He Won’t Know It’s Paleo Cookbook Review & Sample Recipe: Asian Lettuce Wraps

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cookbook cover with photos of author and her husband

“Comfort food is absolutely moving upscale.”
~ Danny Meyer

The Paula Deen of the AIP Community

I first met Bre’anna last year, when she joined a recipe group I help moderate on Facebook. She started creating recipes for things like queso dip, blackberry cobbler and pigs in a pillow. To say that people were psyched is an understatement. These are the types of recipes we associate with comfort, childhood, and southern traditions, and until Bre’anna they weren’t an option on the paleo autoimmune protocol (AIP).

I call Bre’anna the Paula Deen of the AIP community. I mean no insult! I always loved Paula’s exuberance and love of home cookin’. I like Bre’anna even more, because she’s removed the inflammatory ingredients from these foods, and created a new category of healthy comfort food.

Meet Bre’anna

Bre'anna smiling with long blond hairBy the cookbook’s title, you wouldn’t guess this is an AIP cookbook, but Bre’anna has celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, and finds the paleo autoimmune protocol keeps her feeling her best. When she first decided to switch to paleo (and eventually the AIP), she wasn’t sure her husband would appreciate the change in menu. So, she set herself the goal of creating recipes so familiar and delicious, that he wouldn’t know they were paleo. A new style of cooking (and blog and cookbook name) were born! I interviewed Bre’anna about her family and her new cookbook.

What were your autoimmune symptoms prior to AIP?

Looking back, my symptoms began as a preteen, but it was in college when I started experiencing digestion issues. Being young and carefree, I didn’t seek help and just figured it was just the way I was. Then as the years went by, it got worse. In 2009, I experienced weight gain, fatigue and newfound bouts of depression and anxiety, and I knew something was up. I saw my family doctor and found out I had Hashimoto’s. At this point, my thyroid levels were still within normal range (except for my high antibodies), and I was told to basically live with the symptoms and that they may not be related to the Hashimoto’s. Two years later, my symptoms worsened again, leaving me with much more severe digestive issues that made me nervous to leave the house every day before noon. My hair started falling out like crazy, and I had ever-increasing joint pain and stiffness to the point my right wrist barely bent and my head wouldn’t turn left. I was a mess. All of these things left me thinking something was wrong, but my busy schedule made me brush it off and chalk it up to having 3 babies in 4 years. However, when I started experiencing nerve pain, numbness and tingling (focused mainly on my left side), I knew I had to seek professional medical help. During several months of fruitless doctor’s appointments, I was often given the diagnosis of, “Well, it is likely celiac disease or lupus.” After a gluten-free trial, I felt fantastic and did a “gluten challenge” to prepare for an endoscopy at my physician’s instruction. This was the worst mistake of my life, health wise. Eating boatloads of gluten after being gluten-free put me into a flare of multiple systems that lasted several months. Deemed too dangerous for me to continue the gluten challenge, I was given a celiac diagnosis by exclusion (after being tested for MS, lupus, and RA).

How long have you been AIP, and do any symptoms remain?

I have been strict AIP for over 11 months now! Most days, I have no symptoms. The ones that remain are mouth sores (although their severity and length of time has greatly reduced), and occasional digestive upset, which can almost always be tied to something I ate at a restaurant or too much starch.

Does your whole family eat AIP now?

Not 100%. I eat strictly AIP, but I keep my house gluten-free and mostly paleo. I cook AIP meals and desserts I can enjoy too, but make modifications like nightshades and white rice for the rest of the family as they request it.

Do you have a favorite recipe in the cookbook? Does your husband?

Gosh. I would say my favorite recipe is probably the Roasted Chicken over Hearty Vegetables or the Mint Ice Cream. I could eat both of those every night! My husband loves the Asian Lettuce Wraps and the Coconut Cream Pie!

