Healing Kitchen Cookbook Review & Sample Recipe: Chicken Tenders with Pineapple Dipping Sauce

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cookbook cover with photo of authors in the kitchen

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’”
~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Great Friends Make Great Books

Do you know Alaena from Grazed and Enthused? She’s one of my favorite AIP bloggers, creating recipes that are quick, flavorful and nutritious. When she decided to write a cookbook, she reached out to her friend Sarah Ballantyne for advice. The truth is, it’s hard to break into the paleo cookbook market now. There are a stable of bestselling authors that each produce about a book a year, and publishers don’t necessarily want to take a risk on someone new. Sarah Ballantyne (aka The Paleo Mom) is the bestselling author of The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook. She liked Alaena as a friend and admired her talent as a cook, so she suggested they partner up and create a cookbook together. They both said it would either make or break their friendship. It made it, and this is the result!

What’s Fabulous About The Healing Kitchen Cookbook

  • Written By People Who Know The AIP Inside and Out.  Both Alaena and Sarah have autoimmune disease themselves and have used the paleo autoimmune protocol to reverse their symptoms. That means they know what it’s like to have to give up favorite foods, and they’ve created recipes so good you won’t miss them. Not only that, but Sarah is the AIP leader in charge of this protocol, so you can be sure that every recipe is 100% AIP. If you’d like to hear more about their personal healing stories, Sarah shared hers in Episode 3 of my podcast and Alaena in Episode 11.
  • 175+ Recipes and 90% Are New.  While a few recipes are popular ones from their blogs, over 150 were created exclusively for this cookbook, and Alaena’s love of global flavor shines through. Here are some highlights: Pumpkin ‘Chili’, Speedy Shanghai Stir-Fry, Mojo Pulled Chicken, Garlicky Greek Lamb Skillet, New England Clam Chowder, Prosciutto & Fig Bistro Pizza, West Coast Burritos with Cucumber Pico de Gallo, Caribbean Plantain ‘Rice’, Spicy African Kale, Comforting Breakfast Casserole, and Friendship Cake with Whipped Cinnamon Honey Frosting. Are you getting hungry?
  • 12 Weeks of Meal Plans. A key to success on the AIP is always having healthy food available so you aren’t caught hungry and tempted by forbidden foods. Meal planning takes care of this, and this cookbook has a wonderful variety: a one-pot meal plan, a “5 ingredients or less” meal plan, a “20 minutes or less” meal plan, an “on the go” meal plan, a kid-friendly meal plan, a “leftovers reinvented” meal plan, 2 batch cooking meal plans, and 4 general meal plans. Talk about covering all the bases!
  • Batch Cooking Videos to Go With Those Meal Plans. Link provided on page 102 of the book.
  • Fast and Convenient Recipes. On pages 326-331, they’ve listed recipes that fall into each of the following categories:
    • 5 ingredients or less: 74 recipes
    • 20 minutes or less: 76 recipes
    • No-cook recipes: 49 recipes
    • One-pot recipes: 97 recipes
  • Helpful Recipe Notes. Recipes comes with tips for prepping ingredients ahead, storing and reheating, ways to change up the flavors, and serving suggestions that pair complementary recipes together.
  • Budget-Friendly: You won’t find lobster or filet mignon, or some of the pricier AIP specialty ingredients in this cookbook. Rather, you’ll find flavorful variations for a wide variety of ground meats and slow-cooked roasts, along with budget-friendly vegetables, prepared in a way that leaves you feeling abundant.

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cooked chicken tenders on a white plate with a bowl of dipping sauce beside them

Sample Recipe

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Coconut-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Pineapple Dipping Sauce (Paleo, AIP)

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  • Author: Alaena Faber
  • Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings



  1. Prepare the dipping sauce: Drain the pineapple and reserve the juice.  Transfer the pineapple chunks to a blender with the molasses, honey, fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons of the reserved juice, setting the rest of the juice aside for use in Step 2. Blend on high speed until a smooth, thin sauce forms. Set this dipping sauce aside in a small serving bowl.
  2. Whisk together 1/3 cup of the remaining pineapple juice, lime juice, and salt. Marinate the chicken in the liquid in a large plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place on a work surface. Spread the shredded coconut on a shallow plate. Roll each chicken tender in the coconut until coated on all sides.
  4. Heat the coconut oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Ideally, you want to cook all the chicken in one batch to prevent the coconut oil from burning, but avoid crowding the pan. Fry the chicken tenders for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until cooked through. If cooking in two batches, wipe out the skillet between batches and then add additional coconut oil to the skillet.
  5. Serve the chicken tenders immediately with the pineapple dipping sauce.


