Paleo Spinach & Artichoke Dip (AIP & Whole30)

This paleo spinach and artichoke dip is a delicious party appetizer! It’s dairy-free, AIP, and whole30.

It isn’t a party without spinach and artichoke dip, right? I’ve been to parties with people who really don’t like vegetables, but love spinach and artichoke dip! It’s honestly the perfect way to casually sneak in some vegetables that are disguised as a decadent snack. Well, in reality, spinach and artichoke dip is usually all cheese, sour cream and canola oil based mayo… not really that healthy for those who have food intolerances. Not this one! This spinach and artichoke dip is dairy free, AIP, paleo, and whole30 compliant!

This spinach and artichoke dip is so perfect for holiday parties, dinner gatherings, or as a game day snack. But honestly, it’s so easy to make and pretty cheap to do so that you may just wind up keeping for yourself as a little snack or side dish!

A note on keeping this whole30 and AIP…

The spirit of Whole30 is to eat full meals and not sit down with a big bowl of chips and dip. But, if you moderate this recipe and eat it with vegetables it’s technically made with all compliant ingredients.

To keep it AIP, all you need to do is just eat it with veggies or a homemade AIP cracker… that’s it!

The Ingredients You’ll Need for This Spinach & Artichoke Dip

 

Cauliflower

Since this recipe is AIP, it doesn’t use nuts and dairy. Mashed cauliflower replaces the consistency of what you would get from something like cheese or cashews.

Artichoke hearts

Artichoke hearts actually have an amazing consistency when blended! You can use canned artichoke hearts, or if you want to avoid citric acid, you can often find frozen artichoke hearts in many stores.

Spinach

Can’t do this dip without it!

Onions, garlic, and parsley

These add a lot flavor to the dip.

Nutritional yeast

This is technically optional, but it creates a cheesy flavor.

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Paleo Spinach & Artichoke Dip (AIP & Whole30)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream, softened (use this, or place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and use the cream on top)
  • Optional- 1/3 cup chicken broth (see instructions)
  • 2 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups spinach, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. First, steam the cauliflower by adding about 1/2 an inch of water to a pan and bring to a simmer. Add the cauliflower and cover the pan for 5-8 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft. Drain the excess water, and set the cauliflower aside.
  2. Add the avocado oil to a frying pan and bring to medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent. Remove from the pan add to a blender and reserve about 1 tbsp of oil in the pan. Set aside.
  3. Using a high-speed blender, combine all of the ingredients (reserving the spinach) and blend until smooth. Add the chicken broth to make the dip creamier if desired. Spoon into a bowl or serving dish and set aside.
  4. Using the same frying pan, wilt the spinach on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Stir into the dip and mix well.
  5. Serve the dip warm with simple mills crackers, or vegetables like celery and carrots for AIP & whole30.

Notes

If you make this ahead of time and serve it at a party, feel free to heat it in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350F.

Pomegranate Guacamole (Healthy, Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

This pomegranate guacamole is the easiest holiday appetizer! It’s paleo, AIP, vegan, and a total crowd pleaser with all holiday guests.

pomegranate guacamole

During the holidays, the very last thing I want to do is prep another labor-intensive dish! Between all of the complicated sides, desserts, main dishes, and just the overall stress of the holiday season, there comes a point where you just want something simple that everyone will love. And really… who doesn’t love guacamole? Especially now, in the decade where when we’re all obsessed with avocados. Bring on the guac!

But guacamole by itself is a little blah for a big holiday dinner. Why not dress it up just a bit with pomegranate? Now we’re talking, right?! Now it’s a festive, and unique appetizer while still being totally easy.

guacamole

The Ingredients You’ll Need For the Pomegranate Guacamole

Avocado and cilantro

Of course! 😉

Avocado oil and lime juice

I love adding avocado oil to guacamole to give it a creamier texture. Lime juice adds the acid needed to give the guacamole more flavor.

Red onion and garlic

This adds a little bit of spice and some more texture.

Pomegranate arils/seeds

Never had pomegranate before? Guys now is the time to try one! A pomegranate is a large red fruit filled with these amazing little seeds/ arils that taste so incredible.

You can technically buy the seeds by themselves, but it’s seriously too pricey for my taste. Getting the seeds out can be a challenge, yes. This is one way to process it quickly!

Pomegranate seeds are great on salads, roasted vegetables, and in other savory dishes. I actually really love using them to decorate cookies at Christmas as well. They’re not too sweet which is was I thought it would be great for this guacamole… and it is!

pomegranate guacamole

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Pomegranate Guacamole (Healthy, Paleo, AIP, Vegan)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Category: Appetizers
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 2 medium avocado, peeled and pits removed
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Optional – fresh jalapeno to taste (not AIP compliant, but adds a kick!)


