This luscious AIP Zucchini Pappardelle with Mushrooms has become a repeat performer on our dinner rotation and seems to go over well with any crowd. It’s gluten/grain/dairy/egg/soy free, Paleo and AIP compliant, and can easily be made vegetarian or vegan.
I came up with this recipe in our garage. Yep, our garage. We were renovating our kitchen at the time and had set up a makeshift one on the workbench, right between the rack of skis and the bins of fishing and camping gear. Our appliances included a coffee maker, an electric kettle, a toaster and a hybrid crock pot/electric skillet. Our prep counter was my old writing desk. We squeezed our old refrigerator in, right next to the utility shelves which became our pantry. Noah’s parking spot became our dining room. The chandelier? Well, the light on the garage door opener of course!
It was better than nothing, but it got old quick– especially doing dishes in the laundry room sink. We lived that way for four months. And because apparently, I like a challenge, I took my first crack at the Autoimmune Protocol Diet (AIP) right in the middle of it.
AIP, or as I like to call it, THE MOTHER OF ALL ELIMINATION DIETS is not for sissies. No grains, no dairy, no beans, no nuts, no seeds (including spices), no nightshades, no artificial ingredients, and no sugar. And in my case, NO kitchen. Truly, I don’t recommend going AIP while your kitchen is under construction. Anyone who’s tried AIP can tell you that it requires a LOT of cooking.
My timing was not ideal, but this zucchini pappardelle with mushrooms sure was. This simple recipe takes its flavor cues from a well-choreographed balance of garlic, lemon, shallot, sea salt, and just a touch of dill. The silky, ribbon-like noodles, adorned with richly caramelized mushrooms and brightened up with that kick of lemon was a hit worthy of jotting down in my trusty recipe notebook.
I made it again this fall for my in-laws who soon-after requested the recipe. . . Which inspired me to type it up. . . Which inspired me to add it to my AIP recipe repertoire here on Hypothyroid Chef. Alas, I realized I did not have an AIP recipe category under my “Special Diets” tab. So I fixed that (yay!). Now those of you on the Autoimmune Protocol can find all my AIP recipes in one convenient place.
In warmer months you could serve this with grilled flatiron steak, salmon, or chicken. In winter, it’s nice alongside roast Cornish game hen, venison tenderloin, or any other pan-seared or roasted protein. Sometimes I double the mushrooms and set half aside for my 5-year-old. He loves mushrooms. Zucchini? Not so much.
Choosing your cooking fat or oil is important on AIP and Paleo diets. It’s a big topic, and if you’re curious to learn more, I recommend this article from Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, aka The Paleo Mom:
Chef’s Notes: Why Size and Shape Matters
Here’s some cheffy food for thought. When it comes to making vegetables delicious and fun to eat, don’t underestimate the importance of size and shape. Think about a carrot that’s been shaved into ribbons with a peeler and put into a salad, versus one that’s been diced, grated, cut into coins, julienned, or left in big chunks. The experience of eating that carrot (and that salad) is completely changed depending on how things are cut.
Want to make your cooking more lovely and interesting? Consider this often overlooked detail.
I love a good spiralized zoodle, but sometimes a wide zucchini ribbon is a more texturally luscious experience. Zucchini is also a super-star ingredient for any hypothyroid-friendly diet.
As always, let’s explore why this recipe is good for our thyroid function…
- A 1/2 cup serving of cooked zucchini provides 20 % DV of Vitamin A, which may be a key factor in preventing hypothyroidism.
- Zucchini is a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, Phosphorus, and Vitamin B6. It is a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, and Dietary Fiber. So many nutrients for the very low cost of 14 calories per half-cup serving!
- Just 1 cremini mushroom provides 7% DV of selenium, a nutrient important for the production and regulation of thyroid hormones.
- Garlic has many powerful healing properties which can aid or alleviate some of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism such as inflammation, cardiovascular issues, decreased immunity, and increased infection. It can also support the liver in its detoxification efforts.
- Lemons are a very good source of vitamin C. A study recently shared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, stated that, “In patients with hypothyroidism and gastrointestinal pathology, vitamin C improves the abnormalities in serum free T4, T3, and TSH concentrations.” Read the article HERE.
My adventures in AIP kitchen renovation were a mountain to climb, but at the end of it all I came away with two HUGE improvements to my quality of life:
- My health!
- A beautiful, highly-functional kitchen.
Click here for an action shot from our kitchen’s maiden voyage.
Our new kitchen has been a dream come true, and so much more fun to cook in than our old one. It was worth every load of laundry-room dishes, and all the thought and effort we put into designing a space that reflected the way we cook today (think more real fresh food, fewer pantry items).
But best of all, after a year of planning, research, hard work, dietary and lifestyle changes, I feel more vibrant, healthy, pain-free, and clear-headed than I have since my diagnosis in 2011.
You can too. Don’t give up on your health journey. If you are committed to the work, dreams DO come true. Believe that.
Wishing you happy cooking and the best of health,