You will be pleased to know that cooking a French feast doesn't always mean a day spent in the kitchen knocking up sauces using copious quantities of butter, flour, eggs and cream. Sophie Van Tiggelen's new book, Simple French Paleo, is testament to that fact. Each one of her 90 recipes (all suitable for the elimination phase of the Autoimmune Protocol) is simple to make, doesn't involve clearing the diary for and comprises only a short list of ingredients, most of them readily available in your local grocer's shop with just a few perhaps needing a mail order mission. She has covered all the usual chapters with recipes for Appetizers, Salads, Vegetables, Meat, Seafood, Desserts and Drinks, Basics and the soup lovers amongst you (of which I know there are many) will be delighted to hear she has devoted a whole section to those too.
Since getting my copy of Simple French Paleo I have been happily transported back to many a memorable holiday spent in France thanks to her Creamy Liver Paté (a perfect version for hesitant organ meat peeps btw) and Brandade Express with Cauliflower Purée (aka cod with garlic mash), and have thoroughly enjoyed them both. Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know I’m a sucker for Rillettes (coarse pork paté) so I’ll be giving that one a try for sure, but I’m also bookmarking Vichyssoise (chilled soup), Chicken Blanquette (chicken and gravy), Baked Cod with Black Olive Tapenade, Seared Scallops with Persillade (minced garlic and parsley in olive oil), Layered Raspberry Crèpe Cake and Sophie’s Signature Pear Cake amongst others. (See the full list of recipes here.)
Sophie's book is a beauty. As well as her tempting recipes, I really like that the chapter openers are styled in the fashion of the menu you'll find in a traditional French bistro and I'm in love with the Provençal-style illustrations and old fonts that have been used. In keeping with the theme, the book is interspersed with photographs of lavender fields, market produce and quaint village scenes taken on balmy days that will make you want to book your seat on the next flight out to Marseille. Then there's her friendly writing style and genuinely supportive nature that comes across loud and clear, as well as her enthusiasm and encouragement in wanting the reader to achieve optimal health whilst staying true to the AIP. She points out that, in order to truly succeed neither 70/30, nor 80/20 will get you the results you're hoping for. If you're after the big prize you're best off making that 100% commitment - but that's fine because with Sophie's guidance it is all highly achievable.
Sophie starts her book with brief but concise information as to why the AIP works for those with autoimmune disease, herself being the perfect example since she put her own Hashimoto's into remission through the protocol. She supplies charts of foods to include, those to be avoided and a third list of what's best eaten in moderation. And because the AIP is not a forever diet, Sophie discusses the four phases of reintroduction and finally the maintenance phase, which is your own personalised diet once you have eliminated symptoms and worked out which foods trigger your inflammation. Also included in the book is a quick steaming tutorial, a how-to guide for setting up your own AIP pantry and a word about the importance of lifestyle choices.
In short and excuse my French 😉 Sophie has clearly worked her derrière off for this latest AIP resource - and my goodness it doesn't half show!
So, as is always the case with my nosy nature, I asked Sophie to join me in a Q&A!
Grilled Shrimp with Aïoli / Honey Lavender Roasted Peaches © Sophie Van Tiggelen
Welcome Sophie, what brought you to the Autoimmune Protocol and when?
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease in 2009 and that completely derailed my life. I suffered from debilitating symptoms ranging from anxiety and insomnia to brain fog and swollen thyroid. I was desperate to find a way to “fix myself” when I discovered the Autoimmune Protocol. As soon as I started AIP, my health started to improve until I was able to put my autoimmune disease into remission.
Can you explain the symptoms of your autoimmune disease and whether you still get any of them now?
At my worst, I was unable to function as a normal person. I was suffering from incapacitating insomnia and was unable to work. Basic household tasks, like grocery shopping, preparing meals, caring for my children, all became impossible. I was exhausted all the time. Fortunately, with the Autoimmune Protocol and the help of my functional medicine practitioner, I am now feeling healthy and full of energy once again. I am stronger and fitter than I was ten years ago. Most importantly, I now have a positive outlook on life and look forward to the future with joy and anticipation.
What were your favourite foods/drinks pre-AIP and what are they now?
Before AIP, I consumed a lot of refined and processed carbs, laden with gluten and sugar. I was overfed, overweight, and sorely undernourished! I had no idea that everything I put into my body had the power to make me healthy or sick. Some examples of foods I used to enjoy are bread, cookies, cakes, candies, and pizza. Now I know better. I understand that my body needs real food and nutrients in order to fight disease and be healthy. I purposefully choose to eat the most nutrient-dense and anti-inflammatory food I can find. These include a vast array of fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and seafood. I also drink bone broth regularly and my favorite super-food is chicken liver pâté.
Which recipe are you most proud of in Simple French Paleo and why?
