Peach-Glazed Mini Meatloaves (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)


I get real excited when I come up with an easy, quick recipe that uses barely any ingredients and is a new, interesting flavor! It’s the holy grail of AIP batch cooking. I brought these on-the-go this weekend – to a show and then also as a pre-5k breakfast. I didn’t want to share them, and I usually love sharing food, so obviously it’s a winning recipe.


This weekend was insanely beautiful. We only get purty weather as often as a hipster turns down a vegan cheez burrito (aka never), so I refused to be inside. The farmer’s market is starting to have a lot more variety, and I get real turned on by varied produce. It doesn’t take much. We went back to the Peruvian rooftop restaurant/bar. I was feeling  adventurous and ordered a gin. I had brought my own Kombucha, and I was just going to enjoy it on the rocks, but I decided to go for it.


Well, I only drank 1/2 of the gin and still woke up feeling like butt. And swollen, lethargic, and expressionlss. My body hates alcohol. Like even attempting a smile today is too much work. I would much rather go to bed feeling good and wake up feeling awesome than enjoy the occasional beverage. Maybe later in life when my body isn’t under guerrila attack 24/7. Enough bitching – I’m happy to simply be alive and surrounded by my favorite things, namely my husband, dog, fresh food, and the outdoors. And my-size loaves of meat, but I guess that could be lumped into food.


Peach-Glazed Mini Meatloaves

Makes 10 mini loaves | Ready in 35 minutes

1 lb ground lamb (or beef, if you prefer)

1/3 cup finely chopped parsley

½ tsp sea salt

1 ½ cups diced peach

¾ tsp cinnamon

1 T coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take out a regular sized muffin tin.
  2. Mix together lamb, parsley and sea salt. Divide mixture between 10 regular sized muffin cups. Use your hands to spread the meat evenly into each cup, being sure to leave a shallow bowl in the center for the peach stuffing, about ½ inch deep.
  3. In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, cook the peaches and cinnamon in the coconut oil for about 6-7 minutes until softened. Use a wooden spoon to mash the peach as it cook down, but be sure to leave some un-mashed chunks for texture.
  4. Top each meat bowl with the peach stuffing. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the lamb is cooked through and the cups begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Flaked Cod | Cucumber-Mint Sauce | Plum Relish (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

I can FINALLY eat fish again after 7 months of abstaining from one of my favorite foods. My histamine intolerance got wicked ridiculous during the holidays, and I went on a very low histamine diet from January through July of this year. Fish is always a hairy situation because you really have to trust your source. If it isn’t handled well immediately after being caught, you can set yourself up for a bacteria bomb. This cod came straight from Boston, so I sacked two pounds of it from the market, and cooked it as soon as I got home.


When my fridge is the emptiest, I am the most creative. I was in the mood for a summery “bowl”. This is a one pot, one blender meal, and takes no time or skill to throw together once you have your ingredients prepped. Kitchen tip: always prep everything in advance (your “mis en place”) and that way cooking is a breeze once you light the fire. And you won’t burn everything as you scurry around the kitchen.


This dish is light, flavorful & the fruity relish really makes it pop!



Flaked Cod with Cucumber-Mint Sauce & Plum Relish

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 4


  • 2 lb wild cod
  • 1 head red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut aminos, divided
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 2 plums, pitted and diced
  • Sea salt


  1. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add cabbage and large pinch salt to pan, stirring to coat in oil. Let cook for 5-7 minutes until cooked through but not soft, stirring every 2 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. Wipe pan clean.
  2. Place cucumber, olive oil, 1 tablespoon coconut aminos, ginger, mint and pinch sea salt in blender. Puree. Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, heat coconut oil over medium high heat.  Rinse and pat dry the fish. Salt both side. Place fish in pan, ensuring not to crowd (work in two batches if necessary). Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking the fish up with a wooden spoon into flakes as it begins to cook through. Sprinkle with additional salt and remove from heat. Wipe pan clean.
  4. In the same pan, add plums, ¼ cup water, and remaining ½ T coconut aminos. Cook over medium-low heat, breaking open the plums with the wooden spoon, as they cook down. Remove from heat once the majority of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Layer individual bowls with cabbage, fish, plum relish, and cucumber-mint sauce.

