Y’all I’m in mourning. Seriously, I think I should wear black and play somber music as I clean out my pantry and refrigerator. I will miss my amazing and spicy seasonings, the delicious nightshade family, nuts, eggs, dairy, grains, and legumes. My fellow Italian descents will wonder what in the world is left when you take away tomato, pasta, bell peppers, etc. Well, I am about to find out as my family begins the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) journey for the next thirty plus days.
Here is my sad, bare spice cupboard. I ended pulling the “flours” that we can use during the next thirty days and other pantry ingredients here for ease of knowing what is “safe”. The rest of my “unsafe” and non AIP approved ingredients and spices are in a cupboard that has been “locked” to prevent sneaking something we are not supposed to have during the next thirty days.
Now some may think this is an extreme way to lose weight or something, but that is not our reasoning behind starting this protocol. My husband has been ill for the past two weeks, and even was hospitalized for four days because of it. During this time they ran every test known to man to find out the cause of his illness. The threw around many possibilities for the cause of his illness. Was it an abscess on his brain that formed after he had a serious concussion? Could it be meningitis? What about pneumonia or endocarditis? Thankfully, those tests came back negative. So, the physicians had to dig deeper and run weirder and weirder tests to try and find a cause. One worry was that he had lymphoma, since it seemed he had a high fever of no known origin. Another thing that was suggested and several tests were run, was that Will had an autoimmune disease. His physician suggested that we do the Autoimmune Protocol strictly for a minimum of thirty days, and then VERY slowly add things back into our diet. She wanted Will to keep a diet of how he felt through the process, especially during the implementation stage.
So here it is, day one of the Autoimmune Protocol and I am slightly nervous. I have followed Paleo and Whole 30 in the past, but this time I will be giving up many of my staples. Eggs are gone, as are almonds and bell peppers! Yikes. Those were my mid afternoon snacks to keep the Snickers bar at bay! I can tell preparation is the key to staying on plan with this protocol diet.
For my first dinner, I made a One Pan Roasted “Ranch” Chicken and my family loved it. My four year old daughter decided she had to “help” me as I didn’t know how to peel the carrots correctly. I really should invest in another vegetable peeler for her since she always steels mine whenever I try to prep for dinner. With my amazing “help” my 15 (ish) minute prep quickly turned into a 40 minute prep time. But memories were made and that was the important thing! We even had a food fight with the peels after the pan went into the oven, because life is too short not to enjoy it and messes can be cleaned.
This meal was so easy that even with my daughter’s “help”, it turned out amazing and delicious! I didn’t take a lot of pictures as I prepped, because I was trying to prevent my daughter from slicing my finger with the vegetable peeler! But here’s the finished product. It is amazingly filling and delicious. We used a homemade ranch seasoning. I have included that at the end of this post. I might have been a little heavy handed with my spices, but it was incredible and I didn’t miss my nightshade based spices tonight.
Now I love to live frugally, and this has been pushing my frugality a little bit. It is important with the Autoimmune Protocol, that you buy hormone free, GMO free, and organic food. Preferably from local farmers. I know that’s a little bit more expensive than the regular kind, but the purpose of the protocol is to remove as many toxins or things causing an inflammatory. To be honest I was shocked when I first saw the prices of organic food. It is cheaper to cultivate these foods as the farmers don’t have to pay for the pesticides, why are they almost twice as much? Oh well, such is life. But to live with my frugal side, I started price shopping between different stores and plan my meals around the sales on the organic produce and meats.
One Pan Roasted “Ranch” Chicken and Vegetables.
2-4 Chicken Breast or Legs. (I used breast, since I had that on hand). Luckily, I found mine on a Woo-Hoo (Kroger stores) for $3.72!
1 Sweet Potato- peeled, rinsed and cubed into one inch pieces. My local Kroger store. Kroger had these for $1.59 a pound. (My sweet potato was half a pound for a cost of $0.80).
4 Carrot- peeled, halved and cut into 2.5 inch pieces. Kroger had these for $1.99 for a 2lb bag. I only used 1/4 of the carrots in the bag. For a whopping $0.5o
1-2 Broccoli Crowns- Rinsed and pieced. Kroger had these for $1.99/ lb. Now my family likes broccoli, so I used the entire bunch. $1.99
Olive Oil for drizzling
Ranch Seasoning (Recipe Below- yes, two recipes in one post)!
Coat a pan with AIP approved cooking spray (coconut or olive oil). place the vegetables on the pan. Situate the chicken between the vegetables. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and chicken. Season both sides of the chicken breast liberally with “Ranch” Seasoning a little salt (don’t go crazy with the sodium). With a heavy hand, season the vegetables with the “Ranch” seasoning as well.
Bake at 400 F for 45 minutes or until the juices of the chicken run clear and there is no pink. Let the chicken “rest” about ten minutes, though make sure to eat it while it’s still warm!
So for a grand total of $7.01 I was able to feed three adults (my mother-in-law was visiting) and a four year old for a cost of $1.75 per person. I can handle that cost!
Now I promised you the recipe for the “Ranch Seasoning” and here it is. I won’t have the cost associated with this as I keep spices on hand, and I purchase them when they are on sale from a multiple of places. Though one of my favorite places is Amazon. Sometimes you can find amazing deals on the spices as add-ons.
2 T Garlic Powder
2 T Onion Powder
3-4 T Dried Dill
2 T Thyme
2 T Oregano
2 T Parsley
2 T Basil
Mix all together and store in an air-tight container.
Hope you enjoyed this. I know I did! If the Autoimmune Protocol is like this, then I can survive this month!