Instructions

  1. Using a high speed blender, blend the avocado, avocado oil, lime juice, and garlic until creamy. Remove from the blender and spoon into a bowl.
  2. Mix in the remainder of the ingredients (reserving some cilantro and about 2 tbsp of pomegranate seeds for topping) and mix well.
  3. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and cilantro and salt further to taste if desired. Serve with plantain chips or sliced veggies.

Notes

Hello! The photos of this recipe as well as the photos and written content on my website are copyright protected and cannot be copied or shared. Please do not copy this recipe or photos and share it on your own website, Instagram, or other written materials. If you’d like to tell people about this recipe on social media, your own website, or elsewhere please link back to the recipe here rather than copying it. If you’d like to use a photo for a roundup blog post, please get in touch with me first.  Thank you so much!!

Keywords: thanksgiving, guacamole

 

 

Paleo Thankgiving Cornbread Stuffing (AIP & Grain Free)

This paleo Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing is made with a corn-free cornbread, and all of the classic stuffing ingredients that you know and love! It’s paleo, AIP, grain free, and perfect for the holidays.

When I asked some of my readers what they wanted to see for Thanksgiving, everyone unanimously said stuffing! Stuffing is one of those Thanksgiving staples that you just can’t really miss. Traditionally it’s made with bread, which just isn’t happening for a paleo, AIP, or grain-free diet. There are plenty of recipes out there for stuffing with just vegetables, which I’m totally game for and have shared myself. However, what about when you’re just really craving that classic comfort food? That’s why I made this Paleo Thanksgiving Cornbread Stuffing! It’s paleo, AIP, grain free, and just like the real thing.

Really, the only the only thing that’s different in this stuffing is that there isn’t any butter, and the cornbread is grain free… that’s it! Other than that, it’s just like a traditional stuffing. It’s the kind of thing where you can potentially fool Thanksgiving guests!

thanksgiving paleo stuffing

The Ingredients You’ll Need For the Paleo Cornbread Stuffing

Paleo/AIP “Corn”bread

Okay, how in the world does this work?! I have a recipe for paleo/AIP cornbread here that is made without any corn! YES!

Celery, yellow onion, and leeks

Celery and onion are classic stuffing ingredients, and I think the leeks added a little something extra.

Apples and dried cranberries

It’s currently #UWCranberryWeek so I had to get the cranberries in there! These both add some tart, sweetness.

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme

I had to hold back writing the rest of the lyrics to the Simon and Garfunkel song. Yes, there’s a reason they put all of those together in a song… they just go together!

paleo thanksgiving stuffing

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Paleo Thankgiving Cornbread Stuffing (AIP & Grain Free)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings
  • Category: side
  • Method: oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This paleo “corn”bread stuffing is the real deal!


Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped into half moons
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp rosemary (plus extra for garnish)
  • 2 tsp sage
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 batch of this AIP/paleo cornbread , chopped into cubes
  • 2 granny smith apples, chopped
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened dried cranberries 
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup chicken broth

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and prepare a large casserole dish. Set aside.
  2. Using a large pan, melt the coconut oil on medium heat and saute the onion until soft. Mix in the celery and leek and saute until the leeks soften. Stir in the parsley and other seasonings to combine. Set aside.
  3. Add the chopped apple, cranberries, and chopped cornbread to a large mixing bowl. Use a mixing spoon to crumble some of the cornbread.
  4. Pour the chicken broth little by little into the cornbread mixture, adding more if you prefer a more soggy cornbread. Then stir in the onion, leek and celery mixture. Stir well to combine.
  5. Spoon the stuffing mixture into the casserole dish and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until baked to liking.
  6. Top with extra rosemary or other herbs and enjoy!

Notes

This stuffing is best fresh. If you need to make it ahead and reheat it, place it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes.

paleo thanksgiving stuffing

Apple Cranberry Sauce (Paleo, AIP)

This apple cranberry sauce is made with fresh ingredients and zero refined sugar! It’s paleo, AIP, and everyone will love it at Thanksgiving.

apple cranberry sauce

The jellied cranberry sauce from the can was always a must at Thanksgiving for my family. It would literally still have the indentation of the can on it when my mom put in on the table. My dad loved it, but I was pretty skeptical. It’s not like I didn’t like cranberries, I just didn’t want to eat something shaped like a can! Once I started learning how to cook, I decided to take on cranberry sauce on my own. How hard could it be, right? Actually, it’s really easy!

There are a few different ways that you can make cranberry sauce. I often make an orange cranberry sauce, but this year I decided to mix it up with a fresh apple cranberry sauce! It’s the perfect combination of fall flavors that are not too sweet but still taste like traditional cranberry sauce.

