After my Autoimmune Protocol reset, which I began in July, I was a little more selective in my reintroduction process decisions than I was during my initial AIP adventure. It is perfectly normal to wait longer than 30 days to reintroduce foods, but since I was also combining AIP with low FODMAP diet, I was concerned that perhaps my diet was too limited for longterm health. Remember, neither AIP nor low FODMAP diets are meant to be followed forever. Sure, elimination diets are really important for the process of figuring out things your body may or may not tolerate, but once you experience elimination of symptoms & gut healing, it is a good idea to add back items as your body allows. Not only can it increase your nutrient sources, more variety can have a profound psychological effect & make going out to eat or socializing with friends much easier.
For this second round of reintroductions, egg yolks and green beans were the first two items I decided to reintroduce. Why did I chose egg yolks? (We’ll leave the discussion of green beans for a future post) Egg yolks are really nutrient dense, full of good fat-soluble vitamins and a plethora of minerals. Plus eggs are a great source of choline, which is something my integrative doctor discovered I’m deficient in. Choline is also important for methylation, and because I am heterozygus for a couple of the MTHFR gene mutations, I just happen to need some extra help with methylation. Sorry if I just went way, way too technical, but I believe it is important to concentrate on nutrient density and the “whys.”
For actually incorporating the yolks into my diet, making a paleo-ified carbonara has been my go-to dish. Plus, who doesn’t love a meal that reminiscent of pasta! Traditional carbonara features and egg yolks, cheese (usually parmigiano-oregiano, or pecorino romano), bacon or pancetta, and pasta. To keep things within paleo parameters & my personal food sensitivities, I used pastured, soy-free egg yolks, omitted the cheese, kept the bacon & substituted cooked spaghetti squash for the pasta noodles. In addition, because I’m all about adding nutrient density wherever possible, I added some chopped scallion (green parts only, to keep it low FODMAP), chicken thighs (for protein), and flat-leaf parsley. We’ve enjoyed this dish so much that I’ve made it almost weekly.
If you’re interested in more information about the AIP reintroduction process, this reintroduction guide from Eileen at Phoenix Helix is a great resource. Eileen’s podcast “The Phoneix Helix Podcast” also has an episode about reintroductions. Or Sarah Ballantyne has written about the process in her book, The Paleo Approach, and in this article.
Spaghetti Squash Carbonara
yields two generous servings
4 strips Bacon
4 medium chicken thighs, organic/pastured preferred
60 g (approximately 1 1/3 c) Chopped Scallions, just the green parts if you’re watching FODMAPs
380 g (approximately 2 3/4 c) Cooked Spaghetti Squash (see notes below)
3 ea Egg Yolks, pastured & soy free preferred, separated while still cold
4 Tbl Coconut Milk
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbl Chopped Parsley
- In a large skillet (cast-iron preferred), fry bacon over medium heat. If not using a cast iron skillet, use a little bit of oil in the bottom of the pan, as needed. Set aside.
- Cook the chicken thighs over medium heat in residual bacon grease. Chicken takes approximately 10 minutes on medium heat, or until reaches an internal temp of 160 F. Set aside to cool slightly & then cut the chicken in to cubes.
- In the same skillet, briefly sauté the scallion. Add the spaghetti squash & garlic oil. Add some additional olive oil (or other fat of choice) if the ingredients begin to stick.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks, & coconut milk.
- Pour the yolks/milk into the skillet, over the scallion & spaghetti squash. Stir constantly & continue cooking for a minute or two, until the squash begins to absorb some of the sauce--we’re not trying to make scrambled eggs.
- Remove from the heat. Add half of the bacon, cubed chicken & parsley. Toss together to combine.
- Divide between two plates & add the remaining bacon, chicken & parsley.
- Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
- To cook the spaghetti squash for this recipe, I prefer to use my Instant Pot.
- Alternately, you can also cook the squash in an oven or in a microwave (note: black pepper is not AIP)
- For longer strands of spaghetti squash, check out this ingenious tutorial!!
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