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AMAZING Avocado & Mackerel Boats (AIP/Paleo)

Avocado Mackerel
Works well with sardines, too!
These AMAZING Avocado and Mackerel ‘Boats’ come to you care of my lovely AIP mate, Miss Amanda from up in Queensland.

I bang on a lot about the importance of community in this health caper. One of the lovely and unexpected bonuses of following a healing protocol like the AIP is the new people you meet along the way. This AIP community is a wonderfully inclusive one. Friendships are born.

This is the first in what I hope will be a new series on AIP friendships. A place where I get to introduce some of the lovely relationships I’ve developed with fellow AIPers – both in real life and online – born out of a shared passion for improving our health through following the diet and lifestyle principles of the Autoimmune Protocol. I hope you enjoy meeting some of these ‘real-life’ AIPers and the recipes they provide.

My inaugural ‘AIP Friendship’ spotlight falls on the delightful and always enthusiastic Amanda Brangwynne-Smith, a Brit’ who has made her way to Queensland via a circuitous route through the Middle East. If you’re a regular Instagrammer, you may already know Amanda from her wonderfully engaging amanda_whatcanyoueat profile. She is renowned around the AIP globe for her incredible networking and experimenting with AIP recipes. The woman has skills! She has undertaken several trips to Canada and the Pacific North-West to catch up with northern hemisphere AIPers. She really is a bit of an AIP legend!

Amanda and I first met in the real world during Mickey Trescott’s visit down under to promote the metric version of her eponymous cookbook, ‘The Paleo Autoimmune Cookbook’ back in 2017. We became fast friends and, while Amanda is based in sunny Queensland, she often travelled to Sydney for long weekends with her husband who was working here on a long-term contract.

The lovely Amanda first started her personal AIP caper in August of 2014. She had suffered from eczema as a child, and it reappeared as she developed Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) as an adult. More recently, she has had a Collagenous Colitis – IBD by any other name – diagnosis confirmed, too.

Amanda has been experimenting with what works for her. While she has been in a strict AIP elimination for some time, she started experimenting with a low-FODMAP approach in conjunction with her AIP because she felt a little ‘stuck’. (She uses the Monash University low-FODMAP model.) As a result, she has discovered that garlic is definitely not her friend, but she is now finding alternatives in leeks and spring onions (scallions).

Life has changed considerably since the beginning of her health caper. Amanda reports that although she is still on some medication for her RA, her:

  • Eczema is almost completely gone
  • Hormones have ‘equalised’ despite the onset of menopause (her personal doctor can’t believe her lack of symptoms and both her husband and son comment on how she is a much ‘nicer person to be around)
  • Sleep has improved
  • Energy levels are significantly higher

In fact, as far as she is concerned, the only downside of this lifestyle is the weight loss she has experienced.

You may know about my weekly sojourn to the Carriageworks Farmers Market. Well, whenever Amanda is in town, we have been making an occasion of meeting up at the markets – respective partners and puppy in tow – and then heading back to ‘Casa Jo’s’ for a serious AIP breakfast cook up.

There’s something very special about connecting with fellow AIPers – people who get what you eat (and love it as much as you do!); people who don’t think you’re weird having all sorts of leafy greens on your plate at breakfast time; people with whom you can swap fermentation stories!

Amanda, for me, is one of those friends.

Today, she is sharing her recipe for AMAZING Avocado & Mackerel ‘Boats’. This is one of her favourite lunch options (Amanda tells me she stands at the kitchen counter eating it directly out of the bowl!) I can attest to the fact that this is a seriously more-ish little number.

I like to think of these AMAZING Avocado & Mackerel ‘Boats’ as Amanda’s signature dish!

This super-easy little recipe is fancy enough to serve in ‘boats’ for a dinner party, but simple enough to have with some leafy greens for lunch. More, it’s also chock-full of nutrient density and high in happy fats and omega-3.

It takes no time at all to whip up!

I hope you enjoy Amanda’s recipe!

AMAZING Avocado & Mackerel Boats
Prep time
Total time
These babies are perfect as a healthy lunch or appetiser. They're full of nutrient-density - and especially the oily fish that most of us don't get enough of.

Serve your avocado and mackerel on a bed of mixed leaves, or get super fancy, and pop back into the avocado shells to make 'boats'.

Serves 4
Recipe type: Starters and Snacks
Serves: 4
  • 2 avocados, sliced in half, pit removed
  • 2 tins mackerel in olive oil, (about 125g /4.4 oz per tin)
  • ½ red/Spanish onion, finely diced
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, skin on, seeds removed, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice + more to taste
  • a generous handful cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt + more to taste
  1. Spoon out the avocado flesh into a medium-sized bowl (taking care not to split the skins if using as serving receptacles!) Mash avocado flesh. Using a fork, remove mackerel from tins and add to the avocado mash, reserving oil. Mix well.
  2. Add chopped onion, celery, cucumber, lemon juice, cilantro/coriander and salt. Mix well.
  3. Taste and add more salt/lemon juice as preferred.
  4. Pop into the fridge to allow flavours to imbue for as long as you can - minimum 10 minutes.
  5. Serve on paleo crackers, in celery sticks, on cucumber slices, on a bed of salad greens or into avocado 'boats'
To convert recipe to low FODMAP, swap red onion for finely chopped radish and chives or spring onion greens
E N J O Y !
*First published on Conscious Autoimmunity

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