During the holidays, the last thing that anyone wants is another labor-intensive meal that’s going to take hours in the kitchen. This cranberry sauce is anything but that! All you need is a few ingredients and about 10 minutes on the stove to prep the perfect Thanksgiving side dish. It tastes best chilled, so I recommend prepping it first, or the night before!

cranberry sauce

The Ingredients You’ll Need For the Apple Cranberry Sauce

 

Fresh cranberries

This is the time to get fresh cranberries! You can buy these at most grocery stores this time of year. However if you can’t find it, you can sub frozen… just make sure to adjust the liquid if needed.

Granny Smith apple

Granny Smith is what I think tastes best in this recipe, but other apples work as well.

Maple syrup

Rather than using sugar, we’re using maple syrup to get the added touch of sweetness. Both the cranberries and the granny smith apple are tart, so I wouldn’t skip this ingredient.

Cinnamon

apple cranberry sauce

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Apple Cranberry Sauce (Paleo, AIP)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 3-4 servings
  • Category: Sides, Thanksgiving
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh orange zest

Instructions

  1. Combine the ingredients in a pot and stir to combine. Set to medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer until the cranberries start to pop. Continue to simmer and stir for about 8-10 minutes to allow the liquid to reduce and the bulk of the cranberries to pop.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Serve chilled.

Keywords: Thanksgiving, Cranberry sauce

paleo apple cranberry sauce

Grain Free Paleo Cornbread (AIP)

This grain-free cornbread is made without any actual corn! It’s paleo, AIP, and tastes shockingly similar to the real thing.

I love cornbread. I mean… not real cornbread. I loved the jiffy cornbread mix! You know… the one in the little blue box? Yep. That was my absolute favorite! I would eat it with a squeeze bottle of grape jelly and margarine any time of year! But of course, I always asked my mom to make it for Thanksgiving too! Cornbread is one of those things I just decided I would never be able to have again. I cannot tolerate corn, so how would I eat cornbread? This grain-free paleo cornbread is the answer to my prayers! It’s made with zero corn and is also AIP compliant.

I’ve seen recipes for paleo cornbread before that are made with almond flour… and that sounds delicious. Even though I can tolerate almonds, I wanted to make something that’s nut-free and AIP as well. Almond flour has that gritty texture that’s similar to cornmeal, so I decided to use coconut flour as my base for this bread. I like tigernut flour too, but it wouldn’t yield that light, cornbread color. Luckily, coconut flour made for a great texture in this bread!

You can serve this bread by itself as a Thanksgiving bread dish or you hold on to this recipe for later in the winter to eat it with chili, like my Instant Pot Chili or Pumpkin Chili! But honestly, I would just eat this by itself. I don’t need an excuse to make it. It’s that good.

The Ingredients You’ll Need for the Paleo Cornbread

Coconut flour

As mentioned above, coconut flour yields the best color and texture for this bread. I haven’t tried to make it coconut free, but there are paleo recipes with almond flour instead.

Arrowroot starch

You can likely substitute tapioca starch here, but I haven’t tried it myself.

Coconut milk & apple cider vinegar

Mixing the two of these gives the bread a bit of that buttermilk flavor!

Palm shortening

The shortening makes for a very cakey, bready texture that crumbles like real bread. I haven’t tried this out with coconut oil, but I doubt the texture would be quite the same.

Honey

Honey and cornbread are a classic flavor combination. All you need is 2 tbsp to get the flavor, leaving the bread not too heavy on the sugar.

Gelatin

You’ll need three gelatin eggs to make this cornbread rise. You cannot sub collagen, but you should be able to use real eggs if you tolerate it.

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Grain Free Paleo Cornbread (AIP)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp coconut oil (for greasing the pan)
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp palm shortening
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the gelatin eggs

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp gelatin (I use Vital Proteins)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line an 8×8″ baking pan with parchment paper lightly greased with coconut oil.
  2. Combine the coconut flour, arrowroot, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the palm shortening and honey until well combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Pour the mixture into the cornbread dough and combine.
  5. For the gelatin egg, add the water to a small sauce pot and slowly pour over the gelatin. You don’t want any clumps, so lightly mix if needed. Allow the mixture to rest and harden over 2-3 minutes. Place the pot on the stove and turn in on low heat. Slowly melt the gelatin and remove from heat. Vigorously whisk the gelatin egg until it becomes frothy. Add the gelatin egg to the mixture immediately and mix to combine.
  6. Spoon the dough into the baking pan and evenly spread with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and carefully transfer the bread by moving the parchment paper onto a cooling rack. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. The bread needs to set or it will be gummy if you slice it too early.
  9. Slice into 9 pieces and enjoy topped with honey, butter/ghee (if tolerated) or jam!

 

 

 

 

The Best Nightshade Free Marinara Sauce (AIP, Instant Pot)

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This nomato sauce is a nightshade-free marinara sauce that’s made without tomatoes! It’s AIP compliant, as well as Whole30, Paleo, and sugar-free.