Cookbook Details

  • Over 100 AIP-friendly recipes, and 80 of them are new (never published elsewhere).
  • Recipes cover the following categories: Basics, Appetizers, Condiments, Dressings, Seasonings, Breads, Muffins, Breakfasts, Soups, Salads, Sides, Entrees, Desserts, and Beverages.
  • There’s a wonderful pantry list of  commonly used AIP ingredients, including an explanation of what they replace in standard recipes.
  • Here are some recipe titles to get your mouth watering: Dairy-Free Butter, Wings with Wasabi-Ranch Dipping Sauce, No-Nightshade Ketchup, Seed-Free Mustard, Mini Cornbread Muffins, Garlic Breadsticks, Broccoli “Cheddar” Soup, Fauxtato Salad, Teriyaki Chicken Tenders, Lasagna, Dutch Apple Pie, and “Chocolate” Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting.
  • Although Bre’anna is known for her comfort food, she hasn’t forgotten the importance of nutrient-density. In addition to the recipes above containing healthy ingredients, her cookbook also includes recipes for bone broth, liver and salmon – all  important healing foods on the AIP.
  • This cookbook is available as a paperback through Amazon.
  • Update 11/6/15 – Bre’anna wrote a second small e-cookbook to help people through holidays: Holiday on the Autoimmune Protocol.

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photo of cooked recipe

Sample Recipe

Bre’anna said this is one of her husband’s favorite recipes. It seems fitting to choose it as our preview! Added bonus: it also cooks up in under 30 minutes.

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Asian Lettuce Wraps (Paleo, AIP, GAPS)

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  • Author: Bre'anna Emmitt Smith
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups minced mushrooms
  • 1 (5-ounce) can diced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 8 iceberg lettuce leaves


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the chicken and coconut aminos and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the honey, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Stir to coat the chicken. Add the mushrooms, water chestnuts, and green onion and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Simmer over medium-high heat until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. Spoon the filling onto the lettuce leaves and eat taco-style. Serve with extra coconut aminos, if desired.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Courses
  • Method: Stovetop

More Delicious Recipes & Resources

Update: A giveaway was held to celebrate the publication of this book, and the winner was chosen with a random number generator. Congratulations to Su! If you didn’t win, don’t despair. The book is reasonably priced and worth every penny. You can purchase a copy here.

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201 comments on “He Won’t Know It’s Paleo Cookbook Review & Sample Recipe: Asian Lettuce Wraps”

  1. Would love the chance to win this book!
    As some one ne to paleo who also has a non paleo partner, this would be a great way to sneak in healthier food that he doesn’t know is!

  2. I would love to win Bre’anna’s book!
    Both my husband and I have autoimmune thyroid disease, and need to improve our diets to prevent worsening health.

    Thank you so much for offering us this chance!

  3. I am always looking for new recipes to keep my boyfriend doing the diet with me, this book would help with some wonderful new ideas!

  4. What a great story! This would be a great cookbook for me to use with family members who think my diet choices are too weird for them.

  5. I just started AIP a week ago and still learning the protocol am loving the recipes I’m finding online. I am having a hard time giving up chocolate for the elimination phase and would love to discover some great AIP snacking foods and comfort dinner recipes to share with my non-AIP husband!

  6. I have been under a nutritionist for auto Immune, but im allowed night shade (potatoes) eggs and butter. I am wondering if this will be better as ive not had great results.
    Would LOVE to give it a try, here in Aussie Land

  7. Katherine Holbrook

    I have been looking for good recipes for 25 years. My arthritis started when I was 15. I had an old book from the 50s that talked about eating real food and leaving out flour and sugar. I tried the diet back then and it worked but without good recipes and support it was hard to stick with. After many surgeries and all kinds of medicine I am finally ready to make paleo autoimmune protocol my life.Especially since there is a support online, and more recipes.

  8. I’d love to win this book. The recipes she has on her website are great, and I’m sure the book is full of other wonderful recipes.

  9. I am 2.5 weeks into the AIP (yay!) and have already become quite fond of Brenna ‘ s recipes. Having her book would undoubtedly be a great addition.