  1. Make Ahead Tip: You can make the dipping sauce up to 4 days in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Leftover Tip: Once cool, store in a sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the chicken tenders on a broiler rack and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until warm and crispy.
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 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 Vicky! 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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216 comments on “Healing Kitchen Cookbook Review & Sample Recipe: Chicken Tenders with Pineapple Dipping Sauce”

  1. Kristine Da Prato

    I’d love to win. I have many cookbooks, but all were bought long before I knew I had an Autoimmune condition and started eating AIP. Thanks Eileen for all that you do. I’m glad you are a questioner and a teacher.

  2. My girlfriend wants me to go AIP with her. She is struggling with her health, and I would love to win this cookbook to help the both of us.

  3. Would loved to be picked to win. I recently fell off the wagon and I am desperately trying to get healthy again. I put myself in that position by not mixing up my menu. This would help tremendously. Thanks for the chance.

  4. Thank you, Eileen, for reviewing the cookbook. And of course for the wonderful blogs and podcasts that just keep coming! I don’t know how you manage it all but it is much appreciated.

  5. Rebecca Nicodemus

    I would love for this to be my first AIP cookbook!! I have a bunch of ebooks to save some money but I really want a large library!

  6. This would be a real blessing to have this at my finger tips
    Thank you for your hard work and commitment to the aip paleo lifestyle !

  7. Kimberly Harbourne

    My family is new to the AIP world. My daughter has a lot of issues with her digestive track and I think this book would help a lot with all of the delicious recipes. Would love to win this.

  8. I have been looking forward to the release of this book, and would be extra delighted to win a free copy! As an aspiring paleo cookbook author myself, I am always inspired to see what others are doing.

  9. What a wonderful combination of first hand knowledge. The best. I too also appreciate your pod casts and share them with anyone who’ll listen! I am living proof!
    If I am the Golden Ticket Winner , I plan to donate the book to my local library system.

  10. I’ve already purchased this book and would love to have one to gift to a dear friend, especially now that you’ve told us how good this book is!

  11. I’m so thankful to God for helping me find your health website. I know that this practical cookbook will be a big help in helping me achieve wellness. I so was blessed by blog #3 with all the excellent and helpful knowledge by Sarah B. I hope I win this. Cookbook Thanks for the opportunity.

  12. Of course, I would also like to win a copy of this book. Hope to give it to a member of my family who needs the guidance of healing.

    Thank you,
    Peace and Joy.

  13. I would like to win this book! I’m ready to go all in with AIR again, and I need simple recipes my husband will be willing to try.

  14. I’d love to win “The Healing Kitchen” cookbook to help in my paleo lifestyle journey. Thank you for offering the giveaway.

  15. I would LOVE to win this book! It’s on my wish list!! The last few months we’ve been pursuing an AIP lifestyle and it’s been a game changer! Would adore having a physical copy 😀

  16. So many entries! I love your blog and would love to win this for my 80 year old mother who is slowly adopting an AIP Diet and feeling better for it every day!

      1. She is the third in the family to get on board, 60% of us following a version of AIP, plus -in-law, son, nieces and nephews. Great results are the very best testimonial.

    1. good for your mom! My mom eats with me, and it has helped her so much. she’s only 75, but the damage in her hands from RA, has improved and she has no pain. she’s a believer

  17. This book looks great, I am getting it for a friend for her birthday. I’d love to win a copy for myself! Thanks for the review.

  18. Alaena is amazing, her recipes are some of the only AIP recipes I can get my WHOLE family to eat. I’ve been eyeing this book off but know I cant afford until after January. Winning this would be the best Christmas present ever. Eileen your blog is one of the most easy to navigate treasure troves of AIP healing information, I recommend it to every other fellow autoimmune journey person I come across as an example of how much you can improve if you have a serious try at Food as Medicine. Thank you for all that you do. Know that you are helping me with your blog all the time. The weekly roundtable is my tastebud sanity saver.

  19. I live in Sweden and there is no AIP cookbook in Swedish. I would love to win this cookbook as I am three month into AIP and has to find some new compliant recipes.

  20. I would love to have a chance to win this cookbook! I am eating a SIBO-specific diet right now, so some of the recipes won’t apply, but it is still nice to get new ideas. Thanks, Eileen, for your INCREDIBLE service with your website, blogs, podcasts, and all you do. Your radiant energy shines through.

  21. Thanks for the recipe and the chance to win the book. I’ve just made the dipping sauce to go with terakihi (a white fleshed dish) – delicious!

  22. I am needing all the tools I can get in this new eating adventure! And I thought going gluten free six years ago was hard :–)

  23. There are so many wonderful developments in paleo aip cooking techniques. Looking forward to seeing more recipes, and will probably purchase this book.

