This post is full of all the best things I've learned in my three years…
A Simple Guide to Cooking for Your AIP Friends (and other diet restrictions)
I LOVE my friends!! And, I love that they want to help me out on my AIP journey. I often have someone ask what I can and can’t eat. I have people that want to go out to eat with me… and ALWAYS let me choose the restaurant.
(In case you’re curious, burger places are always my first choice and Elevation Burger is my all time favorite). I also have friends who want to have me over for dinner and they’re always kind enough to ask for suggestions of what to cook and they genuinely want to know. They want to love me well and are happy to put aside their nightshades and gluten for the evening in order for me to have a good meal.
I’ve had friends invite me over and create a complete AIP meal for me (complete with coconut milk ice cream), I’ve had friends cook something from my blog (crock pot chicken and roasted veggies) and I’ve had friends serve a meal where the trouble foods were kept separate (burgers).
All three of these are great options.
With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful for you to have a post like this to encourage you and to be something that you could share with your friends to help them feel more confident as they love and serve you.
FOR THE AIP GUEST:
Knowing what to say when someone invites you over for a meal is a big part of advocating for yourself and your health.
Here are some tips that I’ve picked up along the way….
(1) Thank them for the invite and offer to bring your own food, saying that being with them is what’s important anyway.
(2) Offer to bring something to share – a salad, a side dish, a treat.
(3) Make suggestions of recipes that are just simple/ real food that anyone would like and you know are compliant. Find a few on your favorite blogs or pinterest.
(4) Be as clear as possible with what you choose to eat and not to eat. If this means texting them a list of your NO foods, that’s fine. I find however that it’s easier sometimes to give a list of YES foods.
FOR THE NON-AIP HOST:
So, your AIP (or other food restriction) friend is coming for dinner. Now what? For some people this might feel like the time to panic, but it doesn’t have to be. First off, thank you for caring enough for your friend’s health needs to want to serve them in this way. You being there for them and loving them and supporting them on their journey will go a long way toward their overall wellbeing. THANK YOU!! Plus, as someone who ends up cooking 95-100% of the food they eat each week, it means more than you’ll ever know to have someone care enough to cook for you.
Simple tips for caring for your friend in this way:
(1) Don’t stress out about the science behind why your friend can’t eat certain things.
(2) Ask questions. Lots of them. We don’t mind.
(3) Don’t think you need special ingredients or that you’ll be making something the rest of your family/ guests won’t eat. Just focus on real foods and keep it simple.
(4) Here are the BASICS…
NO to grains (wheat, corn, quinoa, etc.), dairy, sugar, legumes, alcohol, eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, everything in the pepper family) or processed foods… YES to meats, seafood, vegetables (except nightshades) and limited fruit
Suggestions for what to cook:
(1) Ask your friend for a suggestion.
(2) Check out this or other AIP blogs. Search pinterest for AIP compliant recipes.
Here are my top suggestions…
~ Crock Pot Chicken, roasted veggies & salad
~ Apple Spice Beef Stew (with rice for those who can) & salad
~ Meatloaf with baked sweet potatoes and steamed veggies
~ Quick Orange Chicken
~ Lamb Kofta with a cucumber & strawberry salad
(& bread for other guests)
~ Greek Pesto Salmon with veggies
(3) Keep it simple.
In my opinion the best meal for friends with different diets is a ‘burger bar.’ You can have lots of toppings, a variety of sides (chips, salads, etc.) and people can mix and match what they like and can eat. If I was serving burgers I’d have burgers (and buns for some guests), bacon, avocado, lettuce, pickles, onions, pineapple, etc.
Here’s a fun post called ‘ burger stack attack‘.
A great side dish for burgers is Peach & Bacon Sweet Potato Salad.
A few burger tips:
(a) form your own patties as
store bought patties often have gluten,
(b) use limited seasonings in the meat –
salt & garlic powder & herbs are safe for most people,
(c) keep buns/ bread separate so that gluten free guests can get their food without cross contamination…
don’t use the same knife/ cutting board for
veggies and bread
THANKS again for the love you’re showing your AIP friend!