Katy Galvin began her Paleo journey in late 2011 after losing 65 pounds on an elimination diet and discovering that she was gluten intolerant. Eating a mostly Paleo diet has helped Katy maintain a healthy weight in addition to alleviating many chronic health problems such as migraines, heartburn, high blood sugar, depression, and acne, as well as diminish her struggles with PCOS. Katy is also a classically trained chef and a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, and has worked for ten years in the restaurant industry. She has a food blog called “Honestly Delicious” where she blogs real food recipes and develops her food photography and styling skills. In addition, Katy is the Lead Assistant, social media manager, and a content contributor for Paleo Parents blog. She currently resides in Virginia Beach with her handsome husband, Ian. You can find Honestly Delcious on Facebook and follow Katy on Instagram and Twitter where she is known as the “paleokatybird.”
Hi Paleo Mom readers! I am so thrilled to be writing to you today, and I really hope that I can not only share with you a recipe, but also teach you a little about cooking without a recipe for quick, everyday paleo eats.
So why have I decided to share a recipe for a spice rub with you today? Because a good house rub is my secret weapon. Although I have a large collection of cookbooks, I rarely use a recipe to cook everyday meals. A few times a week I make an Everyday Hash, full of veggies and some sort of ground meat, usually grass-fed ground beef or pastured ground pork or sausage (see Sarah’s recipe). I also regularly make Oven Roasted Wings once a week, pan seared salmon served with mashed cauliflower (see Sarah’s recipe) and Cantonese Green Beans, and a braised dish (like my Mediterranean Pot Roast). What do all these have in common? I usually season them with my house rub.
However, my original house rub, although incredibly delicious, is “nightshade city” and me and my husband are experimenting with more AIP style seasonings in an attempt to see if we are sensitive to nightshades and seed based spices (read more about spices on the Autoimmune Protocol).
At my “day job” working for the Paleo Parents, I read questions from readers and followers wondering about ways to make their food still flavorful and exciting without their favorite nightshade spices. In an effort to provide an answer, I started researching which spices and herbs were AIP friendly and began creating my own AIP Rub.
What makes a good rub? It has to have balance. It has to be good on ANYTHING : it needs to go well with chicken, beef, pork, fish, and vegetables. A good house rub is one spice container you can keep on the counter, and add a quick pinch to any dish to add flavor, without having to look in your spice cabinet, pull out a bunch of bottles and make any decisions. It’s one secret I have to making fast meals without having to think too much, and without having to look up a recipe. Having this house rub around could also be helpful during the suggested elimination phase of the Autoimmune Protocol. Instead of having to look up all the spices every time you cook, this rub can be a “safe” spice jar to grab for and know that you aren’t making a mistake.
To start with, I left in all the spices in my regular rub that were Autoimmune Protocol-friendly as a base, and then went from there.
Sea salt (pink himalayan is my favorite), granulated garlic, oregano, and cinnamon got to stay. I love the sweetness of granulated garlic, and the almost sweetness that cinnamon can lend to savory dishes. I love oregano because it is the flavor that is most predominant to me in pizza sauce and tomato sauce, even though you might never guess it.
Next, I looked at the list of approved spices and herbs, and decided to add thyme because it pairs well with chicken and mushrooms (which I frequently cook with) and a touch of dill for freshness when I cook with seafood. I also added dried shallots for a mellow, onion flavor, but you could also use dried minced onions.
Lastly, to fill the “umph” void that nightshades usually supply, I added ginger and saffron. The saffron gives some much needed color, and to me, ginger can be a little spicy. A little tip? Look for saffron at TJMaxx – they usually have it for a great price!
After I created my spice rub and blended it together in a spice grinder (you could also use a simple coffee grinder), I tested it by blending in with a small amount of ground pork and pan-frying a small patty. When you are experimenting with spice blends, its always a great idea to make a test patty to check the balance.
I LOVED the combination, but decided that I wanted more garlic, so I adjusted and I am completely happy with the final result.
- ½ Tablespoon of Himalayan Sea Salt
- 2 Tablespoons of Granulated Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon of Dried Organic Oregano Leaf
- 2 teaspoons of Dried Organic Thyme Leaf
- ½ teaspoon of Organic Ground Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of Dried Shallots (or Dried Minced Onion)
- 1 teaspoon of Saffron Threads
- ¼ teaspoon of Ground Ginger
- ¼ teaspoon of Dried Dill
- Blend all ingredients for about 3-5 seconds in a clean spice grinder. Store in a glass container.
Now, the test of a good rub… is it good on everything?
I substituted it in place of my regular rub with my Oven Roasted Wings, and they were delicious. If you want a sauce to substitute regular wing sauce, I think the flavors in the rub lend well to a simple sauce of honey, fresh minced garlic, and lemon juice.
I make Everyday Hash all the time, so I tried it with breakfast one day with ground pork, carrots, onion and shaved brussels sprouts with great results!
Lastly I tried it with pan seared salmon in coconut oil, and I really enjoyed the notes of saffron, dill and ginger. Instead of my regular squeeze of lemon, I garnished it with chopped chives and a squeeze of lime to complement the saffron. Wondering how to make this? Just season your fish filets (any wild caught fish will do) with an even dusting of the rub. Heat some coconut oil on medium high heat for two minutes, then sear the fish on either side for 2-3 minutes until the filet is cooked through.
I haven’t tried it just yet, but this new AIP house rub will no doubt be great on oven roasted veggies, maybe drizzled with my Avocado Vinaigrette for a creamy, citrusy finish, and I can’t wait to try it on a slow cooked pork butt, or a grilled grass fed steak finished with a fresh squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of super robust Extra Virgin Olive Oil! I hope that this AIP rub can help both newbies and veterans of the autoimmune protocol add a punch of flavor without the familiar nightshade spices! Peace, love and bacon grease ~ Katy