudes the perfect healthy comfort food.
Here’s why they’re good for you…
- They’re veggie packed with green onion and sweet potato which provide vitamins, nutrients, and flavor
- These guys feature coconut flour which is a grain free, healthy flour, and coconut oil which is an amazing healthy fat
- I suggest using pasture raised chicken (no, not just organic, pasture raised) as these chickens were raised humanely and ate a natural diet making the chicken packed with healthy protein and nutrients! Organic chicken was not necessarily fed a proper diet and can be harmful than good for you!
- They’re paleo and Whole 30 friendly, and even strict autoimmune protocol friendly for all of my fellow autoimmune healers out there!
Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers Are Perfect For…
Seriously, it makes these a great dish to bring along to your upcoming party, or super bowl Sunday gathering to ensure that you have something healthy to eat for yourself, while still having something delicious to share. Don’t be that guy that brings kale chips… be the guy that brings sweet potato chicken poppers 😉 These guys are perfect for…
- Party appetizers
- Super Bowl or game day snacks
- Finger food for picky eater kiddos
- Fun weeknight dinner
Plus, they are the perfect food for dipping! I may or may not have already nicknamed this “dippy chicken” (because I’m mature), but really… it’s the perfect size for finger food and tastes great dipped in a big bowl of AIP guacamole!
Feel free to use a different sauce that is compliant to you own needs, like maybe a clean buffalo sauce, or even a ranch dip. But rest assured that they go great with this guac!
I also have to shout out a similar recipe, chicken and zucchini poppers from One Lovely Life! These are another great option if you’re looking for something lower in starch.
Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers (Paleo & AIP)
- 1 lb ground chicken (uncooked, preferably pastured)
- 2 cups raw (not cooked) sweet potato, finely grated (I used a wide cheese grated like this)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tsp for greasing the baking sheet
- 2 tbsp coconut flour (I recommend this brand )
- 2 sprigs green onion, chopped fine
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Optional : 1 tsp paprika or chili powder (not AIP but adds a kick!)
- Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly grease a lined baking sheet with coconut oil
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and thoroughly combine
- Begin rolling the mixture into small, slightly flattened poppers about one inch in diameter (you'll have about 20-22 poppers) and place them on the cooking sheet
- Place in the oven for 25-28 minutes, flipping half way through
- Crisp further in a pan or place under the broiler if desired for 1-2 minutes to crisp further
- Remove from the oven when thoroughly cooked through
- Allow to cool and serve with your favorite sauce
I hope you absolutely love these poppers are much as we do here at the Hoover household!
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Spaghetti squash has been a staple vegetable ever since going gluten free in college. It’s inexpensive, easy to prepare, versatile, and of course… it’s basically vegetable pasta. I used to eat my spaghetti squash with a generous helping of tomato sauce from a jar and coat it in a thick layer of that mastery shelf stable parmesan cheese. Basically… there was only one good thing about that meal for me. Neither tomato sauce or parmesan cheese were my friend on an autoimmune paleo template to manage my Hashimoto’s, so my classic pasta dish evolved into paleo spaghetti squash chicken Alfredo that’s also AIP and dairy free!
So, why not tomato sauce again? Unfortunately, tomatoes are in the nightshade vegetable family which can be super inflammatory for those with joint issues, or autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s. Going gluten free alone just wasn’t enough manage and reverse my Hashimoto’s. It also took healing my gut, changing my lifestyle, and dropping foods that were inflammatory like tomatoes.
Though I still indulge in a tomato free version of marinara from time to time, I love this dairy free alfredo on spaghetti squash. So, what’s in it? You guessed it… cauliflower! Pair cauliflower with coconut milk, and nutrient dense bone broth and it makes for a super creamy, delicious sauce for this meal. Veggie packed, nutrient dense, and easy!
This Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo is the perfect complete meal to mix it up on a healing diet!
You have two options for how you actually serve this meal… first you can scoop out the spaghetti squash from the rind and serve in on a plate topped with sliced chicken and mixed with the alfredo sauce. This is the best option if you’re having a smaller portion to share. It also most closely resembles actual spaghetti this way.
