Are you on the Paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP) and missing the joy of dipping a fragrant piece of bread into a bit of olive oil or bowl of soup? It is a simple pleasure that you may think is relegated only to fantasy if you are on a grain free diet, but this focaccia from the genius brain of Sophie Van Tiggelen is here to bring it back into your reality. It is just one of 100 recipes in her brand new cookbook, The Autoimmune Protocol Made Simple, and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you as part of my review of the book.

What makes The Autoimmune Protocol Made Simple so great?

The title says it all! This book makes a radical dietary change like moving to AIP extraordinarily easy… and delicious too. You may already know Sophie from her blog A Squirrel in the Kitchen and her first book, Simple French Paleo. If so, you know to expect recipes that are elegant, appetizing, nourishing, and yet easy enough for even a novice cook to make, and that is exactly what you’ll find in this new book.

It includes 100 recipes – every single one of them compliant with the elimination phase of the AIP – for every meal of the day. The first section is devoted to “homemade basics and staples,” which is where you’ll find this rosemary and thyme focaccia, along with recipes for two different kinds of mayonnaise, a nightshade-free Italian sauce, and no-fail tortillas with a special flavorful nourishing twist, among other condiments and odds and ends that need to be specially made to meet the requirements of a protocol that doesn’t allow eggs or nuts or even seeds.

In the breakfast section you will find several hidden-veggie smoothies, breakfast skillets, and even an easy grain and nut free granola recipe. A section devoted to “small bites” provides enticing snack options like garlic refrigerator pickles and a legume-free hummus, plus fun party dishes like AIP nachos, sliders, and even a dairy-free cheese!  And then there are the soups and salads, all beautifully photographed in such a way that will make you forget you are even looking at a special diet cookbook, creative ways of serving up vegetables that will keep you from getting bored, and sections devoted to both meat and seafood based main dishes that draw upon the flavors of a varied world cuisine… covering everything from the exotic Thai beef and seared tuna tataki to unpretentious and nourishing rustic meatloaf and pan-fried fish sticks.

And of course, I can not forget the desserts! If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that the recipe for delectable cherry crumble was much enjoyed last week at my house!

The Bottom Line

But The Autoimmune Protocol Made Simple is more than just a cookbook. True to the name, it makes the whole process of switching to this way of eating simple and includes clear YES/NO food lists, tips and tricks, pantry recommendations, and even a meal plan with shopping list. Whether you are a seasoned AIP veteran looking for new recipes that are allergy-friendly, gluten-free, and nourishing; or just thinking about getting started, I whole-heartedly recommend this book!

Not convinced yet? Try this recipe!

Rosemary and Thyme AIP Focaccia Recipe

Rosemary and Thyme Focaccia (AIP)
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1 focaccia loaf
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This soft and aromatic AIP focaccia is divine when paired with so many things. Its tender texture makes it a favorite for dipping in a little bit of olive oil and dried herbs, like the Italians do. It will taste even better if you break it apart into small pieces instead of slicing it.
  • 1 cup (240 ml) warm (110°F to 115°F) water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 (1/4 ounce, or 7 g) packet active dry yeast
  • 1 cup (140 g) cassava flour
  • ½ cup (56 g) coconut flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (2 g) minced dried rosemary, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus extra for garnish
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) melted palm shortening
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine ¼ cup (60 ml) of the warm water with the maple syrup in a small bowl. Add the yeast and stir. Wait about 5 minutes for the mixture to start foaming. (If the yeast doesn't foam, throw it away and start over.)
  3. Meanwhile, combine the cassava flour, coconut flour, rosemary, thyme, and sea salt in a large bowl. Mix well with a spatula and form a well in the middle. Carefully pour the remaining ¾ cup (180 ml) warm water and palm shortening into the well. Add the yeast mixture. Mix well with a spatula until the dough is smooth. Knead 8 to 10 times with your hands and form the dough into a ball.
  4. Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten it with your hands to form a 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick loaf. Cover with a light kitchen towel and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. Place the oven rack int eh middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  6. After 30 minutes, uncover the dough (don't knead it again!) and score it 3 times at an angle with a serrated knife. Sprinkle with more rosemary and thyme.
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the bread turns golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before eating.
This recipe reprinted with permission from The Autoimmune Protocol Made Simple by Sophie van Tiggelen, ©2018.


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