AIP Fish Sticks made with sweet potato chips!


Fish sticks coated in sweet potato chips which makes them grain & egg-free!


I think every adult wishes they were still a child. I certainly long for the summers that seemed endless, sticky, and deliciously peppered with family BBQs, birthday parties, and post-soccer game orange slices.


When you’re a kid, you appreciate moments for what they are… you’re not thinking about what comes next, or what others may be doing/thinking/feeling. I miss that. I guess what I mean is life is pretty easy when you’re a self-centered pre-teen. That’s why play is so important for us old timers.


I take time everyday to do something “fun” albeit to me “fun” is 50 jump squats followed by some sprint intervals. Fun is also cooking dinner for my husband, taking my dog on a long walk through Lincoln Park, or gabbing with a distant friend over the phone.


One of the reasons I was so attracted to my husband is his inability to grow up. Most women would probably mean that as a dig, but I intend it to be a compliment. Play, laughter, and silliness comes easily to him although he is approaching 37 years old.


When my brain is “go, go, go”, I like to stop and watch him play with Rafael, our dog. It reminds me that my little doodle won’t be here forever, so I best enjoy him, snuggle him, and chase him as much as possible these next several years!


Side note: my dog likes AIP fish sticks. He’s a paleo pup and eats a lot of grass-fed beef and free-range chicken. I guess that makes him in the top 1% of his species. But man, he inhaled these faster than that 95 lb chick beating the world record for hot dog eating.




AIP Fish Stick

Prep Time :12 Cook Time :13 Serves 3 to 4


  • 1 5oz bag Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato Chips
  • 1 lb cod, cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse sweet potato chips in a blender/processor until ground into small pieces (but not flour).  Mix chips and oregano in a shallow bowl.
  2. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk coconut milk and lemon juice with a pinch of salt.
  3. Dip fish sticks in wet ingredients first then roll in sweet potato chips to coat. Lay on a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet (alternatively, you can place them on parchment-lined baking sheet, but the bottom won’t crisp up). Repeat with remaining fish sticks.
  4. Bake for 12-13 minutes until fish sticks can be easily pierced with a fork. Serve with extra lemon juice, a sprinkle of sea salt, and tartar sauce (Paleo) or coconut cream mixed with fresh dill, salt, and pepper (AIP). 

Recipe Notes

Fit Fat Bombs (Paleo, AIP, Vegan, No Sugar Added)


paleo vegan fat bomb


Three-ingredient Paleo fat bombs to help fuel your workouts!


I had a kick-ass workout after I ate two of these Fat Bombs the other day. There’s a societal rule that you can only say kick-ass in 2014 if you were born in the 80’s right? I need pre-workout snacks if I do weight-training in the afternoon (which is the only time I ever do it), but I can’t eat something heavy because then I’m never hungry for dinner, so then I don’t eat after my training, and then I don’t see any strength gains in the gym. The circle of life for a girl whose muscle wastes faster than your grandma’s grandma.


They say you should eat fat for performance before you engage in strenuous exercise. Afterwards, keep the fat low and the carbs and protein up. Apparently. Who knows, but I know I personally REQUIRE carbs after I work out or I am a hungry beast the next day. I will eat all the sweet potatoes in Chicago.



These fat bombs actually contain some carbohydrate from raisins and coconut flour, so they’re easier to digest & are chewy too!



My workout was what I call a “100-90-80 Countdown”. Choose a different plyometric or weight exercise to do 100 times (or 100 seconds), then another one for 90 times or 90 seconds, etc. Repeat circuit twice.

100 jumping jacks

90 high knees

80 jump ropes

70 mountain climbers

60 skaters

50 plank jumps

40 squats jumps

30 triceps dips

20 burpees

10 pushups

1 mile sprint interval on treadmill (7 mph rest to 9 mph sprint in 1 min intervals)

Then I pushed a big heavy object across the gym 6 times and did my “10-Minute Abs Circuit” where I do an exercise for 1 minute and go immediately into a next. Intense I know. I only do this once a week.