  10. I would love to win Bre’anna’s cookbook! I’ve been on strict AIP for 3 months now and I’m feeling confident enough to try out some new recipes that would be safe for me to eat.

  11. I have enjoyed Bre’anna’s recipes so much from her blog which have helped me continue the AIP protocol that I would love to win her cookbook. I have several AI diseases and could really use a financial break as well as some new recipes! Thank you for offering this giveaway!!

  12. I’d love to win a copy of He Won’t Know It’s Paleo. Been working on AIP for several months and backslide every week. Maybe some comfort foods are in order to keep me on track!

  13. I’d love to win! I can relate with Bre’anna regarding nerve pain, especially down the left side. AIP has eased these symptoms considerably along with lymphatic drainage massages. My family loves all her recipes we’ve tried.

  14. Thanks for sharing Breanna’s cooking with us Eileen. I’m on day 25 of the AIP and look forward to eating some comfort foods soon. As always, your blog is terrific.

  15. I would love to win! I’ve made several things of Bre’anna’s and she is so talented! I’m sure her cookbook is full of scrumptious recipes too!

  16. Kremena Dimitrova

    I would love to win! I have an autoimmune decease and I still do not know where to start from. Thank you for your podcast, Eileen!

  17. Just starting researching AIP. I have 2 autoimmune diseases. I would love to start out this way. Easy way to cook for my family.
    Most of my family have some autoimmune issue. Is that common?

  18. I would love to win this! Bre’anna is one of my favorite blogs to follow and love her twists on recipes! I have lupus, hashi’s, fibro & a few other fun things that have dramatically changed since going AIP!! Thanks for this opportunity!

  19. I just love her blog. I’m so excited about getting her cookbook into my hands. Thank you so much for the great article and book giveaway.

  20. I would love this cookbook!! I love to cook and bake and it has been a difficult switch for me especially since my husband is having a hard time with the change!!

  21. Mary Ellen Prentice

    Being able to use the recipes from this cookbook would make my day! (especially if my husband didn’t notice the food was AIP) Please consider me in the draw for the e-book.

  22. This has me VERY intriqued – “…Paula Deen of the AIP community. I mean no insult! I always loved Paula’s exuberance and love of home cookin’. I like Bre’anna even more, because she’s removed the inflammatory ingredients from these foods, and created a new category of healthy comfort food.”
    I would be beyond thrilled to win a copy of this book.

  23. Rebecca Nicodemus

    She has some of the best recipes and I would love to win! I have RA and the AIP roundtable has helped me immensely!!

  24. I am always so happy with how good Bre’anna’s recipes can make AIP meals taste so yummy. She is a wonderful cook and I would LOVE to win her cookbook. Thanks for giving me a chance!

  25. Yes, Yes , yes I want to winher book sooo much.I have been following her and pinning her recipes for a while now…they’re so delicious.Her cobbler is a standby dessert in our house.Since there really isn’t an easy way to get her book here in Germany an ebook would be great.Maybe someday our military bookstore over here will carry more paleo and paleo AIP books.
    greetings from Germany,

  26. Hi, after being diagnosed with RA today, I have a month until my Specialist wants to put me on methotrexate, I have only just found the Paleo Aip diet and am so thankful that through eating a strict diet I can reverse my diagnosis. I need all the help I can get. I live in Australia and am so thankful that I have found your website. Thank you for all the hard work that you are doing to educate and share with us.

  27. I have gastroparesis and lupus and they want to remove most of my stomach, I told the doctors to give me one year to try a diet and medication change. I have been researching AIP and this looks like a great cookbook!

  28. I would love this book.. Especially since my fiancé just started eating this way to support me. What a great article.. Like, like, like 🙂

  29. I have been salivating over this cookbook since Bre’anna first announced it! As a southern girl who loves comfort food and family gatherings, going AIP was not only tough, but extremely isolating as well, as I felt like a piece of my identity, being well-known as a cook, was taken from me. I would love to not only continue eating in a way that makes my body feel great, but also start eating and cooking in a way that makes my soul feel great as well!

