January is the perfect month to try something new. It’s usually quiet after the holiday hubbub, and it’s easier to stick with change when just about everyone’s in resolution mode.
This January I’m setting out to eat according to a paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP). The paleo part excludes grains, dairy, legumes, white potatoes, and refined sugar. The autoimmune component excludes also potentially inflammatory foods including eggs, nuts, nightshades (tomatoes and peppers), and seeds. This includes coffee, which is a seed. (Ouch—I do love my morning coffee!)
The diet is meant to be followed for a set period, then foods are reintroduced one at a time so you can gauge their effect. My goals are to improve energy, reduce inflammation, and discover any hidden food intolerances. I also wouldn’t mind losing a little weight!
Here are ways others have suggested to make the protocol work:
- Plan out your menus.
- Eat the same breakfast every day.
- Have the same meals on the same day of each week.
- Make extra so you have leftovers for lunches and freezer meals for dinners.
- Take along snacks.
And here are some menu ideas I thought of:
- Cream of chicken soup and salad
- Spaghetti squash with meat sauce
- Oven roasted lamb chops with root vegetables
- Baked chicken with whipped cauliflower and green beans
- Bunless burgers with roasted acorn squash
- Meatloaf with roasted carrots and cabbage
- For breakfast, baked sweet potato, homemade sausage, fruit with coconut butter, hot tea
- Snacks: Dried fruit and toasted coconut chips
Watch for more recipes and progress reports.
Here is the cream of chicken soup−rich and flavorful comfort food. It’s delicious made with slow cooker chicken and chicken bone broth. Make with coconut oil to be autoimmune protocol-compliant. Use pureed cauliflower for a no-coconut no-arrowroot version.
|Paleo Cream of Chicken Soup||
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, or other oil of choice
- 2 stalks celery, finely diced
- 2 medium carrots, finely diced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup arrowroot (see Notes for no-arrowroot no-coconut version)
- 1/2 cup cool water (not needed with alternate version)
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt (less if your broth is salted)
- 3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (1 can full-fat canned or homemade; or pureed cauliflower; see Notes for alternate version)
- In a large soup pot over medium heat melt the oil. Add the celery and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add broth. If using arrowroot, place it and 1/2 cup cool water in a small bowl or jar and whisk or shake to combine. Add to pot along with parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbly and thickened (if using arrowroot).
- Reduce heat, just enough to maintain a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk (or pureed cauliflower) and chicken and heat through. This is a fairly thick soup; if you like it thinner, add more water, broth, or coconut milk and heat through. Remove bay leaf just before serving. Leftovers may be frozen.
To puree the cauliflower, place florets from two medium heads in a pot. Optionally, add a peeled and smashed garlic clove. Add water to cover and about 1/2 tablespoon salt. Boil 20 minutes or until soft. Drain away water and puree until very smooth using hand blender or other method. Yield is about 4 cups; add the entire amount to the soup.
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