1 min each of

X Sit Ups


Mountain Climbers

Side Plank – left

Side Plank – right

V-ups (bent knee)

Russian Twists (15 lb weight in hand)

Full sit-ups

Forearm Plank

Leg Raises


Fit Fat Bombs

Makes 8 cups | Ready in 20 minutes

½ cup coconut oil, softened

¼ cup coconut flour

½ cup raisins

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Pour into silicone cups or muffin tin. Freeze until hardened, about 20 minutes. Store in refrigerator for several days.

Beef Shawarma (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)


I got married this weekend! It doesn’t feel different from just living with your fiance. As my friend Caitlin puts it “now you can just do your taxes together.” Hopefully I’ll score some spousal health insurance too. The wedding ended up being absolutely perfect, but we did have some pre-wedding scares. I’ll be doing 1 or 2 posts on the event. Mostly just so I don’t forget what happened.


My pre-wedding diet consisted of meat and lots of it. If I’m stressed (which I was since I was my own wedding planner), I have to eat extra meals or else I get sick or run down. Enter, meat on a stick. Convenient, delicious, fun to eat.  I don’t know what I did to make these so damn good, but they kept me interested for a full week. Yes, I gloat about my own food. The only thing I’m good at is cooking, so I may as well brag about it. I’m sure you understand if you live in mediocrity 95% of the time like I do. That’s a backhanded compliment to myself.


Well, here’s a sneak preview of our wedding. If it was a movie, the tagline would be “Twelve wrongs make a right.” If you’re more into action thrillers: “Monsoon Wedding”. And if you prefer chick flicks “Weather or Knot”. Stay tuned, folks.


Beef Shawarma Skewers [AIP Friendly]

Serves 6| Ready in 35 minutes

1 ½ lb grassfed ground beef (85-90% lean)

1 ½ cup Japanese sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp lemon juice

1-2 tsp dried oregano (more if you love oregano like I do)

1 tsp coconut flour

Sea salt

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let steam until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Place in high-powered blender or food processor.
  2. Add ground beef, 1 tsp sea salt, lemon juice and lemon zest to food processor. Blend until pureed into a smooth paste. Separate meat/potato mixture into 7-8 even sized balls.
  3. Soak wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes to prevent burning. I forgot to do this. Roll one meatball onto skewer using both hands until you form a long, even shaped cylinder around the stick. It will look suspiciously like male genitalia. Ignore this and proceed with the remaining skewers.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the coconut flour, oregano, and a small pinch of sea salt together. Sprinkle over the top of the skewers.
  5. Preheat broiler to high. Place skewers on a rimmed baking seat on second highest oven rack. Broil on each side for 4-5 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: Can be served with sweet potato hummus for a Paleo meal or with coconut-cream tzatiki for an AIP meal.

AIP Chicken n’ Gravy (Paleo, Whole30)


I am so not a comfort food girl, but dang do I like me some gravy. Well, AIP gravy. I have actually never had “white gravy” in my life, so I had to consult my fiance on how it’s supposed to taste. He approved, so here we are staring at a picture of bacon-seared chicken thigh and gravy made out of sweet potatoes, bacon fat, broth, and fresh herbs. Yeah all of those things are really awesome on their own, but make for an Anchorman-like team when combined. As in they all complement each other and will make you giddy and gleeful. Lamp. I love lamp.


Ignore me if you don’t know what I’m talking about and scoot down to the recipe. I’m sure you do that anyway. Ah, so today I had to take some “professional” looking photos for an upcoming guest post I’m doing on another person’s website. I felt like a HUGE tool posing in the middle of a public park. I realized two things 1) I cannot and will not fake a smile (I usually think of something funny, so it makes me look more natural) and 2) My double-jointed arms look downright creepy and contorted.


AIP Chicken n’ Gravy

Serves 4-6 | Ready in 30 minutes

1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 ½ c peeled and diced white sweet potato

4 slices thick-cut AIP-compliant uncured bacon

1 T chopped fresh herbs (I like a mix of thyme, rosemary, and sage)

Salt to taste

½ cup warm broth or water

Time Saving Tip:  Steam the sweet potatoes at the same time as Steps 2 and 3 to save time!

