Christmas on the autoimmune protocol (AIP). It’s not easy, at least not to begin with. At this time of year you’re bombarded with TV adverts showing people in festive jumpers laughing as they stuff their face with chocolate truffles, jab their fork into a perfectly golden, crisp roast potato, and pour custard all over a boozy, whipped cream-topped fruit trifle. There’s Stilton, alcohol, Christmas pudding. And on AIP, that’s all out.
A Christmas party feast that’s totally AIP-compliant, without the need for obscure ingredients or hours in the kitchen. You can make most of it the night before, so all you have to do on the day is take it out of the fridge and serve.
But before you start to think you can eat what you like for the Christmas season and then get back on AIP in January, I’ve got some bad news. Sorry. The thing is, if you’re using diet to heal from autoimmune disease, and you know that you react to dairy, sugar, and gluten – is it really worth the risk that you might set back the healing you’ve worked on for months?
Let me tell you this. You absolutely can make an amazing, crowd-pleasing AIP-compliant Christmas feast without complicated ingredients and spending hours in the kitchen. And I bet the non-AIP peeps will pinch a couple of those sausage rolls. And some pâté.
Enjoy Christmas by focussing on the foods you can eat. Smoked salmon, Prosciutto ham (just make sure it’s not seasoned with nightshade spices or black pepper), homemade pâté with plantain chips. You can even have a glass of something fizzy and refreshing by mixing fruit juice with sparkling water. And don’t forget the veggies – they’re always good alongside too.
This Christmas feast is totally AIP-compliant and doesn’t take much time at all to make. You can make most of it the night before, so all you have to do on the day is take it out of the fridge and serve. There’s a smoked salmon, caper and lemon plate; prosciutto with figs, and a beautiful pork liver and bacon pâté that you can serve with plantain chips for crunch.
There’s also an AIP version of sausage rolls – seasoned pork mince wrapped in streaky bacon. Just add a few salad leaves, some chopped raw veggies for nibbling on and you’re pretty much done. For sweetness, a few bunches of grapes are good strewn around the table, as are clementines, apples and plums. A few pitted dates stuffed with coconut butter and dusted with cinnamon will do the trick too and add that Christmas-y warmth.
- 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
- Roughly 4 heaped tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- ¼ tsp mace
- 1 bay leaf
- 350g pig's liver
- 100ml dry white wine
- 250g pork mince
- ½ tsp dried sage
- Pinch of salt
- Good pinch of mace
- 8 rashers of smoked, streaky bacon
- 100g smoked salmon
- 2 tsp capers
- 1 lemon
- 100g salad leaves - rocket, watercress and spinach work well
- 8 slices prosciutto
- 3 figs
- The day before, make the pâte and the sausage rolls, to save time.
- To make the pâte, cut the bacon into small pieces and dry fry until golden and just beginning to crisp up. Lift them out onto a plate and pour the bacon fat left in the pan into a quarter-cup measuring cup. Top it up with coconut oil and then spoon it all back into the pan. Fry the onions and garlic until softened and then add the dried herbs and spices. Cut the liver into small, bite-sized chunks and add this to the pan, stirring so it cooks evenly. Once the liver is sealed on the outside and is turning golden, pour in the white wine. Turn up the heat, allowing the alcohol to evaporate, and then turn the heat down, to cook the liver all the way through. Spoon in the final 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Once the pork liver is cooked through (this will take just a few minutes), tip everything into a bowl and remove the bay leaves. Blend the mixture until smooth and pour into serving dishes. Top with more bacon fat if you like, and a sprig of thyme for decoration. Once cool, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
- To make the meatballs, mix together the pork mince, sage, salt and mace and roll into small bite-sized balls. Get out a baking tray and wrap a rasher of bacon around each one, securing with a cocktail stick as you arrange them on the tray. Bake at gas mark 6/200ºC for 20 minutes, or until sizzling and cooked through. Take out and leave to cool, refrigerate overnight.
- The day you want to serve, make the smoked salmon plate. Arrange the smoked salmon slices over a serving plate and sprinkle over the capers. Slice the lemon into quarters and position them between the salmon slices. Take to the table, along with the sausage rolls and pate and leave to come to room temperature.
- Finally, for the prosciutto, tip the salad leaves out onto a serving plate and arrange the prosciutto slices on top, curling them around to create some height. Cut the figs in half and arrange them between the prosciutto slices.
- Serve the feast with fresh fruit, sparkling water and fruit juice, plantain chips and carrot and cucumber sticks.