Chicken Biryani – Paleo, Whole 30, Keto, AIP

Biryani (also known as biriyani or biriani) is a traditional Indian dish that consists of curry powder, veggies, meat, egg, yogurt, dried fruits and rice. Its a recipe that is easily customized to a Paleo lifestyle by slightly altering some of the ingredients. *For AIP, Whole 30 and Keto: Follow the specially noted directions in the recipe below.*

chicken biryani biriyani paleo indian Continue reading “Chicken Biryani – Paleo, Whole 30, Keto, AIP”

Homemade Uncured Bacon – AIP, Paleo, Whole 30

Do you love Paleo and Whole 30 bacon? Meeeeee too! Do you love it’s price? Me neither!

Homemade Uncured Bacon

I’ve seen truly all-natural, pastured raised, honey sweetened, celery-cured bacon sell in the price range upwards of $14/lb. Now, if I only nibbled on a few bacon bits every once in a Sunday, that would be feasible.  But, I’m a bacon wh*re. And I need a bacon safety cushion ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Know what I’m sayin’? I’ve gotta have some in the fridge or the freezer, raw or cooked, at all times else I panic and feel sort of sad that I’m living in a baconless home. Continue reading “Homemade Uncured Bacon – AIP, Paleo, Whole 30”

Georgia Peach Skillet Chicken – AIP, Paleo, Whole 30

Well ain’t she a peach? (The chicken, that is.)

A good seventeen years ago, a good friend of mine introduced me to a little culinary delight known as “Apricot Chicken.” Basically, you mix a jar of sugary apricot jelly with a bottle of Russian or French dressing, stir in a packet of dehydrated onion soup mix, then dump the whole thang over chicken pieces and bake it. Tangy. Sweet. Salty. Delicious. Chemical sh*t storm.

Georgia peach skillet chicken

This old housewife favorite is long overdue for a makeover. But the makeover shouldn’t involve: slaving over a stove to make jam from scratch, then blending a dressing from scratch, then chopping up a bunch of onions and caramelizing them. I mean, if you really wanted to you could do alla that, and it would be quite delicious! That hard-kitchen-labor just isn’t exactly my style anymore, so I thought you’d appreciate this low-hassle, Paleo-fied version of ye olde Apricot Chicken as much as I do. 🙂 Continue reading “Georgia Peach Skillet Chicken – AIP, Paleo, Whole 30”

Surf & Turf Scampi Lettuce Cups – AIP, Low-FODMAP

(9/24 ***I’m currently having issues with my recipe cards. I promise I’ll have that up as soon as the program is up and running again!***)

Shrimp Scampi and Garlic Steak. Who says they only need to go with a baked tater and a house salad?

Let’s combine the two succulent proteins, and pile them high on top of cool, crisp romaine hearts. And just to show off, we’re gonna sorta smother everything with creamy herbed honey vinaigrette. 

surf turf scampi lettuce cups

This recipe is friendly for Paleo, AIP, Low-FODMAP, Whole 30, GAPS and SCD! Just follow the noted modifications for your particular diet. Continue reading “Surf & Turf Scampi Lettuce Cups – AIP, Low-FODMAP”

Tigernut Milk – Homemade, AIP, Paleo

Today’s recipe focuses on the sweet and deliciously creamy milk that can be made from the miniature tuber, the tigernut.   The mild flavored creamy concoction, can be drank all by its lonesome, or used in place of dairy milk or nut milks in your favorite recipes.  I intend to make a delicious custard with it in the days to come, as well as try it over coconut flake “cereal,” and even in my smoothies, sauces and soups!  I am in love with the stuff, folks.
tigernut tiger nut milk aip paleo 3

The tigernut’s popularity is steadily growing within the paleo community, and for good reason.  Apparently, the tigernut could have made up to 80% of the paleolithic diet, but this a debatable topic still.  What we DO know is that current-day paleoliths rather enjoy noshing on tigernuts!  We like them whole as a crunchy nut-like snack, sliced as a topping on yogurt or casseroles, and even ground up to be used as a flour substitute in baking.