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes until easily pierced with a fork. Add sweet potatoes, herbs, and a pinch of salt to the blender.
  2. In a large saucepan, cook bacon on medium heat until crispy. Pour 4 T of bacon fat in blender/food processor. Leave the remaining bacon fat in the pan to cook the chicken thigh.
  3. Generously salt both sides of the chicken thighs and place in pan with bacon fat. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes each side until cooked through and golden.
  4. Pour ¼ c warm broth or water in blender and puree. Add remaining ¼ cup and blend until pureed into pour-able, smooth gravy. Gravy thickness can be adjusted by adding more broth/water for thinner gravy, but I suggest adding a pinch more salt if you dilute it anymore.
  5. Serve chicken thighs with gravy and a sprinkle of additional herbs for presentation.

Paleo BBQ Chicken Nachos (Nightshade-free, AIP)

paleo nachos


Craving Paleo nachos? This grain-free version uses sweet potato chips & has two options for nightshade-free homemade BBQ sauce!


Most women probably don’t eat a plate of nachos two weeks prior to their wedding, but I did. Why? Because they’re freakin’ made of fruits & vegetables.


If you haven’t gotten your paws on Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips you need to find a way. Hatch a plan. If it involves a getaway car and a Brazilian alias, don’t feel ashamed. They truly are THAT good.


If you want to go about it in a legal manner, just order a case from their website. I cannot do such a thing because I can easily (and have three times now) eaten an entire bag in one day.


I love BBQ anything. We used to grill all the time when I was little. My favorite foods were BBQ chicken, coleslaw, and steak.


Not much has changed actually. My favorite part of a BBQ meal is using the moist towelette. That lemony scent is very satisfying. I feel so clean after. Like I didn’t just eat a pound of meat.



Below I’ve given you two versions of AIP nightshade-free BBQ sauce! One is Tangy & Fruity made with cherries, plums, bacon, fresh thyme and a bit of honey! The second is Smokey Cherry-Thyme which is made without the plums and apple cider vinegar instead!




BBQ Chicken Nachos



Tangy n’ Fruity BBQ Sauce

10 red cherries, stemmed & seeded

2 red plums, pit removed, cut into chunks

½ tsp finely chopped thyme

½ T lemon juice

2 tsp honey

3 slices bacon, chopped

  1. In a small pan, bring cherries & plums to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir in the thyme. Let cook for 10 minutes, periodically smashing fruit with a wooden spoon.
  2. Once fruit has cooked down, stir in lemon juice & big pinch of salt. Pour into a blender to cool.
  3. Add chopped bacon to pan and cook over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour 2 T bacon fat into blender. Blend until pureed into a smooth sauce. Adjust salt to taste.



Smokey Cherry-Thyme BBQ Sauce

1 ¼ cups pitted and halved cherries

1 tsp finely chopped thyme

1 tsp lemon zest


1 T honey

Salt, to taste

3 slices uncured bacon, chopped

  1. Bring the cherries to a simmer in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once they start to release some of their juices (3 minutes or so), stir in the chopped thyme and lemon zest.

  2. Let reduce for 5 more minutes and now add in your apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, and salt (to taste).  Simmer for an additional 10 minutes periodically using a rubber spatula to break open the cherries. Transfer sauce to blender to cool.

  3. Cook the chopped bacon in the same saucepan until crispy. Set aside bacon pieces and pour leftover bacon fat into the blender with the cherries. Blend until pureed. Adjust salt to taste.



BBQ Chicken Nachos

1 cup cooked and shredded chicken thigh

2-3 oz Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips (or your own)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss ¼ cup of the BBQ sauce with the chicken thigh.
  2. Lay sweet potato chips on bottom of plate or pie dish. Top with chicken, bacon pieces & additional BBQ sauce. Bake in oven for 6-8 minutes until warmed throughout. Serve topped with chives & organic sour cream if you do dairy.

