Full disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in e-book format, but I liked it so much that I’ve already purchased a print copy for my mom to use in her AIP journey. This post may also contain affiliate links, meaning I will receive a small amount of compensation for any items purchased via those links. All opinions are my own & I wouldn’t recommend a book or product I didn’t personally use or love.
I’ve also been given an extra copy of the e-book to give to one of my readers!
Check the bottom of the post for additional details.
The past week, I’ve felt a bit like Julie from Julie & Julia, the woman who cooked her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now, I didn’t cook my way through an entire cookbook, but I did spend nearly a week making most all of our meals from the newest AIP Cookbook He Won't Know It's Paleo by Bre’anna Emmitt. I don’t normally cook as much from cookbooks or recipes anymore. I often am developing my own recipes & just winging it & hopping for the best (note: this winging it technique really does *not* work for AIP baked goods.... Trust me, I’ve tried...). But it was very refreshing to have all the recipes done for me.
I “know” Bre’anna through social media interactions & I’ve been excitedly awaiting this cookbook. It absolutely did not disappoint! The e-book itself is beautiful. As I sat down with my iPad and a notebook to mark which recipes I wanted to make & develop a meal plan/grocery list, I had a really hard time narrowing down what to recipes to make because everything looked so tasty! I appreciate how approachable all of the recipes are. They use a variety of ingredients that are both very tasty & good for you, but they aren’t too fussy or complex. And there’s enough diversity that a person isn’t constantly relying on the same proteins or veggies. One note, we did find the portion sizes/recipe yields on a few of the recipes to be a bit small, but that could also be because we tend to eat a pretty high volume of food these days.
As a whole, I definitely believe this book lives up to its name. All the recipes we tried could definitely be served to non-AIP/Paleo people and I don’t think they would feel deprived at all! We certainly weren’t. Here’s what we ate:
Nightshade free red salsa
Stacked Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
I’ve been sorely missing salsa & Mexican foods. I really didn’t think I’d ever be able to eat salsa again (nightshades and I are really, really not friends...) While we enjoyed both the queso & the salsa, the salsa was the big star! I was almost immediately lamenting the fact that I didn’t have ingredients to make a second batch, since we, you know, ate almost the entire batch in one sitting (oops!). We also liked the enchiladas with the salsa on top. I thought there was very little chance I would ever be able to eat anything remotely resembling Mexican food, so I’m greatly thankful to Bre’anna for developing these genius recipes.
Bacon sautéed Asparagus
Peach braised short ribs/beef shanks
I was not prepared for how wonderful the mushrooms were! Delicious! They’d be a great item to take to a party. Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies & paring it with bacon is a terrific match. Loved the peach braising liquid too--such a nice break from the braises I’ve done with either wine or broth. Peach added a nice tang. I did have to make a couple substitutions in this recipe: I used beef shanks in place of the short ribs because I couldn’t find grass-fed short ribs. I also don’t have a working crock pot at the moment, so I used a Le Creuset dutch oven & baked the entire mixture at 300 for 4 hours, which may have been a bit much as they all fell a part. At least that meant they were very tender. Next time, I’ll bake them for a little less time. Also, the leftovers were fantastic!
Chicken Salad using Egg-free Mayo
While the book does include a chicken salad recipe, I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients on hand. Instead, I made my own version, still inspired by Bre’anna’s recipe, using her egg-free mayo recipe, plus diced apple, celery, scallions, and apple juice sweetened craisins. Mayo is a hard condiment to replicate, especially when eggs are not allowed, but I think her egg-free recipe comes as close as one can get while still remaining fully AIP compliant.
Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Cranberries
Maple Bacon Salmon
The salmon was fantastic! Technically, it comes from the “breakfast” category of the book, but we loved it for dinner too. I usually roast brussels & was a bit skeptical about sautéing them, but they turned out great too. I found apple juice sweetened cranberries at Whole Foods last fall & used them in the recipe. I tried using three different varieties of sweet potatoes in the scalloped sweet, but may just stick to white ones in the future. My husband saw the spread of all the food when I was photographing it and he was like “oh wow! Do we get to eat this for dinner tonight?” We also enjoyed eating the leftovers for future meals.
Tropical Green Smoothie
Sweet Potato Hash Browns (we used Hannah variety white sweet potatoes)
My husband and I prepared this brunch feast together on a Saturday morning. It was nice to mix it up from our normal routine of breakfast hash. Ironically, I’d never made sausage before, but it was so easy (and tasty) that I foresee making it often in the future. To ensure we got some veggies & fruit with our meat and carbs, we split some of the tropical green smoothie. It was a well balanced, satisfying, tasty brunch that fueled us through until much later in the day.
Red Wine & Shallot Bison Burgers
On Saturday nights, we’ve developed a tradition of cooking dinner together & renting a movie to watch as a sort of pseudo “date-night.” These bison burgers were perfect date-night food. Their hint of red wine flavor made them feel more special than a regular burger. I toped them with shallots that I fried in palm oil & a simple arugula salad. We ate dinner off our fine china, just for fun :) Husband indulged in a glass of red wine with his meal (hey, the bottle was already open from making the burgers), and I chose a glass of blood orange kombucha.
TreatsWhile we loved all the meals from this book, we also really, really loved the treats! My will power around treats has vastly improved since going AIP last spring, but I do know that I shouldn’t make so many treats in such a short amount of time because I am very likely going to eat more of them than I ought to :) But that is also a testament to their deliciousness.
I loooove snickerdoodles & all my self-control leaves around them (especially since they are bite sized). They were a little soft the first day, but were much more firm the following morning. Definitely a keeper recipe.
Banana Bread Bars with Dairy-Free Butter:
Coconut Cream Pie with Graham Pie Crust
This is probably my favorite AIP dessert recipe of anything that I’ve tried! It tasted so NORMAL--very similar to regular coconut cream pie. The filling was positively AMAZING!! I had some leftover that didn’t fit in my pie shell & I kept sneaking bites of it out of the refrigerator. I topped ours with my coconut whipped cream & a sprinkle of toasted coconut. I fully intend to make this pie again for our anniversary in May, where in remembrance of our coconut wedding cake, we always eat coconut desserts :)
Bre’anna has graciously allowed me to share the Bacon Maple Salmon recipe & she’s also given me a copy of the e-book for one my readers. To enter the giveaway, simply like Sweet Treats on Facebook and my Instagram feed & leave a comment on this post. The winner will be announced on Monday, March 30th! May the odds be ever in your favor!
Bacon Maple Salmon
recipe by Bre’anna Emmitt
re-published, with permission, from He Won't Know It's Paleo
Yield: 4 servings
4 salmon filets
2 Tbl Maple Syrup
2 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp Dried Rubbed Sage
4 slices bacon, each torn into two pieces
- The night before serving, place salmon filets, maple syrup, and balsamic vinegar in a sealed container in the refrigerator to marinate. Gently shake to mix liquid and coat salmon.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 425 F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the salmon filets on a baking sheet. if not marinated, Mix the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a small dish. Brush or drizzle onto the salmon filets.
- Lay two halves of bacon slices lengthwise on top of each fillet. Sprinkle all the filets evenly with the sage.
- Place the baking sheet in the third of the oven closest to the heat sources and bake for 15 minutes until the center of the salmon is flaky and opaque. Serve hot.
Notes from Laura:
- Use wild-caught salmon whenever possible
- Use Grade B, real maple syrup, NOT pancake syrup
- I substituted fresh thyme because I didn’t have dried
- Because I made the salmon for dinner instead of breakfast, I started the marinating the process mid-morning.
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