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Paleo & AIP-Friendly Foods

Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. (a.k.a. The Paleo Mom) is the blogger behind the award-winning; cohost of the syndicated top-rated The Paleo View Podcast; and author of critically-acclaimed with New York Times Bestseller The Paleo Approach and brand-new The Paleo Approach Cookbook.

Sarah earned her doctorate degree in medical biophysics at the age of 26. She spent the next four years doing research on innate immunity and inflammation before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After her second daughter was born, she began to experiment with the Paleo lifestyle. It had an amazing effect on her health, including contributing to her 120-pound weight loss! Over time, she healed herself of a long laundry list of physical complaints including: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acid reflux, migraines, anxiety, asthma, allergies, psoriasis and an autoimmune skin condition called lichen planus. Sarah successfully transitioned her originally skeptic husband and two spirited young daughters to a paleo diet and lifestyle. Her passion for providing straightforward explanations of the science behind the paleo diet and its modifications, plus her love of food and cooking and her dedication to her family form the foundations of her blog, her podcast and her books. You can also find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.



Rabbit and Wild Mushroom Stew

Recipe from The Paleo Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD

This rustic French-inspired stew uses traditional French techniques and a layering of flavors to achieve a truly remarkable result. If the rabbit does not come with giblets, you can use 2 chicken livers to thicken the stew instead.



  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 whole (2 1/2- to 3-pound) rabbit, including giblets, cut into parts
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons duck fat or lard
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound wild mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (12 to 14 sprigs)
  • 4 cups Bone Broth (chicken, page 110), divided
  • 1 cup dry white wine, dry sherry, cognac, or broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slice off the tops of the heads of garlic (but leave the heads whole) to expose the individual cloves. Drizzle with the avocado oil. Wrap loosely in aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool.
  2. Once cool, squeeze the soft roasted garlic out of the peels and set aside.
  3. Pat the rabbit dry. Reserve the liver (put it in the fridge for now). Heat 2 tablespoons of the duck fat in a medium stockpot over medium-high heat. Brown the rabbit pieces and giblets (other than the reserved liver) in batches for 3 to 4 minutes per side, adding more fat as needed to prevent the rabbit from sticking to the pan. Remove the browned pieces and set aside.
  4. Add the onion to the stockpot and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, roasted garlic, thyme, 3 1/2 cups of the chicken broth (reserving 1/2 cup), wine, and browned rabbit pieces.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt, if desired.
  6. In a blender, purée the reserved liver with the reserved 1/2 cup of broth on high speed until completely smooth. Add the puréed liver, parsley, and tarragon to the stew. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Taste one final time and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Serve.

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Eggs Benedict

Grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free and coconut-free eggs benedict?! Yes, please! This dairy-free Hollandaise sauce uses the traditional technique with lard instead of butter. Feel free to substitute grass-fed butter if you include dairy in your diet.

Eggs Benedict

Ingredients (English Muffins)

  • 1 large green plantain (about 1 cup once pureed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Peel the plantain and give it a rough chop. Place it in a blender with the egg, yeast, avocado oil and salt (if your blender has a small jar, you’ll want to use that). Blend on high until a completely smooth puree forms.
  2. Pour the batter into a bowl and let it sit in a warm corner to rise for 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Place four English muffin rings on the parchment. Lightly grease the inside of the English muffin rings with lard, coconut oil or avocado oil. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  4. Add baking soda to batter and whisk by hand just to combine. Spoon batter into the prepared English muffin rings, dividing equally.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes, until browned on top. Allow to cool slightly before popping out of the rings.

Ingredients (Dairy-Free Hollandaise Sauce)

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons of lard (1 tablespoon cold and 3 tablespoons melted)


  1. Combine egg yolk, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of cold lard in a small saucepot. Mix together vigorously.
  2. Then place the saucepot on the stovetop over low heat (if you have an electric range, preheat your burner). Stir constantly for 1-2 minutes, just until the lard is melting and the mixture is thinning out.
  3. Very slowly dribble in the melted lard, mixing constantly. It should take you 1-2 minutes to add the 3 tablespoonfuls.
  4. Remove from heat immediate and continue to stir for another minutes. Serve immediately.

Ingredients (Eggs Benedict)

  • 4 slices Canadian Bacon
  • 1/2 batch English muffins (see above)
  • 1 batch Hollandaise sauce (see above)


  1. Poach your eggs using a poaching insert. Gently grease the insert with lard or coconut oil. Crack the eggs into the wells of the poaching insert (you can also use individual silicone egg poachers). Bring water to a boil in lidded skillet. Add the poaching insert to the water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the slices of Canadian bacon by placing in a skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes per side. Gently cut down the middle of two English muffins and toast the halves in a toaster, toaster oven, or under the broiler.
  3. To assemble each eggs benedict, place a toasted English muffin halve cut-side up on your plate. Layer one slice of Canadian bacon over top. Gently transfer one poached egg onto the top of the Canadian bacon. Then pour a few spoonfuls of Hollandaise over the whole thing. Enjoy!