No-Bake Blueberry Pie Energy Bites (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)




I enjoyed these before my muscle party last night… They fueled me for 35 handstand pushups, PR chest press, 500 m row sprints, forearm stand practice, and 40 lb kettlebell swings (100 in good form!)


We are doing a 30-mile ride to Hyde Park along Lake Michigan today, and I really wish my fiance hadn’t eaten all the energy bites. Growl. He should know better than to mess with my kcals. Juli from PaleOMG calls herself a “food hoarder” on her blog’s bio. I know EXACTLY what she means. If you have dozens of food intolerance or allergies like I do, food becomes a precious resource. Traveling with me is just a real joy. TSA is like “why the fart do you have ten 4 oz containers of coconut oil, a baked sweet potato, and bags of mini carrots hiding under your panties?”


That reminds me of this hilarious South Park episode making fun of how intrusive the TSA is, except in the episode TSA stands for “Toilet Safety Administration”. Our favorite quote is a TSA worker casually asking people, “Let me check inside yo’ a******hole.”  and then she uses a flashlight to do a cavity search while the customer just mosies on about his day. So vulgar, but that’s exactly why I like that show. I’m totally going to be one of those dirty old people that makes jokes about Viagra and pickles. I don’t have a quip just yet about those two objects, but I will spend the next 50 years thinking about one.


No-Bake Blueberry Pie Energy Bites [AIP-Friendly]

Makes 4-5 | 15 minutes cook | 2 hours fridge/freezer

1 ¼ c blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 T honey (optional)

1 tsp lemon juice

½ tsp cinnamon

½ cup coconut butter, room temperature

1 T coconut oil

½ cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut flakes

Sea salt

  1. Bring berries, coconut sugar (if using) and lemon juice to a simmer over medium-low heat in a saucepan for 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes, so the sugar does not burn. Stir in cinnamon and 1/8 tsp sea salt. Set aside in a bowl. Rinse out your saucepan.
  2. Melt coconut butter in the saucepan over low heat. Stir in coconut oil, coconut shreds, and pinch sea salt.
  3. Pour coconut butter mixture into silicone muffin molds. Freeze for 20 minutes until solid.
  4. Pour blueberries evenly on top of the coconut base. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight (the flavors will develop delightfully). Top with extra cinnamon, whipped coconut cream, or lemon zest.

Lebanese Pork Hand-Pie (Paleo, AIP)


God my dog is good-looking. He seriously stops strangers in their tracks during rush hour in Chicago. Rafael makes 54-year-old buttoned up CEOs late on a daily basis.He asks me for “leg hugs” every few minutes too when we’re on our walks…where he gets on his hindquarters, wraps his arms around my thigh, and plops his head against me while staring into my eyes saying “I need you, Mommy.”


He’s so cute he makes my stomach hurt. So much personality in a tiny little fur body. I jest that he’s a reincarnated 3-year-old Indian boy who died in a train accident but wants a second chance at the joys of childhood. It sounds morbid, but I really hope I’m making some little ghost boy’s dreams come true. If you knew him, you would stop thinking I’m weird and start agreeing with me. I will admit to some odd daily Doodle behavior. #1 Every night before I fall asleep, I look up Instagram tags of #cockapoo so I can have pleasant poodle dreams and #2 I spend at least 15 minutes a day flipping through Rafael pictures in my phone even though he’s sitting right in front of me begging for physical contact


Speaking of India, which is close-ish to Lebanon, which is where my father is from… meat pies! Huzza! There’s a reaosn why the majority of cultures have some staple dish consisting of meat in/on/wrapped in dough. Is America’s the corndog? How refined of us.


