Tasty Autoimmune Recipes for a Lupus Diet Plan
One of the most common complaints I hear from my lupus patients and autoimmune patients in general is: “What am I supposed to eat?” When I tell them what foods make lupus worse, they feel very restricted. The good news is that there are plenty of lupus recipes that will make you feel less deprived while at the same time healing your body.
We mention a lot of autoimmune wellness recipes in our cookbook, Lupus and Autoimmune recipes. To get you started on a lupus diet that will jumpstart healing, I’ll share some lupus recipes that are easy to make and delicious to eat.
First, though, let’s talk about what foods make lupus worse and how I approach a lupus diet.
Best Foods for Autoimmune Diseases Like Lupus
I start by putting all my lupus patients and those with autoimmune disorders on an elimination diet. This involves removing grains, dairy, nightshade vegetables like tomatoes and peppers, eggs, soy, sugar, caffeine, and alcohol from the diet for three weeks, then the foods are reintroduced one at a time. The goal? Cut down systemic inflammation as soon as possible.
Personalizing an Autoimmune Diet
Once my patient’s lab test results come back, I will then personalize the diet. For example, if the patient has both lupus and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)—a condition where there is an overgrowth of the wrong type of bacteria in the small intestine—I will make the diet more gut-specific.
If they have blood sugar problems along with their autoimmune disease, I’ll make sure they’re emphasizing low-glycemic foods.
Although diets should be personalized, this is the one dietary commonality between all autoimmune patients—they do better when they are on a grain-free diet. That’s why I urge all my autoimmune patients to avoid eating wheat, spelt, oats, and rice. Instead, I suggest they eat chickpea or lentil pasta. They can also use spiralized vegetables as pasta replacements.
Getting The Best Results from Your Autoimmune Diet
The four lupus recipes below will get you started, but it’s important to know that you’ll have the best results if you work with a functional medicine provider at the same time as you start an autoimmune or lupus diet, so it can be personalized for your own needs. That’s why I invite you to get in touch with the Caplan Health Institute. We can order food sensitivity tests and other lab work that will show you the foods to eat in order to feel your best again.
Meanwhile, here are four recipes that not only promote autoimmune health—they’re delicious, too!
Recipes for Autoimmune Diet
Most of my lupus and autoimmune patients miss their bread and other wheat products. Remember, all of my autoimmune patients see tremendous improvements on a grain-free diet. That’s why I recommend these grain-free recipes for bread, tortillas, pizza crust, and oatmeal. You can still have your comfort foods even when are on a lupus diet. Here are four recipes that will quench your bread cravings but get rid of those pesky grains that can be a problem for autoimmune diseases like lupus.
Healthy Fiber Bread
Makes 12 buns, 1 loaf, or 2 small loaves
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup psyllium husk powder
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup packed flax meal
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pink salt
6 large egg whites (approximately 8 oz)
2 large whole eggs
2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Note for people who need to avoid eggs: Replace the eggs in the bread recipe with aquafaba, the liquid left over from cooked chickpeas. Use a full 3 tablespoons of aquafaba per 1 large egg. Use 2 tablespoons of aquafaba per 1 large egg white. Whip up like egg whites in recipe.
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix all dry ingredients together in bowl and set aside.
3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy/almost peaks.
4. Add in whole eggs to egg whites.
5. Intermittently add dry ingredients and hot water into eggs
until well incorporated.
6. Add in apple cider vinegar.
7. Prepare pan(s) using parchment paper or oil.
8. For buns, divide dough evenly into 12 balls and slightly flatten out on cookie sheet(s) to be a couple inches apart.
9. For a loaf of bread, use a single standard size loaf pan OR 2 smaller loaf pans. If using 2 smaller loaf pans, check after 45 minutes.
For 12 Grain-Free Buns:
Bake for about 45-60 minutes until top is hard and toothpick inserted is clean. (Can check them after 30 minutes since every oven is different)
Remove buns and cool on cooling rack.
For a Loaf of Grain-Free Bread:
Bake for about 60 -75 minutes until top is hard and toothpick inserted is clean. Cool loaf in pan for about 10 minutes before removing and cooling on cooling rack.
Easy Tortilla/Flat Bread Recipe
Makes about 6 tortillas
½ cup almond flour
½ cup tapioca flour
1 cup organic coconut milk, canned and full fat
- Mix all the ingredients together
- Heat a 9.5-inch pan over medium heat and pour batter to desired thickness (see notes below).
- Once the batter fluffs up and looks firm/mostly cooked, flip it over to cook the other side. (Be patient, this takes a little time!)
- Remove from pan and repeat with rest of batter. You may need to add extra oil in pan for each one.
• If you are not using a non-stick pan, you will need to use some sort of oil/fat to keep the batter from sticking. I like avocado oil or coconut oil for medium to high heat.
• If the cream has solidified in your canned coconut milk, then mix well before using.
- This recipe can make more or less depending on desired size of each tortilla (like pancakes 😉 ).
Low-Carb, Oat-Free, Oatmeal Replacement
Makes 1 serving
2 tablespoons shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons almond flour
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon pecan pieces
1 tablespoon walnut pieces
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of stevia (to taste)
Dash of salt (optional)
1/2 cup boiling water
Optional toppings: almond or coconut milk, extra cinnamon, hemp seeds, nut butter, berries
Combine all ingredients in bowl. Pour boiling water over dry ingredients and stir. Let sit until well combined (about 4 minutes). Add toppings. Makes one serving.
Tip: Can pre-make large batch of dry ingredient mix for easy and quick preparation.
Dairy Free Cauliflower Keto Pizza Crust
Makes 1 pizza crust
• 2 cups riced cauliflower
• 2 large eggs
• 3 tablespoons coconut flour
• 2 tablespoons avocado oil
• 1 tablespoon fine salt
• 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
Flax egg replacement: Combine one tablespoon of flaxseed meal and three tablespoons of water and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
Makes one grain-free pizza crust. I like to double the recipe and freeze the extra crust for a later use.
• Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
• Microwave the riced cauliflower for 5 minutes then transfer it to a cheesecloth bag or clean kitchen towel. (I typically avoid microwaves and instead choose to cook stove-top with a little water until cauliflower is soft, which I recommend if you have time). Carefully squeeze out as much water as you can. Let it rest a few minutes then squeeze out even more water.
• You should have about a cup of the cauliflower paste. Add that to a large bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients until a soft dough forms.
• Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and shape your pizza crust on it. Do not spread thinner than ¼ inch or it will tear.
• Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cauliflower crust is golden in color and lightly browned on the edges.
• Add your favorite toppings and pop it in the oven for an extra 10-15 minutes.
Going on a lupus diet does not mean you have to miss out on all of the delicious food out there. You just need these recipes to help you enjoy the simple pleasures of life without grains. Taking these steps will make your immune system healthier and reduce autoimmune symptoms. For more lupus recipes, be sure to check out our autoimmune recipes cookbook, Lupus and Autoimmune recipes. Learn more about how we help patients with autoimmune diseases everyday in our blog, “Triggers and Causes of Autoimmune Disease.”