    My only concern is with the increasing use of sugar laden ingredients – – whether it’s fruit or ‘sanctioned’ (i.e. Molasses or maple syrup or honey) in paleo recipes being posted on the Internet. Bottom line: sugar is an inflammatory ingredient.

    1. You have a good point, Cathryn. People do need to watch how much sugar they eat. I’m actually writing about this very subject for the next issue of Paleo Magazine. I do think most people can handle small amounts, but it’s easy to overdo.

      1. Discovering your podcast (& interview with Sarah B.) last December made all the difference in my life, Eileen. My arthritis and Lupus symptoms decreased by 95%. Sought out a functional medicine practitioner and am now on paleo-low oxalate diet. Nice decrease in migraines and vulvodynia symptoms. Very, very challenging to adapt – and adhere to – food program. But even with lapses I now have A LIFE. My deepest, deepest thanks to you for creating such a caring, supportive community!!

  24. Hi Eileen, I’m 50 and trying to relearn how to cook…everything…again (went GF 20 yrs ago). Sigh. Luckily it is helping so much it is worth it. I can move my hands! It’s like a miracle! I would love to win this book because I need all the help I can get!
    Thanks for your great blog.
    Jill Clark

  25. Would love to win a Copy of this book. New easy recipes would be wonderful. It is great that more aip cookbooks are being available.

  26. I would like to win this book as I struggle with finding AIP recipes and I don’t like looking online and copying them down. It would be so nice to have so many at my fingertips!

  27. I’d love to win this book! It’s always great to add new recipes because I always end up cooking the same things all of the time.

  28. Hi Eileen,
    Thank you for all that you and your website. I have RA also and it’s nice to how and what to eat. I would love to have The healing kitchen cookbook.

  29. This book is perfect for me! I suffer from severe M.E. with an autoimmune reaction and very low enery levels whilst I have to take care of myself and and my, also chronically ill, cat. I have an international taste and a very low budget whilst I have to eat 100% organic due to hypersensitivity to chemicals and synthetics. I also have troubles with cooking a good tasting meal due to a limitation of brain function(s) that makes it really hard to learn new things. Recently I also started blogging and I would like to review this book (with permission of course) to help others. I really hope to be the lucky winner of this book, I can also use some good fortune for a change!

  30. Have been searching for quicker, easier recipes that dont use hard to find or budget breaking ingredients. This book looks like what the cook order! Would love to win a copy._

    Also, thanks so much for your podcast. It mskes this journey easier. I have asked several friends to listen to specific or all podcasts to understand why i am changing my diet and ehy some might want to consider doing the same because of their autoimmune disease.

  31. This has got to be the perfect AIP cookbook! Alaena’s fantastic recipes and Paleo Mom’s expertise. Yes! I would love to have this.

  32. I would love to add this cookbook to my AIP shelf as I keep eating this way and really need a tasty and easy way to make AIP meals the whole family will enjoy. Thanks!

  33. Joan Ellen Harris-Burgett

    My life has changed radically since I have been diagnosed with Auto Immune Thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s). I cannot find a physician to help me bring so many varied sorts of painful and disturbing symptoms under control or even offer any kind of help other than thyroid medication. I have never felt so ill and so lost, almost abandoned. Perhaps this new book from Dr. Ballantyne will offer useful help and the glimmer of a better and healthier life than the one I now seem condemned to live. (I also desperately need a physician who practices functional medicine and understands the dynamics of this frightening disease–but how?) Thank you for reading my comments. JoEllen

      1. Joan Ellen Harris-Burgett

        Thank you for that information. Living here I had not been aware of this group. The good news is that I am returning–permanently–to the US on the last day of December this year. With the pain, hives, flaky, dry sky, sleeplessness and unending fatigue I need answers soon and I hope I will find help in my community. I am going to Phoenix, AZ where I have friends and relatives. Perhaps someone will recommend a physician who can help me. Thanks so much for this forum. Reading the stories of other suffering I realize that I know I am not alone. je

  34. I am grateful to you and those who have gone before me on this incredible healing journey. Thank you Eileen for all of your research, knowledge and love that shines through in you blogs…

  35. I’d love to win. Thanks Eileen. Your podcast is my favourite.
    I’ve been AIP for nearly 2 years now ( anniversary coming up) and I’m getting bored of my recipes ;). Btw I’m in South Africa.

  36. This would be my first Paleo cookbook if I win. I love your podcasts! Every week, yours is the first I listen to. Great and interesting guests! Thanks for all you do Eileen. I would love to win the cookbook.

  37. I would love to win this book. I have recently went back to college and all the restaurants on campus have unhealthy food.

    1. I’m a late bloomer when it comes to joining social media, Christine, but I’m having fun on Instagram now that I’m there. 🙂

    1. I would be so grateful to win this! New baby on the way and going to need some inspiration to keep things going in the kitchen…

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