The other way you could enjoy it is by keeping it whole, mixing the sauce in when you shred the strands inside the squash, and then add the chicken on top with more sauce. This is perfect if you’re really trying to go for the “hey this is a spaghetti squash” factor, and if you’re just serving it for two for dinner.
No matter how you choose to serve it, this dish is a veggie packed, nutrient dense dinner that’s easy to prep!
For those of us who are healing chronic illness like autoimmune disease with real food and nutrient density, this dish is the perfect way to mix it up while getting all of the healing goodness. I just love that it’s filled with healing super foods like gut healing bone broth, two different kinds of veggies, pastured chicken, and healthy fat from coconut oil!
Paleo Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- 1 lb pasture raised chicken breast
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee if not AIP)
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Basil for garnish
- FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 medium cauliflower, chopped (about 4 cups)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup bone broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- FOR THE SQUASH
- Preheat the oven to 400 F
- Slice the squash in half and spoon out the seeds. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the strands easily pull.
- FOR THE CHICKEN
- Season the chicken breast with lemon, salt, and garlic and allow to marinate for about an hour in the fridge.
- Heat cooking fat of choice over medium heat and add the chicken.
- Cook the chicken, flipping it halfway through until internal temperature reads 165 F.
- FOR THE SAUCE
- Add the cauliflower to a medium pot and fill about 2/3rds of the way with water.
- Heat the cauliflower on medium heat and bring to a low simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until cauliflower is soft.
- Strain the cauliflower and allow it to cool.
- Add the cooled cauliflower to a high speed blender with the remainder of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
- TO ASSEMBLE THE DISH
- Either scoop the squash out of the shell, or keep it in.
- Add the sauce and combine, reserving some to add over the top.
- Add the sliced chicken, some extra sauce, and basil for garnish.
- Serve and enjoy!
The initial push to make healthier choices is usually an easy transition in the beginning. Making a healthier breakfast, taking the stairs more often… it doesn’t usually become a burden until it gets hard to keep up with, and you run out of ideas to make it creative and interesting. That’s how I felt a few years ago when I made a New Years goal to eat fish every single week. It eventually got boring, and impractical to always be making fresh fish filets, until I started making salmon patties!
What I love about salmon patties is that they’re easy to make, way more interesting than just a fish filet, and they’re the perfect make ahead meal to prep once and eat throughout the week.
Say goodbye to wondering what you’re going to prepare for a healthy lunch through out the week! AIP Salmon Patties are it!
The one problem I started to have with salmon patties as time went on is that as my diet transitioned to a gut healing diet and went from gluten free, to autoimmune paleo, the salmon patties had to change as well.
Having leaky gut and Hashimoto’s, I was reacting to grains and eggs (and a handful of other things), which made it hard to bind the patties together. Thus, I found myself eat salmon filets more often, and yet again, getting bored of them.
These patties are just so perfect for making a healing diet easy, so I had to figure out a solution for both myself, and for my e-book The 30 Day Gut Healing Diet Plan & Guide. This is the exclusive recipe from my book that also features…
- 30 days of paleo and AIP meal plans targeted towards healing the gut
- Shopping lists and prep guides to help you prep meals fast
- Over 20 AIP/ Paleo recipes with GAPS and low FODMAP modifications
- Tons of information about healing your gut beyond just food alone
Get your copy, here!
These salmon patties are one of my absolute favorite recipes from the book, and are perfect for any anti-inflammatory diet as they don’t contain grains, eggs, or inflammatory oils!
They easily stay fresh in the fridge for a few days and are perfect for making ahead and serving at either breakfast paired with berries, or at lunch or dinner paired with a salad or roasted vegetables. My husband loves serving them with paleo mayonnaise, and sometimes I’ll add a few slices of avocado on top. Yum!
AIP Salmon Patties (Paleo & Egg Free)
- 2 6oz cans of wild caught salmon
- 2 medium zucchini’s
- 1 medium leek, (OMIT for low FODMAP and sub extra zuchinni)
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 clove garlic (OMIT for low FODMAP)
- 2 tbsp cooking fat + 1 tsp for greasing the pan (I recommend coconut oil)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp fresh or dried dill
- Fresh green onion for garnish (if desired)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Chop the zuchinni, and leek (if using) and add along with garlic (if using), coconut flour, dill and salt to a food processor and set to chop.