This is the brand I use. (affiliate link)

Making your own tigernut milk from scratch ensures you’re only getting two ingredients: tigernuts (aka chufa seeds) and water. That’s it. 

Continue reading “Tigernut Milk – Homemade, AIP, Paleo”

DIY Additive-free Monk Fruit Liquid Sweetener – Paleo, Keto, Low carb

Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, is a miraculous fruit hailing from China.  Named after the Buddhist monks who cultivated it, it is treasured for its super sweet flavor and potential health benefits.  Its calorie-free sweetness is appreciated by some in the paleo community, as well as in diets that reduce sugar such as: ketogenic, diabetic, low carb and HCG.

diy monk fruit liquid paleo sweetener

Personally, I love monk fruit extract for its ability to sweeten culinary delights with just a pinch of powder, or with drops of homemade liquid.  The best part about it is there is no strange chemical or overpowering aftertaste.  You know how stevia can get ya in the back of the throat? Gaggggg.  (If you really do like stevia, though, you will LOVE this stuff. No gag, SRSLY.)  It really tastes…well, just SWEET!  I do feel that I taste the sweetness more toward the back of my tongue than toward the front (where I taste real sugars), and this can take a little bit of getting used to for monk fruit beginners.

When purchasing monk fruit extract, be sure to steer clear of blends that contain non-Paleo and gut-harming ingredients.  Some of the major brands contain ingredients such as: Continue reading “DIY Additive-free Monk Fruit Liquid Sweetener – Paleo, Keto, Low carb”

Safflower Petal Chicken – AIP, Paleo, Whole 30

safflower petal chicken aip paleo whole 30 1Safflower petals are a delicately floral and mildly earthy tasting gem of a seasoning that I keep around for those days when I need to give my taste buds a little jump start away from the ordinary.  Safflower, aka Azafran and even Poor Man’s Saffron, is a “spice” made up of bajillions of dainty little thistle-like petals. It closely resembles the much more costly saffron in color and appearance, but is said to resemble the flavor of saffron not so much. I honestly have not tasted saffron since culinary school, which was many scores ago, and I cannot remember for the likes of me what it tasted like!  Me thinks I will have to remedy this soon…so I know what I’m talkin’ ’bout.

safflower petal chicken aip paleo whole 30
Saffron (pictured here) looks a lot like the more frugal seasoning, safflower petals.

Safflower is used in natural food coloring. It will give your culinary creations a nice yellowish-orange color, similar to the abilities of turmeric.  Textile silks and cosmetics have also been known to tote the dying abilities of safflower petals.  A flavorful tea can also be brewed using the flower.  Apparently, there may be some health benefits related to safflower petal consumption and diabetes, dementia, tumors, and female health, but these claims need to be further researched.

(Safflower petals should not be confused with commercial safflower seed oil, which is inflammatory and neither a primal nor healthful food.)

Now, let’s get down to chicken, shall we? Continue reading “Safflower Petal Chicken – AIP, Paleo, Whole 30”

Raw & Easy Paleo Pickles – AIP, Low-FODMAP, Non-Fermented

(Guess what? Prepping this batch of pickles to brine will take less time than it will take you to read this post. Pinky swear!)

easy raw aip paleo pickles

These pickles are definitely a staple in my kitchen.  Their crunchy scrumptiousness makes for a great relish to put in tuna salad or deviled egg salad when whizzed up in a mini food processor.  After they’ve been pickled I like to slice them in rounds for hamburger dilly toppers, or slice in quarters for dill spears.  The best way is right out of the mason jar, though! Crunch!

The pickles were noticeably tart after 3 days in the fridge but still not pickled all the way through to the center.  I found they were best after soaking in the brine after a full week.

easy raw aip paleo pickles 2

Making your own pickles is a great way to control the ingredients so that you know exactly what you’re snacking on. Take a looksie at the label of pretty much any organic or truly natural jar of pickles you pick up at the grocery store and you’ll be bound to find that they include virtually the same ingredients:

  • Vinegar
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Sugar

In addition to those guys above, there are a plethora of not-so-natural brands of pickles which tend to have some pretty creepy-sounding ingredients:

  • Citric acid
  • Corn syrup
  • High fructose corn sweetener
  • Alum
  • Calcium chloride
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Potassium sorbate
  • Yellow #5
  • Polysorbate 80
  • Natural flavoring

If you’re anything like me, I like to enjoy my food with as few unnecessary ingredients as possible, and I do not want to eat any chemicals or additives on a regular basis.