  30. I SO want to win this book!! It looks amazing! I’ve been AIP for almost 2 months and need inspiration, especially now that my husband has decided to go Paleo.

  31. My daughter and I have been eating AIP for nearly a year, going through a round of reintroductions at the moment but it’s such a slow process! I’m in need of a jolt of inspiration. I would love to win!

  32. I want to win! I almost bought this book off amazon yesterday but decided to go with a different choice, but I still really want to get it! How lucky would I be if I won it instead! 😀

  33. I’d love to win this giveaway! I’ve made a couple of Bre’anna’s recipes to great success and would love to see some more exclusive ones. She is a great resource for everyone on the AIP.

  34. Asian wraps are one of my favorite recipes and eating AIP makes me well. I would love to win this cookbook! Thanks for the opportunity.

  35. I would LOVE to win this cookbook! I’ve made her blackberry (I subbed blueberries) cobbler twice and loved it! Would love to have a good AIP cookbook, as I’ve just (just under 2 months ago) started my own AIP journey.

  36. Yes, I’d love to win! We’re new to this & trying to learn to reverse multiple autoimmune diseases with multiple family members. Having a cookbook with wonderful recipes would be a huge help for success rather than floundering. 🙂

  37. I’d love to win a copy of this book. I’ve been eating Paleo-AIP for a year now and find it really helps my Hashimoto’s and Vitiligo. I’ve even tried some of Bre’anna’s recipes (thanks to Eileen’s newsletter) and love them. Best of luck with your book launch!

  38. I have autoimmune diseases and have been on the AIP for 2 months. It’s helping so much, and I’d love to branch out. I’m really into and often missing “comfort foods.” Thanks for the opportunity to win Bre’anna’s book!

  39. I’ve been on the AIP diet for about 6 months now and it has definitely helped! I’m always looking for more recipes and enjoy making new things. That is so nice of Bre’anna to give you a free e-book!

  40. I would love to win a copy of this cookbook. I have been doing AIP for about a month – I’ve had RA for over 10 years. I cut out nightshades years ago but had no idea that so many other foods were adding to my inflammation. Thanks to all of you wonderful people for helping so many to improve our health and our lives!

  41. I would love this cookbook. The online community is such a wealth of knowledge but I get confused as to what to eat that is best for me. I have been diagnosed with Hashi’s (19 years), Osteoarthritis (recent), and have numerous other symptoms of AI conditions I refuse to admit at this point. I do believe I can be healed through food but needs some fresh recipes and ideas that eliminates soy, nightshades, dairy, and gluten. I get so overwhelmed with all the options. Sounds like Bri’Anna’s cookbook is just what I need. Thank you for the opportunity.

  42. Heather Morrison Cyr

    I am new to AIP (day 2) new to eating meat again as well, because I was told that all of the legumes I consumed were contributing to my thyroid issues. After a few weeks of eating fish and poultry again and continuing to gain weight (slowly but steadily) I resolved myself to the fact that because of my thyroid issues, I was just going to have to accept my body and mind as is. Fortunately, I work with a great dietician who assures me that eating the AIP way will help, a lot. Also, I recently joined several autoimmune/hypo/hashimoto FB pages which has been very helpful over the past few days. I am so grateful for bloggers such as yourself who, though not a medical professional, share your experience, strength and hope. Thank you.

  43. I would love to have a cookbook that provides AIP ‘substitutions’ for things I wish I could eat, while still being healthy on the AIP diet,,,

  44. Would enjoy having new recipes to try. Her symptoms sound sooo familiar. Love the title — it’s so appropriate for us on restricted diets when family members are not.

  45. I would really like to win. I am new to the paleo and AIP , I had to look up coconut amino s -just to see what it was , Lol, but it sounds wonderful. Thank you Bre’anna & Eileen for doing this, Hugggsss , Debbie

  46. I would love to win a copy! I am just starting the autoimmune protocol after being diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases. Would love to have more delicious recipes to make life easier!