Lebanese Pork Hand-Pies [AIP Friendly]

Serves 2 | 50 minutes

2 cups peeled yucca, chopped into ½ inch cubes

¼ tsp garlic salt

1 T olive oil  + 2 tsp, divided

2 T arrowroot flour + extra for dusting

1 lb ground pork

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup onion minced

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

½ cup chopped curly parsley

3 T chopped mint

1 tsp lemon juice

3 T chopped black olives

For serving: Sliced lemons, AIP Hummus, Olives, Parsley

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the yucca with water and bring to a rolling boil. Let cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until fork tender ensuring not to overcook. Drain the yucca and place in a blender with garlic salt. Blend until a dough forms.
  2. Place dough in a small bowl. Using a spoon, stir in the olive oil then the arrowroot. The dough will be very tacky. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. While the dough cools, cook your pork, onions, and garlic in the saucepan over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through. Turn the heat to low and stir in the spices, herbs, lemon juice, olives and salt to taste. Let cook for 5 additional minutes. Set aside.
  4. Coat your hands generously with arrowroot flour and divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Make 2 6-inch circles about ¼ inch thick. If dough is too sticky to handle, sprinkle on more arrowroot!
  5. Spoon pork mixture into center of dough (you’ll have extra for another meal!), leaving a 1-inch border. Fold all 4 sides of the dough towards the center, leaving an opening. Spoon extra pork filling into the center and place leftovers in the fridge.  (P.S. Don’t wash your pot out yet)
  6. Brush dough with 1 tsp olive oil and bake in oven for 20 minutes on middle rack. Turn oven to high broil, move baking sheet up to top 1/3 of oven, and broil for an additional 2-3 minutes watching carefully so it does not burn.
  7. Now heat the last 1 tsp oil in your pot on medium-high heat. Using a large spatula, carefully place hand-pie into hot oil and fry the bottom for 2 minutes (this creates the necessary crispiness of a traditional pie). Do the same with the second pie.
  8. Let cool 5 minutes before serving with lemon, tahini, olives and parsley accoutrements and a cucumber-parsley salad.

Paleo & Gluten-Free Dining in Chicago

3578902950-millennium-park-architecture-tour.jpgThe Midwest isn’t exactly applauded as being a leader in heatlhy eating. Everytime I turn a corner, I run into a donut shop while getting hit in the face with a giant sausage. That may sound like a pleasant experience to some of you though, I don’t know. 

I moved here a year ago, and while I only eat out once a month since going AIP Paleo, I did my fair share of restaurant dining last summer. I seriously spent hours Yelping and Urbanspooning “gluten free Chicago” until I was satisfied with my list of must-try’s. Chicago’s a beautiful city full of art, shopping, handsome gentlemen, and architecture. Truly one of America’s greatest, so come on down (or up or to the side) for a visit and make sure you check out some of these Paleo/GF- friendly restaurants. 

1. Bavette’s

Hands down favorite. Make a reservation 3-4 weeks in advance so you have the time to mentally prepare yourself for the best meal of your life. Plus it’s a hard joint to get into, so reservations are a must.

Atmosphere: Romantic, Upscale, Speakeasy Vibe, Open Bar Seating

Menu Items: Oysters, Steak (a must) with steak salt, bernaise & roasted tomatoes, baked sweet potato, baked white potato with house thick-cut bacon

Accomodations: When you make your reservation, let Amy know at least 24 hours in advance of any food allergies/intolerances and they will ensure your meal is clean as Jewish grandmother’s bathroom sink.

2. Butcher & the Burger

THE place in Chicago for a lettuce-wrapped grassfed burger that will leave you satisfied (yet still wanting more because they’re that damn good). Offers grassfed beef and unique cuts on rotation like duck and elk. Fries are a must if you’re willing to sacrifice your soy-free diet for a day.

Atmosphere: Casual, Fun, Awesome 90’s music, BYOB, Best for small groups

Menu Items: Lettuce-wrapped grassfed burger w/ fried egg, avocado and caramelized onions. Pick up some local Two Brothers Prairie Path Ale (gluten-free) before heading over for lunch or dinner.

Accomodations: Ask them to clean the grill for you or cook your burger in a separate pan.

3. Smoque

You came to Chicago for some good arse BBQ, right? Probably not, but that’s what you’re gonna get. The line may be long but it goes quick and you get to chat with the friendliest Midwesterners at this humble BBQ hole in the wall.

Atmosphere: Casual, Indoor and Outdoor Seating, Counter Ordering

Menu Items: Rack of Ribs, Half Chicken, Bring your own BBQ sauce if you’re AIP

Accomodations: Email the Smoque guys 2 days before you plan to eat there. They will prepare your meat without the AIP-offending ingredients like red pepper and paprika and send it through the smoker without the sauce. 