- Drain the canned salmon and add to the food processor with cooking fat and blend.
- Form into small cakes, using a cheesecloth (or paper towel) to remove excess liquid.
- Place on a greased cooking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for 40-45 minutes, very carefully and gently flipping them halfway through. Finish them in a frying pan if they need extra crisping. What really holds these together is the browned crisp!
- Allow to cool, and serve for breakfast or lunch with fresh green onion if desired. Be very conscious to be careful with them. They can be easily broken as they don't contain eggs.
Eating a real food, healing diet like autoimmune paleo isn’t cheap. After my mortgage payment, my biggest expense is food. Pasture raised meat, organic vegetables, wild caught fish, and the highest quality cooking oils. Those words all literally sound like money just flying out the window.
With Hashimoto’s disease and recovering from life long gut issues, I just can’t afford to not eat well. Eating cheap foods results in more and more medical bills. It’s the perfect pay me now or pay me later scenario.
However, that doesn’t make it any easier on my wallet. It’s expensive, and it’s rough. However, when you know how to navigate the farmers market, it can all be totally do-able to take your grocery budget down to a reasonable number.
To give you a little extra help, I created a Autoimmune Paleo & Healing Diet Budget Friendly Shopping List that you can sign up for, here. But I wanted to delve a little bit deeper into what are the top 10 foods that are both super budget friendly and super nutrient dense!
Top 10 Autoimmune Paleo Budget Friendly Foods…
1.Grass-fed Ground Beef
Beef gets a bad reputation in some circles for being inflammatory. However, beef from grass-fed cows is a balanced source of fats, and is full on healthy minerals.
I can get grass-fed ground beef for anywhere from $6.60 – $8.00 a lb near me. Keep in mind, that this will vary for wherever you live, and the $8 a lb tastes better. But for just $8 a lb, I can get through dinner for both me and my husband, and leftovers for at least one of us.
Some great AIP recipes for ground beef are…
Kale is one of the most nutrient dense vegetables that there is. It’s an amazing source of fiber, and phytonutrients! I can snag organic kale for as cheap as $1-2 a lb and can use it for salads, throw it in soups or smoothies, or sauté it as a side.
Some great AIP recipes for kale are…
3. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a favorite for those of us who can’t have potatoes. To be fair, I like parsnips better, but they also cost twice as much as sweet potatoes which can range from anywhere between $1-3 a lb.
Find great AIP recipes for sweet potatoes on my post of 50+ AIP sweet potato recipes.
4. Pasture raised liver
This may sound like a tough one to swallow (and for many, it is at first), but I promise, pasture raised liver can be made delicious, and it’s a nutrient powerhouse! It’s satiating, and full of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin A, D, zinc, and more. Real food heals and liver is an incredibly nutrient dense, healing super food.
People tend to think that liver is probably expensive, but it’s actually the highest quality protein I can get at the lowest price. I’ve seen pasture raised liver for $4-5 a lb.
Some great AIP recipes for liver are…
5. Coconut oil
Another AIP favorite, coconut oil goes a long way! From cooking with it, to topping sweet potatoes, and even using it on your skin, you get your monies worth out of a jar of coconut oil. Other cooking fats like avocado oil just aren’t as versatile and are a bit more pricey for what you get. I opt for always having coconut oil, and having the brand Tropical Traditions on hand. They often run sales, and it’s the best quality I can find for the price!
Here are some great AIP recipes with coconut oil…
6. Frozen wild berries
Wild berries are full of phytonutirents and antioxidants, and are one of the lower sugar fruits. Wild berries can be hard to find, and expensive, which is why I love to have frozen wild berries on hand. They can vary in price, but are typically around $5-8 depending on the weight.
Some great AIP recipes that can be used with frozen berries are…
7. Grass-fed beef bones
Grass-fed beef bones seem expensive at around $6 a lb, but they can be reused multiple times (I use mine 3-4 times) to make nutrient dense, gut healing bone broth!
Some great AIP recipes with grass-fed beef bones are…
Cabbage has become a fast favorite of mine. It’s a sulfur rich vegetable that’s nutrient packed, it’s delicious, and super easy to prepare. I can get cabbage for $1 a lb, and it’s an amazing side!