  47. I recently found Bre’Anna when i was looking for something a bit more “comfort” for AIP and am hooked. I’d love to win a copy. Thank you Eileen.

  48. I would love to get the family to eat what I have to eat and enjoy it. This cookbook sounds like a perfect fit for my need. I would love to win the book!

  49. I’m always searching for new AIP Paleo recipes…I CAN’T WAIT to buy this book!!
    Thank you Bre’anne for creating this cookbook and thank you Eileen for getting the good news out there!!

  50. I have made many of her recipes before, and they were all delicious. I would love to have the book so I can enjoy even more of her recipes!

  51. I would love to win. I have been eating AIP for the last year and still looking for what is causing my health issues. I am working with a functional medicine practitioner but seem to have stumped her. New recipes that for AIP would be great to keep on this journey.

  52. Stephanie Brockway

    I’ve been eyeing this cookbook ever since she announced it. Would love a copy!! (I also really love what you’re doing, Eileen. Your work is so incredibly helpful. Thank you!)

  53. What a great cookbook! I would love to win an book and start posting photos of the results on the My Paleo Pal app. There’s a nice little community there that would love to hear about the cookbook!

  54. Thanks for all you do! Been managing symptoms for 18 months with diet changes that eventually turned into paleo. Diagnosed last week (finally) with gluten intolerance and lupus. Love your newsletter! I’d love to win!

  55. Like many others, I would love to win this cookbook. Always love to read and use recipes and due to my Hashimoto following AIP!

  56. If love to win this book. I’m essentially in the same boat, no one could figure out my celiac disease, and nowadays I’m so exhausted from adrenal fatigue that it’s good to have a cookbook around.

  57. I would love to win, I have been on AIP for over a year and would like some new ideas of what to, especially things my husband will like too

  58. Pick me!!!! I made Bre’anna’s amazing plantain stuffing for Thanksgiving and it fooled everyone! They didn’t know it was paleo!!! How awesome is that- they actually thought it had grains. Score!! Xoxo

  59. I was just recently diagnosied with dermatomyositis and I’ve just started my AIP journey to help with the symptoms. I iOS love to learn new delicious recipes em that would help make this easier.

  60. It would be great to win the book! I had started AIP and then came down with a super bad case of bronchitis. Unfortunately, I went back to my old eating ways and am trying to start over again. I can use all the ideas I can get!

  61. i would love, love, love to win! I’ve been on a low-histamine, elimination diet for four months, and we are starting to re-introduce foods with the goal of getting me to AIP protocol foods.

  62. I’ve just started my AIP journey and all the help I can get. This along with your tips and tricks I find on your site I should be well on my way to feeling pretty darn good very soon. Thanks!

  63. This book would be amazing to have for my boyfriend and I!! I follow AIP for an autoimmune disease and am just finally starting to see improvements when modern medicine couldn’t help. While my boyfriend usually eats what I do when he visits, I’d love to have more recipes that might convince him to go full Paleo. Thanks so much or the opportunity!

  64. Just got my copy in the mail and I must say that the recipes look amazing! Looking forward to making them all! Would love to win a copy to give to my mom who suffers from food related intolerances. 🙂

  65. i am ready for a cookbook! Two weeks into AIP. Needing some fresh ideas and this cookbook looks like something that I can use for my husband and three kids too. Pick me!!!! I will do this cookbook justice and share the love 😉

  66. Her recipes sound so practical – analogous to familiar foods, while staying AIP. Not all Paleo recipes are healthy, they wiggle around the guidelines and intention. I like how her recipes are emphasizing vegetables.

  67. I would love to win a copy of this cookbook since I’m just starting out on this AIP journey! It’s been highly recommended to me. Thanks!

    1. I have three autoimmune diseases and am feeling better than I have in years after four months on a strict AIP diet. This new cookbook looks wonderful, and I would love to win a copy. I appreciate all the support from the online community.

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