4. Little Goat

Stephanie Izard is one of the most popular chefs in Chicago for good reason. Her focus on complex flavors and high quality ingredients makes you wish you had ordered one of everything. 

Atmosphere: Casual Diner, Bustling, Quirky Servers, Kid Friendly

Menu Items: Bunless Goat and Beef Burgers w/ kimchi, fried egg & avocado, Goat Cheese Hashbrowns (not AIP but a necessary order if you’re plain Paleo), Gluten-Free Sourdough Pancakes, Stumptown  Coffee

Accomodations: Stephanie is one of the most willing chefs in the area when adapting recipes for her customers. She will clean the grill, pan, etc for you and make any substitutions to your liking.

5. Green City Farmer’s Market

Saturday morning farmer’s market across from the Lincoln Park Zoo (7 am-1 pm). Fresh local produce, dog friendly, big oak trees to lay a blanket under with a big group of friends. 

Atmosphere: Open grassy park, Crowded, Social Event (arrive by 10 am for best picks)

Menu Items: Michigan apples, Paleo Soda, Bacon-fried pastured pork rinds, Fresh Grassfef Beef, Pastured Chicken, Lamb

Accomodations: The farmers are always more than helpful when answering your questions about farming practices and recipe suggestions for some of the more obscure items. 

6. HB [Home Bistro]

It’s like if Alton Brown + George Bryant had a restaurant baby. Flavor bombs, redonk desserts, and they treat you like family. Plus another BYOB. This place is new school Chicago – make a reservation weeks out.

Atmosphere:Tiny, homey, perfection for escaping winter for a few hours w/ a bottle or 3 of wine

Menu Items: smoked chicken thighs w/ almond butter & shaved brussel sprouts, bacon-wrapped  and almond stuffed dates, pork belly anything

Accomodations: Takes great care to understand your allergies/intolerances and adapt menu items to suit your needs without compromising flavor. They’ll remember you next time too!

7. Raw

The only vegan food I’ve ever had that doesn’t make me miss my meat. Two locations downtown offer endless colorful and nutrient-dense clean eats. I can spend at least 30 minutes reading the brightly hued packages and trying to figure out how they made delicious as F lemon squares out of cashews and sea salt. 

Atmosphere: Grab & Go, Female Overload

Menu Items: Collard Greens Burrito with cashew cream cheese, fresh coconut water, Kombucha, sprouted sunflower seed & maca energy bars, gluten-free desserts

8. Au Cheval

Butcher and the Burger may be the best Paleo-style burger option, but it’s hard to beat the coolness of Au Cheval. Or the duck fat fries. Or the beer list. No reservations so don’t go in a big group. 

Atmosphere: Late Night/Happy Hour,  Sweet Beats, Pretty People

Menu Items: The single cheeseburger (actually 2 thin patties) on lettuce with a side of duck fat fries.

Accomodations: I wouldn’t get too picky here, or your hipster server may slap you with his suspenders, but you may want to ask them if any gluten-containing ingredients go in the fryer. 

9. Grange Hall Burger Bar

Grange takes farm-to-table to the next level by making you feel like you’re eating just-picked raddichio in a barn. Big ol’ grassfed burgers (get it on the house salad), homemade pies (not GF) and ice cream (do it), and the friendliest servers.

Atmosphere: City ho-down, Yupster Hang-out (Yuppies + Hipsters)

Menu Items:  Grassfed burgers & hotdogs with fried avocado and jalapeno jicama slaw

Accomodations: Well-versed in gluten-free & Paleo lingo. Be as demanding as you please.

10. Cassava

The ugly sister of Paleo starches gets a makeover at this Lakeview empanada joint. Everything is gluten-free and they feature nitrate-free bacon, grassfed beef, and use ONLY coconut and olive oil in their products. 

Atmosphere: Plain, Good for a quick lunch

Menu Items: Bacon, egg and cheese empanada, beef & cheddar empanada

Accomodations: You can’t do egg or dairy free here, so AIP need not apply.