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Steak and Kidney Pot Pie

Recipe from The Paleo Approach Cookbook by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD

Part pot pie, part shepherd’s pie, part stew, and all flavor—you will probably be surprised by just how delicious offal can be when you try this recipe.


Ingredients (Kufu)

  • 6 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 ripe plantains (they should be mostly black), peeled and cut into 1-inch semicircles
  • 2 cups chicken broth


  1. Add the bacon to a cold skillet, then turn on the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon for 5 minutes, then add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until the bacon is crisp and the onion is soft and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place the plantains and broth in a saucepot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the plantains are tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the plantains (reserving the cooking liquid) and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the bacon mixture and all the grease from the pan and stir to incorporate. If you like a thinner mash, you can add some of the reserved cooking liquid.

Ingredients (Steak and Kidney Pot Pie)

  • 2 to 5 tablespoons tallow or lard
  • 1 pound steak (any cheaper cut) or beef stew meat, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound kidney, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 6 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or kuzu starch
  • 1 cup cold beef broth or red wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Truffle salt, to taste
  • 1 batch Kufu (above)


  1. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of the tallow in a large saucepot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the steak and kidney separately in batches. Set aside.
  2. Add the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of tallow to the pot if needed. Brown the onion slices for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrots and mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes.
  3. Return the meat to the pot. Whisk the arrowroot powder into the cold beef stock and add to the pot while stirring quickly to incorporate. Add the fish sauce and bay leaf. Simmer uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, make the kufu.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  6. Taste the steak and kidney filling and season with truffle salt as needed. Pour the filling into a 9-by-9-inch casserole dish or lasagna pan. (Alternatively, you can make this in individual 10- to 14-ounce ramekins.)
  7. Gently spread a layer of kufu over the top.
  8. Place the casserole dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, until it is bubbling around the edges and the topping has browned.

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Herbed Chicken Savory Crepes with Wild Mushroom “Cream” Sauce


Ingredients (Herbed Chicken Filling)

  • 1 1/2 pounds of chicken tenders, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2” rounds or semicircles
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2” slices
  • 3 tablespoons duck fat or lard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried or chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried or chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried or chopped fresh savory


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss all ingredients and spread on a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes during baking.

Ingredients (Wild Mushroom “Cream” Sauce)

  • 3/4 cups chicken broth or chicken gelatin
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (about 3/4 pound)
  • 8 ounces wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, lard, duck fat, or coconut oil
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Bring chicken broth to a simmer and add cauliflower. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes, until cauliflower is overcooked.
  2. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms in ghee over medium-high heat, until starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Pour cauliflower and broth into a blender and blend on high until a completely smooth puree forms. Taste and season with salt as needed.
  4. Add cauliflower puree to mushrooms in the pan. Stir and cook together for 1 minute. Serve.

Ingredients (Crepes)

  • 1 large green plantain (about 1 cup pureed)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • More extra virgin coconut oil for frying


  1. Peel the plantain, give a rough chop, and place in a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend on high until a completely smooth batter forms.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a crepe pan or omelet pan over medium to medium-high heat (or use a crepe maker).
  3. Add 1 tsp of coconut oil to the pan for each crepe (just enough that the crepe doesn’t stick, but not so much that the batter can’t spread out when you swirl the pan). Add 3-4 Tbsp of batter (you could use a 1/4 cup scoop or just eyeball it) to the pan and immediately hold the pan up over the element while you swirl/angle the pan so that the batter spreads out into a uniform circle. (If you have a crepe pan, use the spreader to spread out the batter. If you have a crepe maker, follow the directions.)
  4. Cook for 45-75 seconds on the first side, until the top looks dry. Flip and cook for 15-30 seconds on the second side. Remove from the pan.
  5. Add more coconut oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining batter. If the batter thickens while it’s sitting, just blend for 10 seconds before pouring into the pan. You should get 6-7 crepes.
  6. To assemble the Herbed Chicken Savory Crepes with Wild Mushroom “Cream” Sauce: lay a crepe on a plate. Spoon Herbed Chicken Filling in a line down the middle of the crepe. Roll the crepe around the filling. Ladle the Wild Mushroom “Cream” Sauce over the top.

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