My favorite AIP recipe with cabbage is my own baked red cabbage. I have this often as a side, with beef and sweet potatoes, and it’s perfect.
Some great AIP recipes for cabbage are…
9. Ginger powder
Ginger has been use in aryuvedic medicine as a powerful way to soothe digestion, tame nausea, and reduce muscle soreness. Having ginger power on hand that can cost $3-5 goes a long way!
Some great AIP recipes for cabbage are…
10. Canned sardines
Sardines are my absolute favorite foods to eat on the go that are full of nutrients! They’re low in mercury, and high in selenium. Wild caught sardines are typically $3-4 a can, which is a great value when compared to most convenience foods.
Some great AIP recipes with canned sardines are…
I hope this is a helpful list! Be sure to download the shopping list, here!
The past few months, I couldn’t think I could keep a secret… but I did! And man was it a good one, and it’s finally here! The Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook which I so proudly got the opportunity to contribute my own recipe to including my speedy AIP Instant Pot Chili which I’m sharing here today!
But, let me back up… several months ago, I was busy. The good kind of busy! I was in the midst of finishing up my nutritional therapy practitioner program, and buying a house. I didn’t think I could take on one more thing until Eileen of Phoenix Helix reached out and asked me if I wanted to join in on the fun. I immediately jumped on board and got even busier in the kitchen. However, it was so worth it because the Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook is the bomb and I am so excited to be a part of it!
The instant pot is a safe, easy to use electric pressure cooker that makes batch cooking and fresh dinners easy. With so much home cooking being done on Paleo and AIP, it’s a great tool to be efficient in the kitchen!
The cookbook features….
- Over 140 recipes
- Recipe titles like…
- “Chocolate” Cake
- BBQ pulled chicken
- Fish tacos
- “Baked” Sweet Potatoes
- And more…
- Recipes from 37 Paleo/AIP bloggers (myself included, HI!)
- Recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, soups, stews, desserts, veggies, broths… the list goes on!
- Beautiful photography, easy instructions, and tips on how to use your instant pot
- 100% AIP and Paleo recipes with modifications!
Download the Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, here!
I’ve been AIP/Paleo for a long time to help heal my leaky gut and manage my Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid disease and the healing that real food has brought me has been priceless.
With all of the batch cooking that I do, it’s hard to not spend every waking moment in the kitchen, and it can get difficult to get creative after eating this way for so long!
That’s why I love that the Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook is full of creative, delicious recipes that are easy and quick to make!
A Preview Of My Favorite Recipe That I Contributed… AIP Speedy Chili!
If you’re anything like me, you also love broth, soups, stews and hearty comfort foods. Ever since I went AIP and stopped eating nightshades, I thought my days of enjoying chill were over.
I actually haven’t had chili in years because I thought that it would be too complicated. Developing an AIP chili recipe for the instant pot was the perfect opportunity to make it easy! And boy is it easy…
AIP Instant Pot Chili & The Paleo/AIP Instant Pot Cookbook Launch
- - 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
- - 3 cloves garlic, minced
- - 1 medium/large sweet potato (about 2 cups), peeled and chopped
- - 1 large beet (about 2.5 cups), peeled and chopped fine
- - 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- - 1 medium onion, diced
- - ½ tsp sea salt
- - 1 tsp dried oregano
- - 4 cups bone broth
- - 2 tsp fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
- - 1/2 avocado for garnish, sliced (optional)
- - Set instant pot to saute and brown the beef.
- - Once the beef is browned, add the remainder of the ingredients (reserving the fresh cilantro and avocado) and stir until combined.
- -Place the lid on the instant pot and flip vent to sealing. Cook on manual for 35 minutes, and quick release the pressure.
- - Remove the lid and serve with garnish if desired.
I’m pretty obsessed with this chili. Even my non-AIP nightshade loving husband likes it! And that’s saying a lot for a man who thinks hot sauce is a food group 😜 It takes under an hour to make and is great for batch cooking to enjoy throughout the week!
I’ve contributed two other recipes to the cookbook myself and that’s among a total of 140+ recipes that are also super delicious and easy to make!
Save yourself hours in the kitchen and get creative with the Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook ☺️
Download the Paleo AIP Instant Pot Cookbook, here!