More often than not, I find that even Paleo-friendly convenience foods have ingredients in them that I personally cannot tolerate.

easy raw aip paleo pickles 10

Let me get started with the type of vinegar used in most commercial pickles, organic/natural or not. Distilled white vinegar, aka spirit vinegar, lays on the border of the Paleo/Not-so-Paleo scale. This type of vinegar is almost always produced from grain. Although the distillation process is thought to remove the dangerous parts of the grain (gluten, phytic acid), some people prefer to abstain from grain-based products in any form.  I am one of these people for sure!  

See: “Is White Vinegar Paleo?”

I prefer to use good ol’ apple cider vinegar as the base for most of my brines and sauces. It’s neutral flavor, cost-effectiveness (I can pick up a half-gallon of the good organic stuff at Costco for under $5), and health benefits have me sold as a replacement to ingesting plain’ ol’ white vinegar. (I will, on the other hand, happily use it for cleaning purposes.)

For info about other vinegars on a Paleo diet, see: “What About Vinegar?”

easy raw aip paleo pickles 11

As you may know, spices on an elimination diet are pretty much thin-pickin’s. The AIP omits many of the seasonings used in commercially produced pickles. Some of the common ones you will find swimming at the bottom of the jar are peppercorns, allspice, chiles and mustard seeds. You may not actually be consuming the spice ITSELF, but if you’re in the process of healing your gut lining even just the infusion of these properties can irritate your belly and set back your progress.  With homemade pickles, I generally use AIP-friendly seasonings like garlic, dill, clove and ginger.

Now we have the issue of salt. Obviously the higher quality of every ingredient you put into a concoction, the higher quality the concoction will be as a whole. Processed pickles quite often contain a cheaper version of salt (think table salt or kosher salt). This version uses pink salt, my uber fave because MINERALS and because PINK! I alternate between using Himalayan and Utah Real Salt. Either one will do you right.

Lastly, we’re looking at you, sugar. To our bodies, sugar is sugar is sugar in terms of inflammation and insulin spikes. BUT if you are sparse with your amounts and you use higher quality versions of sweetener in your diet, my opinion is that a little bit can be a part of a Paleo diet. My favorite AIP-friendly sweetener is raw honey, my go-to ketogenic / low carb sweetener is monk fruit powder (recipe coming soon for corn-free monk fruit “extract” drops!). Another primal honorable mention with a lower glycemic index than honey is the earthy and delicious coconut nectar.

See: “Is Monk Fruit Paleo?”

easy raw aip paleo pickles 4

I’m grateful that we have a variety of high quality ingredients available these days to transform our favorite convenience foods into homemade healing powerhouses.   Lately I’ve been experimenting with recipes for ketchup, BBQ sauce, dressings, and even more varieties of pickles like beets and carrots. (All recipes will be coming to the blog!) 

easy raw aip paleo pickles 5

I like that they don’t require cooking or fermenting.  Cooking can tend to make them rubbery, and fermenting is prone to yeast growth.  Yeasty foods have a tendency to be harmful rather than helpful for those of us recovering from SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).  These pickles are better for patients following a low-FODMAP diet, as long as the ingredients you put into the brine are compliant with your diet.

easy raw aip paleo pickles 9

I also experimented with re-using the brine.  If you pour a little bit of brine out and add back in some extra vinegar / acidity, your pickles should do just fine with one more go-round.  I don’t recommend reusing the brine more than once, though, due to potential non-beneficial-bacterial growth.

Feeling adventurous? Try out different vinegars, spices and herbs.  Use different sweeteners and flavored salts to zest up your pickle jar. 

Do you have a favorite blend that is your go-to?  Tell me in the comments below if you have a favorite brine combo that you love!