I love all the recipes in Simple French Paleo because they all remind me that simple, honest food is at the heart of life. But the ones I put the most work into are the dessert recipes. The ingredients at our disposal to bake are limited (no gluten, no wheat, no nuts, no seeds, no dairy, no eggs, no butter) and that makes our work in the kitchen more difficult! The French crèpes and my signature pear cake both required many attempts before I was satisfied with the result. While AIP treats should be consumed only on special occasions, I think that it is important to have options for celebrations so we don’t feel too deprived.
Mint + Basil Pesto / No Nightshade Ratatouille © Sophie Van Tiggelen
What interests you when you're not thinking about the AIP and how do you balance everything?
AIP is at the center of my life! I started the Autoimmune Protocol (including the lifestyle recommendations like stress management, taking care of my sleep, and exercising regularly) way before I started blogging. So the Autoimmune Protocol is really the way I live, everyday. The way I balance everything (family life, taking care of my health, my work as a full time blogger and author, my social life …) is by knowing where my priorities are. I know that if my health goes down the drain, nothing else will hold up in my life. So I make my health a priority
What do you do to relax and are you any good at it?
Relaxation is definitely a big part of my health routine. I am good at it when I truly commit to my daily practice! I always have something going on in my life with family and work, so it is my responsibility to make time for myself and manage my stress. Relaxation for me can be 20 minutes spent, undisturbed, in a quiet place, or it can be an hour spent gardening. These are my two favorite relaxation techniques at the moment. But I have tried many other relaxation techniques over the years, including yoga, massages, guided meditation, relaxation response, candle meditation … do not hesitate to switch it up to avoid getting bored or frustrated.
What would your last supper be, Simple French Paleo-style?
My last supper, Simple French Paleo-style would be a lamb roast with my no nightshade ratatouille and a simple salad on the side. For the dessert, if I still have room, I would savor a citrus ice-cream!
Meatballs with Nomato Sauce © Sophie Van Tiggelen
meatballs with nomato sauce (from Simple French Paleo by Sophie Van Tiggelen)
You can still enjoy the traditional favorite of meatballs and sauce even if you have to avoid tomatoes! This clever "Nomato" sauce will make you believe you are eating the real deal. Definitely a favorite with the kids!
extra virgin olive oil for greasing the dish
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground bison
1, 4-ounce can mushrooms, drained (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley + extra for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1+1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 nomato sauce (recipe to follow)
Heat oven to 350F. Set the rack in the middle of the oven. Grease the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil. Using your hands, combine the meat, mushrooms, parsley, garlic and sea salt in a large bowl. Continuing to use your hands, scoop out 1/3-cup-sized portions of meat mixture and form into meatballs. Place meatballs in the baking dish. Bake until meat is browned and cooked through, about 35 minutes. Serve meatballs with a generous dollop of nomato sauce and a garnish of fresh parsley.
(makes 2 cups)
1, 15-ounce can butternut squash purée (about 1+1/2 cups)
2 medium cooked beets (about 1/2 lb), roughly chopped
1+1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1+1/2 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp fine sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds. Check seasoning and adjust salt to taste. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator and warm as needed before serving.
Connect with Sophie on her blog, facebook, instagram, pinterest.
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY: Sophie is kindly offering one of you lucky readers the chance to have your own pdf copy of her cookbook. All you need to do is leave me a comment, telling me why you need this book in your life. If you sign up (don't forget to confirm) for my newsletter (or have done so already), you get yourself an extra chance but make sure you leave a second comment to that effect. The giveaway is open to everybody and a winner will be chosen at random and contacted by email. In the meantime, if you would like to buy your own now, click here for a print copy, click here for the pdf version. Giveaway ends midnight PST on Sunday June 12th. Good luck everyone! [GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED - thanks for entering.]
Disclaimer: Sophie gifted me a pdf copy of Simple French Paleo. It was my choice to review the book and all thoughts are entirely my own.
I need this book because it would help my family connect to their French roots, and eat healthier. My health has plummeted and I am currently anemic, obese, Vitamin D deficient and suffer from auto immune disease that have left me fatigued. I feel like I'm 80 and I'm only 41. A Paleo Diet is suppose to help heal me and what better way to get started than through your book.
Krys Givens says
I need Simple French Paleo in my life! Since going Paleo, then AIP, I've been expanding my experience with cultural dishes, and a copy of this will be my first full AIP cookbook! I don't have a lot of experience with French cuisine and look forward to nutritious, nutrient dense AIP compliant cuisine!
Jeanne carlson says
I need this book because that part cake looks incredible!
Melane Byrd says
Our entire extended family has allergies that are different for each one. This Simple French Paleo cookbook would elevate our cooking to a more refined AIP Paleo template, while serving the needs of us all.