If you were to ask me what my favorite food was when I was a kid, I probably would’ve said pizza and pasta. I mean, can you blame me? Who doesn’t love pizza? I grew up in New York in a Jewish/Italian American family, and my dad always used to joke that spaghetti sauce ran through the veins, and thus, mine.

That’s why my heart completely dropped when I first came to terms with my nightshade intolerance at 20 years old. No ketchup? No Caprese salad? No pizza?! Even gluten-free pizza?? Yes, white pizza exists, but no tomatoes, no pizza in my book. I thought that tomatoes were my best friend, but in reality, they were flaring my gut issues and Hashimoto’s symptoms, and my body just didn’t jive with them.

I went about nine months being nightshade free before I was eventually able to discover the glory of nomato sauce. Wait, what? What the heck is nomato sauce? It’s a veggie-rich sauce made to taste like tomato sauce, but without the tomatoes. SCORE. I’ll never forget the first time I had nomato sauce after being nightshade free for 9 months! life changing as a nightshade-free Italian food lover to see the rich red sauce on your wooden spoon, smell the basil and taste all of the nostalgic flavors all over again.

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of nomato sauce, and in doing so I have perfected my dream nomato sauce! It’s just the right flavor, consistency, and it’s made quickly and easily in the Instant Pot. You’re seriously about 20 minutes away from having nightshade free tomato sauce right now.

The Best Nightshade Free Marinara Sauce

The Ingredients You’ll Need For the Nightshade Free Marinara Sauce

Carrots

Carrots are the main veggie in this dish. They have a pretty neutral flavor and their color adds some of the red tint to the sauce.

Beets

This is the main veggie in the sauce that gives it its red color. I know some people don’t love beets, but really

Onion and garlic

These add a ton of flavor to the sauce. Technically, you can leave out the garlic, but you’ll miss a lot of the flavor.

Celery

Another crucial vegetable in this sauce.

Basil, parsley, and oregano

Lemon juice

Lemon juice adds that acidity that tomatoes naturally have without being overly vinegary. I just don’t love the taste of apple cider vinegar in nomato sauce, but you can use that as well.

 

The Appliances

 

The Instant Pot

If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, I highly recommend it. It’s a safer pressure cooker that also has a slow cooker function, steam function, satuee function, and more. It’s saved me hours in the kitchen and can cook pretty much anything. I’ve included instructions to make this without an instant pot. However, it will more than double the cooking time, so seriously… this thing is life changing.

Vitamix

The Vitamix is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. It just blends so well, and the damper insert is perfect for making chunky sauces like this nice and smooth. You can use other high speed blenders as well!

 

Some things to consider…

 

I would not make any swaps rather than what may be noted in the section above.

All of the ingredients listed should be used as is to get a great product.

Your flavor will often vary depending on the veggies you have at the time.

Something that I’ve learned from cooking with real food ingredients (especially vegetables) is that you don’t get that identical product like you would with processed food. The flavor of every carrot is going to be a little bit different, some beets are stronger than others, and sometimes your basil is a bit milder… that’s okay! I’m used to my nomato sauce always tasting just a tad different depending on the ingredients, the season, etc. so if it doesn’t taste identical each time, that doesn’t mean you did anything wrong!

What to pair this sauce with…

 

Compliant pasta

If you’re AIP, pair this sauce with spaghetti squash or zoodles! If you’re not AIP and can tolerate something like rice pasta or chickpea pasta (which are pictured in the picture above) go for it!

The following AIP recipes…

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AIP Nightshade Free Marinara Sauce


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 6 cups
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Italain

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (sub avocado oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups celery (about 4 stalks), chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup beet, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to the base of the instant pot and set to saute.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic for 2 minutes, before adding in the carrots, beets and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Press cancel to turn off the saute function.
  3. Pour in the water and lemon juice and add the seasonings. Stir to combine.
  4. Lock the lid onto the instant pot and flip the the pressure release valve to closed. Press “manual” (it will default to high pressure” and use the “+” button to set the time to 14 minutes. Allow the instant pot to come to pressure and the sauce to cook.
  5. Once the sauce has finished, carefully release the pressure valve. Once depressurized, remove the lid and allow for the sauce to cool before blending it in a Vitamix or high speed blender until smooth.
  6. Season further to taste and enjoy!

Notes

  1. To adapt for the stove, use a large, deep sauce pot to saute the garlic and onion on low heat in olive oil until softened. Add the remainder of the veggies and saute for a few minutes. Add about 1-1.5 cups of water to the pot (just enough to cover the veggies) along with the herbs and bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes or until the veggies are completely softened.  Allow to cool. Pour off some of the water if a thicker sauce is desired. Combine all of the of the veggies and seasonings with the lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. The pasta in the background of the pictures is GF chickpea pasta, and is not AIP or paleo. See suggestions above for more options for what to pair this sauce with.
  3. All nutrition information is an estimation and will vary.