Check out this recipe, and other delicious AIP recipes at Phoenix Helix's Recipe Roundtable!
Check out this recipe, and other delicious AIP recipes at Phoenix Helix’s Recipe Roundtable!

Raw & Easy Paleo Pickles -AIP, Low-FODMAP, Keto
Making your own tangy, crisp refrigerator pickles is easier than trying to find a truly Paleo version at the supermarket. I like to make two different flavors at a time so I have an option between sweet and sour.
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
  2. 32 oz wide mouth mason jar, sterilized
  3. 1 lb small pickling cucumbers, whole (should be about 3" to 4" long and about 2" wide or smaller for best results)
  4. 1 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar
  5. 1/2 tsp Dill, dried -or- 1 Tb fresh
  6. 1 Tb pink salt
  7. 1/8 tsp Garlic powder *OMIT FOR LOW-FODMAP* or- 2 crushed fresh garlic cloves
  8. Water
  9. ----------------------------
  11. 32 oz wide mouth mason jar, sterilized
  12. 1 lb small pickling cucumbers, whole (should be about 3" to 4" long and about 2" wide or smaller for best results)
  13. 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
  14. 1/2 cup Lemon juice
  15. 1 tsp pink salt
  17. 1/4 tsp Onion powder *OMIT FOR LOW-FODMAP*
  18. 1/8 tsp Garlic powder *OMIT FOR LOW-FODMAP*
  19. Water
  1. Add cucumbers to the jars.
  2. Pour in vinegar next, then add in remaining ingredients.
  3. Fill to 2" from the top with water.
  4. Screw the lid on tightly, then shake it all up very well until everything is well distributed and salt is dissolved.
  5. Taste brine to see if you would like to adjust salt or seasonings.
  6. Store in the refrigerator, and allow to brine for approximately a week.
  1. For a more tart pickle, you can fill the jar with entirely vinegar, or to reduce the acidity use a weaker ratio of vinegar to water.
  2. After brining is complete, enjoy whole, sliced, quartered, or whizzed in the food processor for fresh relish.
The Unskilled Cavewoman
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Samantha Meets her IgA Deficiency Diagnosis

This post was originally titled, “I am Un-Diagnosed. And That’s OK, for Now” but things have changed since I first started writing this in June!

Blood tests. Breath tests. Physicals. MRI’s. Psychiatrists and counselors. More blood tests. Repeat visits to different physicians. (To name a few methods of seeking answers.)

Steroid tablets and shots and creams. Proton pump inhibitors. Pain medication. Anti-depressants. Sleep aid prescriptions. Mood stabilizers. Anxiety pills. (To name a few treatments offered.)

autoimmune disease natural treatment drugs prescriptions testing

The only mention of diet by medical practitioners in these 17 years of repeat (and unsuccessful in the end) treatments was to eat “a low fat diet.” And recently a doctor explained to me what a gluten-free diet was (mind you, after I had already explained to him that I have been on a gluten-free diet, including grain-free, for a while now.) With my visit, I had brought in my copy of The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballantyne to show him the Autoimmune Protocol and let him know I was preparing to take on the lifestyle. (This invoked no words from him. *le sigh*)

samantha meets her iga deficiency diagnosis Continue reading “Samantha Meets her IgA Deficiency Diagnosis”

Apple, Pear & Plantain Cobbler – AIP, Paleo, Gluten Free

Oh me, oh my.  Apple, pear and plantain cobbler pie. (Does that count as a poem?  I’m counting it as one.  My brain fog says its a poem, dognabbit.)

apple pear plantain cobbler aip paleo gluten grain free

Speaking of brain fog, the last few weeks have been pretty crazy.  I mean, I went on my first airplane-included vacation since going AIP!  Prepping for that, then the actual travel, and the recovery afterward…whewwww.  It was definitely a manageable trip, don’t get me wrong.  I pre-planned and then planned some more so that the trip would not make me more sick, and I plan to concoct a post about some tips and hints for taking your chronic illness with you on vacation.  

apple pear plantain cobbler aip paleo gluten grain free Continue reading “Apple, Pear & Plantain Cobbler – AIP, Paleo, Gluten Free”