I need this book to take on holiday to France with me, so I don't feel too deprived at not eating out (we're going self-catering)!
I need this book in my life! I did a year abroad in Lyon during university and it turned me on to eating all things French, especially the Bouchon food of Lyon. I then introduced my husband-to-be to French cuisine on a trip to Paris. We then spent our honeymoon in the South of France. I would love to cook some of these foods for him.
Margaret Wendell says
Simple French Paleo is such a beautiful book judging by its cover. I would love to receive a copy since I don't yet own any AIP or Paleo cookbooks. Quite sad.
Margaret Wendell says
Second comment to qualify for the giveaway of Simple French Paleo since I recently signed up for your newsletter.
Jean Sheff says
I need this book because -wow - the food looks absolutely delicious. You'd never know it was AIP. My summer guests would enjoy that!
Em Harding says
I would love a copy of Simple French Paleo! I mean, WOW! I have Graves, and though AIP worked really well for over a year, since trying to reintroduce stuff, I have been struggling with the most random and debilitating symptoms. I would love to have some fresh inspiration for an AIP reset. I adore french cooking books, but always feel they are out of reach due to ingredients...apparently that is not the case!
Em Harding says
And I am totally signing up for your newsletter because your own recipes are simply amazing and so incredibly beautiful. Thank you!
This book looks gorgeous. As someone on AIP and travelling to France this summer this book may well be a lifeline. Thanks for considering my comment!!
Jennifer Cvelic says
This review was wonderful & the book sounds amazing! I am such a foodie, & this June 22nd marks 1 year of being full AIP!!! I could definitely need new inspiration and a point of reference! It would be a great addition to my kitchen!
Thank you for the opportunity!
Elisabeth Effinger says
As I recover from intensive cancer treatment (chemo, radiation and a stem cell transplant), I have a lot of trouble eating food and keeping it down. My tastebuds have changed - and it's hard to be motivated to continue eating healthy when I feel so fatigued, keep losing weight, with temporarily picky taste buds! I know I need the nutrition, but it's hard to feel motivated when all I crave are the things that I don't know how to make paleo.
It'd be infinitely helpful to have a *simple* guidebook with food that my husband and I enjoy, so I can get well and kick this cancer and it's awful treatments side effects in the kahunas! And I've been craving french food lately - it's hard to find AIP / paleo options in that realm! Thank you for creating this cookbook! 🙂
I need this book because I love to cook but find myseld uninspired by most paleo/clean eating books. Looking at a few of these recipes- it's the answer I've been looking for!
Technically I don't need it but it would be really really nice to have as I am starting AIP for what I believe is an autoimmune problem. The recipes sound delicious and your pictures are lovely.
I need this book because I have just started on my AIP life and need all the help I can get and why not french it sounds amazing, just the thing to impress my doubting husband.
Doesn't EVERYONE need this cookbook in their kitchen?!? I love all things French!
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MARY ELLEN says
I would love to have this book as I need some romance in my life to take me away from my AIP struggles. Isn't French The Romantic Language? French Paleo cookbook by association would be lovely!
Debbie Cook says
I truly need this beautiful cookbook because I am having to learn to cook since going AIP at the age of 54 & need -all the help I can get!
Debbie Cook says
Here's my second comment for signing up for your newsletter which should also help in my efforts to learn to cook
Tracey G says
I would love a copy of the book! I am always looking for new and creative recipes, and I love French cuisine 🙂
Tracey G says
Also, I am subscribed to your newsletter!
I'm a mom of 3 kids with food allergies and a cross fitter husband who is turning to paleo to address my own autoimmune issues and my desire to cook only 1 meal! My kids are picky, but somehow like French Food! I would love a copy of this book.
I'm a former pastry cook who had to give up everything I knew about cooking and baking to heal my leaky gut and manage symptoms of Narcolepsy with Cataplexy. My training consisted mainly of French techniques and I would love to have you book so I can be reacquainted with some of my old favorites 🙂
Also, I'm already subscribed to your newsletter!
Bonjour Kate et Sophie! Mon dieu, le livre c'est magnifique! OK, see, that's my rusty French from 6 years of study in Jr. High and High School. And sadly, I have never been to France (nor anywhere else in Europe). I know, right?! And I am absolutely dying to go, most especially to Provence. If there were one place in the world where I wish to be transported, that is it! So, do I NEED this book so that I can be virtually transported there until such time that I can physically go? To quote Kate, you bet your derriere that I do!
Until 2+ years ago, I thought that my health was quite good. Then, at age 55, in my very first month of menopause everything changed when I developed various symptoms of systemic inflammation. While battling low grade depression associated with this, I discovered the ancestral/paleo way of eating and cooking. As a longtime lover of cooking and baking and admiration of Julia Child, it also brought me to realize that ancestral food is actually quite culturally traditional, sometimes with just a few modifications.
