I’ve never cooked so much from a cookbook before posting a review as I have with The Healing Kitchen. There’s no particular reason for why I cooked more recipes this time around, but I suspect it was partially because I’d recently gotten back the results of lab work from my doctor’s office and felt compelled to revisit the AIP. There’s also the fact that Alaena, the author of all of the recipes in The Healing Kitchen, specifically created the recipes to have simple ingredients and quick instructions. She’s got our best interests at heart, really. 🙂
I was a little extra excited to receive my copy of The Healing Kitchen because it’s the first cookbook where I’ve become friends with one of the authors prior to its release. Alaena recently moved to my city, and coincidentally, she and her husband only live a couple of miles (if that) from where my boyfriend and I live. I invited her to my monthly girls’ nights once she got into town, and we’ve done a little double date dinner action, too. So, it was really exciting to be able to say, “My new friend Alaena wrote this cookbook!” Plus, I finally was one of the “chosen bloggers” to receive a gift with my review copy. Yay! (Nerdy, I know.)
As I mentioned in the first paragraph, Alaena wrote all of the recipes in this cookbook, and Dr. Sarah Ballantyne (or, as you might know her, The Paleo Mom), wrote all of the informational sections about the Autoimmune Protocol. Sarah lives in the Atlanta area, and for a while, Alaena lived there, too, and it was around that time that they decided to collaborate on something (if I remember correctly–Alaena might tell me I’ve got it all wrong!). I don’t need to say this, if you follow Sarah’s blog or social media accounts, but she’s obviously wildly intelligent, and Alaena is wicked smart, too. She’s become my go-to local friend who can answer all of my health questions and give me advice on what to do (she was the one who recommended that I go back to the strict AIP after my less-than-desirable lab results). I mean, they’re a winning combination, really, and it shows in the cookbook.
I already own four other AIP cookbooks, plus a ton of AIP e-book cookbooks, and don’t get me wrong, but I am SUPER stoked about The Healing Kitchen. The other cookbooks are all wonderful and have tons of great recipes and information to offer, but I really feel that The Healing Kitchen is a nice little package of extremely helpful information and resources plus 175+ easy, fast recipes all tied up in a little bow for you. It’s kind of like a one-stop shop, you know what I mean? There’s not only information about what the AIP is, lists of what foods are allowed and eliminated (plus the reasons why), and recipes, but there are also fully made weekly meal plans, information on batch cooking, and guides on what recipes can be made in 30 minutes or less or that have five ingredients or less (as a couple of examples). I love the graphic a couple of paragraphs up about navigating your grocery store, because it’s just like my Grocery Shopping 101 post! The informational sections of the book are easy to read and understand (because some of the literature in this regard is very science-y or medical and, therefore, tends to be difficult to understand). Plus, Alaena lists really helpful tips in the recipes for where you can buy certain ingredients, how you can prepare food ahead of time, what other recipes would pair well with that particular recipe, and so on. It’s a gold mine, truly.
So, I know you’ve been waiting for me to talk about what recipes I’ve made from the cookbook already, so I’ll cut the chatter and get to that part. I’ve made the Beef Carnitas (twice), and I’ve made the Ham & Pineapple Pizza. I’ve also made the “Cheesy” Broccoli Soup, as well as the Creamy Bacon Scalloped Sweet Potatoes. Finally, I think the only other recipes I’ve made from it (so far) are the Mango Coconut Gummies and the Coconut-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Pineapple Dipping Sauce. We liked the pineapple dipping sauce so much that we think we’d like to put it on the ham and pineapple pizza the next time we make it! It only has a few ingredients, and it’s so tasty! Plus, the recipe makes a ton, so either save it to make when you have a lot of mouths to feed or plan to use it many different ways! 🙂
The recipe I’ve decided to share with you is actually part of a larger collection of recipes that Sarah and Alaena gave permission to share. They gave permission to share the Pesto Chicken Pizza and Pronto Pesto, as well, but as I didn’t make that particular pizza, I only want to share the crust recipe. This is because I’m SO AMAZED at what an awesome crust it is for being gluten, grain, and egg-free. I haven’t really tried a lot of homemade crusts since going Paleo, but some of the ones I have tried haven’t held up at all. You can actually pick up slices of pizza made with this crust, and they won’t fall apart or break! It’s such an impressive recipe, and I know it will help many of you who follow the Autoimmune Protocol, for example, to feel “normal” again. The recipe is Paleo, AIP, and vegan-friendly, and it’s pretty freaking awesome. So you should go make it. Like, yesterday. 🙂 Enjoy!
- 2/3 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or truffle salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup warm water
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Slowly pour in the olive oil, continuously stirring the mixture as you pour. Mix in the warm water thoroughly. The dough will be slightly crumbly, but once you roll it out in Step 3, it will bind together well.
- Place the dough on the prepared cookie sheet or pizza pan. Lay another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and use your hands or a rolling pin to smooth the dough into a crust about 1/4 inch thick. You may roll it into the desired shape, such as a circle, oval, or rectangle.
- Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until light golden brown and crisp. Use immediately in one of our pizza recipes, or let cool and store as directed.
Recipe shared with the permission of Alaena Haber and Dr. Sarah Ballantyne.
*Note that I doubled the recipe for the crust I photographed, so a single batch of dough will be about half as large.