Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Bacon Maple Salmon & "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)

Bacon Maple Salmon & "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)

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. 

UPDATE: the giveaway is now CLOSED! Thanks to all who entered :)

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: 

Mexican Night + "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
Dinner 1
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.

Stuffed Mushrooms, Bacon Sauteed Asparagus, "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)

Stuffed Mushrooms, Bacon Sauteed Asparagus, "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
Dinner 2
Stuffed Mushrooms
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 w/ Egg-free Mayo, & "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
Lunch 1
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, Bacon & Cranberry Brussels Sprouts, "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes, Bacon & Cranberry Brussels Sprouts, Maple Bacon Salmon,  "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
Dinner 3
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, Breakfast Sausage, Sweet Potato Hash Browns,"He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
Tropical Green Smoothie
Breakfast Sausage
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, "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
Dinner 4
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. 

While 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.

Blackberry Cobbler, "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
Blackberry Cobbler

The cobbler was a great not-too-sweet dessert that still really satisfied.  I did use frozen berries, so it was perhaps a bit juicier, but still fantastic. I even ate some leftover cobbler for breakfast the following day.... Would love to use the cobbler topping with a variety of other in-season fruits too? Especially peaches.

Snickerdoodles, "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)

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, "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
 Banana Bread Bars with Dairy-Free Butter: 

Loved the concept of baking in the 9x13 pan & cutting into “slices.” Genius! Also, this recipe does not rely on gelatin eggs, making it also a good vegan recipe too. The only draw back to the 9x13 pan is that there are not as many servings. Oh well, next time, I’ll make a double batch! I grew up eating banana bread spread with margarine, so I couldn’t resist spreading a little dairy-free butter on top of one slice, though honestly, I probably prefer the bread on it’s own.

Coconut Cream Pie, "He Won't Know It's Paleo" review + Giveaway (AIP & Paleo)
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
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 
  1. 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.  
  2. In the morning, preheat the oven to 425 F. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Lay two halves of bacon slices lengthwise on top of each fillet. Sprinkle all the filets evenly with the sage. 
  5. 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 sage because I didn’t have dried
  • Because I made the salmon for dinner instead of breakfast, I started the marinating the process mid-morning. 

Note: this post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Sweet Treats.


  1. These recipes are so awesome! I truly hope I get the e-book. I'm currently unemployed and in desperate need of new recipes. I'm paleoaipchick on instagram. I have been dreaming of her coconut pie and strawberry cake...

  2. I would love a copy of this book! The recipes look delicious.

  3. Everything looks delish!! Would love to win this book!

  4. This cookbook has been on my wishlist since it came out! Everything you made looks amazing! Thanks for the chance to win it!

  5. Thank you for this wonderful review and chance to win!

  6. Beautiful pictures of scrumptious food. Thanks for the opportunity to enter. I always enjoy reading your blog posts!

  7. I was just checking this book out this week. It looks wonderfully delicious. Thanks for the chance at winning an e-copy.

  8. I was going to say that Dinner 2 is calling my name, but then I saw Dinner 3... and those snickerdoodles! Everything looks so scrumptious. Also, love your photos!

  9. I just stumbled upon your blog and I am so glad I did! Not only did I get to find your delicious looking recipes but another AIP bloggers as well!

  10. My sister has some known autoimmune issues, and everyone here is trying to eat cleaner and healthier. Seeing how good the food and their recipes look, I'd love to try this book out. I hope to win.

  11. Recently started AIP with Angie Alt and I'm loving the amazing variety of cookbooks that have already come out. This one looks like an amazing option for me to cook for my fiancé, who is still on the SAD.

  12. Hi! Dried sage is listed in the ingredients listed for the bacon maple salmon, but then you mention dried thyme in the notes; can you please clarify which herb we're supposed to use? Thanks!

    1. Just updated the recipe. So sorry, it should have said sage, not thyme :) Thanks for catching that!

  13. What an awesome and thorough cookbook review. I can't wait to try some of your recommendations this week. I would love to win my own copy of the cookbook. I currently have a copy checked out from the library, but three other people have it on hold, so I will be returning it soon.

  14. Thank you for this great review with such beautiful and appetizing photos! I am using AIP to combat Hashimoto's and to be a good example to my daughters. I would be so thankful to win.

  15. Wow, your food photography is incredible. Hopefully that salmon will taste as good as it looks on your blog. That is an awesome idea using grade b maple syrup on the salmon! I am glad you made the distinction between normal pancake syrup and this type. I didn't know there was a difference!

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    The meaning of this is that you actually get rid of fat by consuming coconut fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from large medical magazines are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world upside down!

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