AIP “Nomato” Marinara Sauce

While I was making this sauce, I was remembering the times as a child that I had stood on a chair in my Grandmother’s kitchen helping her make marinara sauce to go over spaghetti.

Of course she was using tomatoes (often fresh tomatoes out of her garden).  And she was serving it with regular, gluten-filled pasta, often topped off with some grated cheese.   All things that I cannot eat now that I am Celiac and following the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).

But back then, when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old, I used to love helping her chop onions, garlic and tomatoes while sat at her long, wooden kitchen table that was set in front of her old-fashioned, cast-iron range.

Her kitchen was probably one of my favourite places.  It was always warm and bright.  The table clean, the terracotta tile floor swept and scrubbed.  She had brightly coloured towels and hand-made pot-holders hanging by the range.

It was fragrant with the smells of cooking – tomatoes, onions and of course herbs.  She always had bunches of herbs hung to dry over the range.  And she usually had a pot of broth bubbling on the range as well.

Once the veggies were chopped, we would add some oil to a big pot, and then the veggies would go in – first the onion, then the garlic, and finally the tomatoes.  Then a big ladle-full of the broth would be added and some herbs – basil, thyme and oregano most often.  Sometimes a bit of rosemary too.

And then I would stand on a chair in front of the range, wearing an apron made from a tea-towel, and I would stir the pot as it bubbled and thickened, adding it’s own delicious aroma to the smells in the room.

I think cooking with Nanny, as we called my Grandma, is one of my fondest memories.

This marinara sauce, while not quite the same as Nanny’s, is just as fragrant and just as delicious.

I have used beets and carrots to give the familiar red colour of a marinara sauce without having to add tomatoes, which are a nightshade and therefor banned, in at least the early stages, of AIP.


I also add some grated fresh turmeric root – it not only provides antioxidants and an anti-inflamatory boost to the sauce, it also helps to change the colour from a bright pinky-purple beet colour to one that is closer to a rich tomato-based marinara sauce.

And, of course, it has all the usual aromatics – onions, garlic and herbs.

This recipe is 100% AIP compliant.

“Nomato” Marinara Sauce

makes 4 cups


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (substitute another suitable cooking fat if you cannot eat coconut)
  • 1 large onion – peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic – peeled and crushed
  • 2 stalks celery – chopped
  • 2 medium beets – peeled and diced
  • 2 large carrots – peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil – chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme – chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano – chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary – chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh turmeric root (use 1 tsp ground turmeric as a substitution)
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt to taste

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over a medium low heat.

Add the onions, and stir for 5 minutes until starting to soften.  Add the garlic and celery, and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Next add the beets, carrots, herbs, turmeric root and bone broth.u

Season to taste with sea salt and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Puree the sauce with a food-processor or a blender until it is smooth.

Return the sauce to the pan, and simmer gently until it is thick and rich.

Taste and adjust seasoning with sea salt and balsamic vinegar.

This sauce will keep for 7 days in the fridge, and can be used wherever you would normally use a tomato-based marinara sauce.

Shared at: Fat Tuesday, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable, Full Plate Thursday, Gluten Free Friday, Old Fashioned Friday, Hearth and Soul Hop

Moroccan Lemon and Herb Roast Chicken

This is my newest favourite way to cook a chicken…

Stuffed with herbs and Moroccan lemons.

It tastes wonderful and the meat is always juicy and tender…


Mmmmmmmm  Yum!

Moroccan lemons are lemons that have been preserved using salt.  They are very easy to make, but you can also purchase them.


I use the recipe from here to make mine, but if you want to purchase some, I can recommend these:

The lemons add both a salty tang and a lemon flavour to the chicken.

This recipe is 100% AIP compliant.

Moroccan Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken

serves 4-6


  • 4-6lb whole chicken
  • ½ Moroccan preserved lemon
  • 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh sage
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley

The first thing you need to do is to take half of a preserved lemon and rub it all over the skin of the chicken.  Then stuff the lemon up inside the cavity.  Drizzle the skin of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place the garlic cloves, bay leaves, half of the rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley inside the cavity.

Chop the remaining herbs finely and sprinkle over the chicken.


Sit the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting tin, and roast in a 350°F  oven for 20 minutes per lb until the chicken is cooked and the internal temperature is at least 165°F when measured with a meat thermometer.

Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.


I served this chicken with some rosemary roasted root vegetables, steamed broccoli and lemon and thyme braised leeks.


Shared at:  Mostly Homemade Mondays, Thank Goodness it’s Monday, Fat Tuesday, Tuesdays with a Twist, Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Paleo AIP Recipe Round Table #69, Gluten Free Fridays, Pure Blog Love, Awesome Life Friday, Natural Family Friday, Real Food Friday, Simply Natural Saturday, Lets Get Real, Savouring Saturdays, Simple Saturdays, Hearth and Soul Hop

Broiled Mackerel with Gremolata

I like to cook fish very simply – usually just grilled (broiled for those in the US) or pan-fried.  And I usually like to serve a simple sauce or garnish with it as well.

This time, I broiled my mackerel, which I had prepared using this method.  And I served it with gremolata this time.

Gremolata is a chopped herb garnish that is traditionally served with ossobuco, but it goes very well with fish as well.

This is a very quick meal (if your fish are already prepared/filleted, it can be fridge to table in less than 15 minutes depending on what you are planning on serving with it).  Perfect for a late night or after-work meal!

Grilled Mackerel with Gremolata

serves 6


  • 6 small mackerel
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil – melted
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • sea salt to taste

First of all, you are going to prepare your mackerel.  I used this method as my mackerel were quite small and I was planning on serving one per person.  If you had larger fish you could simply fillet them.  This is a good method to use.

Lay your mackerel out skin side down on a baking sheet, brush with the melted coconut oil and sprinkle it with fresh thyme leaves.  Season with salt.  Cook under a hot broiler for 5-10 minutes until the fish is cooked and just starting to flake.

Serve at once with gremolata.

For the gremolata:

  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt to taste

All you need to do is to take all the ingredients and put them in a food processor.  Pulse until they are evenly mixed, and the parsley and garlic is finely chopped.

Spoon over your mackerel fillet.


In addition to the gremolata, I served a simple salad dressed with lemon juice and olive oil and some oven roasted veggies (brussels sprouts, beets, sweet potato and red onion) with the fish.


Shared at the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable#14