Also, I am an avid gardener, and lover of countryside landscapes, so the eye candy in the book looks heavenly to me! I'd love to be the lucky winner!
Kate - what a great interview, thank you! And I am SO making your Meatballs with Nomato -- it looks way better than tomato sauce! KUDOs!
I need this book in order to help my teenage daughter transition to AIP in order to ease her autoimmune (digestive) issues! She loves all this French as this is where her father was born!
Lilly Vamos says
I dream of French cuisine ~ it has always been my favorite and now we have the opportunity to learn to make flavorful yet healing meals!
Stephanie Nelson says
I have several illnesses and I am working to do AIP/paleo however I have had some trouble due to digestion issues where I can't have a lot of fresh fruit or vegetables. I'm hoping this book would give me more inspiration! I also am subscribed to the newsletter so I will take the second try as we!
Stephanie Nelson says
This is my second comment since I already get the newsletter!
Elizabeth Gann says
This gorgeous cookbook would be an enticing reason to try new, healthier recipes and share my love of French food with friends and family!
I need this book in my life, cook books that inspire, that I actually feel like i can pull off the recipes, and that I don't have to tweak for my slowly healing body are a divine rarity. But to be honest most of us with autoimmune are broke and often feel broken so what a beautiful gift for whoever the recipient. Mailing list ✅
joanna schupp says
I'd love this cookbook because I love trying new recipes. I am a very adventurous eater so I love experiencing different taste and flavor combinations.
I about to embark on the AIP journey, and I'm a little worried about all the food I need to give up! This book would be a tremendous help, the recipes look wonderful!
Colleen Amsing-Schmeer says
I am seeing a functional medicine doctor and trying to wade through this journey of AIP eating, while still trying to work shift and cook meals that my husband like. I use to love to cook and try new recipes but that has changed, trying to figure all the dietary changed.
I have been om aip since October 2015 and need some new inspiration.
LUCY LATOS says
OH, IT WOULD BE AWESOME TO HAVE A GUIDANCE HOW AND WHAT TO COOK NEW IN MY LIFE BECAUSE I EAT 2 THE SAME THINGS OVER AND OVER. WOULD LOVE TO HAVE IT ON MY SHELF.
I would love this book to begin
My AIP journey. havingbeen diagnosed
With crohns has been devastating and
I believe this book could help.
Thank you for a chance.
Oh, yes! This is immedietely going on my wish-list! Ah, France... I've attended retreats at a Zen Temple hidden in the hills of Provence, spending the free hours wandering along tracks lined with wild lavender... French cooking and AIP, seems too good to be true!
W Siefert says
I would love to have your cookbook as I am trying to heal Hashimotos. Thank you for the opportunity with your AIP cookbook!
Having been diagnosed over 20 years ago with multiple autoimmune illnesses, I'm always on the lookout for new flavors to keep me on track with the AIP healing diet.
I already receive your newsletter.
I love french cooking and would love some paleo french recipes!
I already get your newsletter
I need some inspiration as I am transitioning to the AIP/Paleo lifestyle. My husband has several autoimmune issues and he loves good food. This book would help me to make dishes that he would enjoy while I am secretly improving his health. Here's hoping.....
I love your newsletter!
Nancy Lipman says
I have put in a bigger AIP paleo garden this summer- no nightshades in it- and a new cookbook will certainly be welcome to explore this produce and provide inspiration. Plus, I love Southern France and just looking at the pictures makes me smile!
Nancy Lipman says
I am very happily already on your mailing list.
I've just started on this path and can use all of the best AIP recipes I can get my hands on. (Of course, I have french ancestry which helps as well). And I'm a subscriber to your newsletter. Thanks for the great recipes, Kate!
This would be the perfect for my family and our young teen girls who are making the switch to AIP. They seriously miss crepes, pancakes, and cakes. I think this would be the start to a new adventure for them as they are helping me in the kitchen. PS. Love your newsletter as well. Cheers!
And I’m a subscriber to your newsletter. Thanks for the great recipes, Kate!
PS. Love your newsletter as well. Cheers!
Cindi Borax says
Why do I need this book? Because I am 'hitting the wall', so to speak, when it comes to AIP recipes these days and am just rehashing the same meals over and over. I need inspiration! And those recipes for the Creamy Chicken Liver Pate, Honey-Lavender Roasted Peaches, and Nightshade-free Ratatouille! heehee
I am moving to France and need food that my french friends are familiar with--but that I can eat!
Melissa Tyler says
Sophie's book looks absolutely stunning - and mouthwatering! I would definitely enjoy taking a closer look, to experiencing AIP versions of French Classics, and to adding a little variety and inspiration to the weekly meal planning. As much as I enjoy bliss & pinterest, there is nothing quite like sitting down with a cup of tea & lingering over a cookbook!