Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

Sarah’s Rap: My family and I have been very fortunate this summer berry season as my organic strawberry plants have born a boatload of sweet, fresh fruit. I filled 2 2’x4′ raised garden beds with strawberry plants two years ago and they barely gave up a pint each season those years. This spring they took off finally, filling out nicely and growing tall, full of white flowers that turned into berries as the summer heat came on. We’ve reaped an estimated six pounds of the juicy red berries this year, spread out over several weeks, and there are more to come! I’m in berry heaven!

I considered making strawberry jam but to be honest we’ve been eating them too fast to have much left each week for jam. But Strawberry Shortcake? That we can do! And even better…a Paleo version that is high in protein for a satisfying and healthy treat. Continue reading

Paleo Banana Muffins / Bread

Sarah’s Rap: Apparently I’m in a mood to bake this week (which is definitely not an unusual phenomenon), so thought I’d share another of my go-to recipes with you. I recently wrote a post about my Paleo Blueberry Muffins, which I have baked at least 4 times over the last two weeks, sharing it with friends and family. I even made a batch and baked it in a 13×9″ cake pan and it turned out fabulous! Another favorite in our household is my Paleo Banana Muffin and Bread recipe.

I was typing it up today to send to Melissa at her request, as I made it the other day for her while I’m here visiting. Yup, you heard me right! The Sister Rap sisters are reunited for the first time in almost a year. I’m so thankful to be visiting while she has her post-mastectomy reconstructive surgery and my mom is also having a surgery. Otherwise I’d be a country apart, fretting. Now that I’m here, I do what I always do when I want to take care of someone – I bake for them!  Continue reading

 Paleo Blueberry Muffins

BlueberriesSarah’s Rap: I adore blueberry muffins, particularly warm from the oven when the blueberries burst when you bite them.  In this Paleo version, almond flour and coconut oil come together with eggs, sweet dates, wild blueberries and vanilla to form a luscious treat for the senses. My kids, who are extremely picky about texture, vote “thumbs-up” on this recipe.  I made a batch the other day so that my kids would have a healthy snack alternative after school. My son informed me this morning that he ate 5 yesterday! Five! I consider that a success in the mom-approved snack department! Once I finished patting myself on the back, I realized that I may need to put these under lock and key. Although these are chock full of healthy ingredients, that’s quite a few almonds to consume in one day, even for an active twelve year old. 🙂

“I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill” ~ Fats Domino

I’ve included two optional crumb topping recipes that can be put on these muffins before baking. A gluten-free (non-Paleo) topping that includes oats and maple sugar and a Paleo topping made with coconut sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon. Pick your poison, do half-and-half or skip the toppings all-together and enjoy the pure unadulterated goodness of freshly baked blueberry muffins without any guilt!

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Paleo Wild Boar Meatballs with Squash Noodles

Sarah’s Rap: Here is my final recipe shared as part of my “Where’s the Beef” series. This recipe replaced beef with wild boar in my meatball recipe, and in my 2nd attempt included a few additional tweaks that suited the pork, which technically wild boar is. Given that, my conclusion drawn from experimenting with this recipe is that wild boar is not a similar taste replacement to beef, but better suited to a commercially-raised pork substitute. Seasonings that would therefore pair well with wild boar are the same that would compliment pork- ginger, garlic, apples, mustard, cloves, soy (or a coconut amino alternative) and sage, for example. I’ve used several of these seasonings in this recipe as opposed to the traditional Italian seasonings I normally use in beef meatballs, which paired well with the zucchini and summer squash noodles.

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Weeknight Paleo Bison Stir-fry

Sarah’s Rap: As promised, here is recipe #2 in my exploration of beef alternatives. This one uses bison, which is the closest taste to beef that you’ll get. This is one meat that I’ve cooked with often as my family has often preferred it to ground beef.

Recipe #1 in the “Where’s the Beef” series, Elk Burger Extraordinaire yields a rich and satisfying dinner, however I can admit that it requires multiple pans and coordination for all those yummy toppings. That is usually the type of cooking I save for a weekend as my weeknight cooking time is fairly limited if I want to eat dinner at a decent time. My second meal to share with you is therefore an easy one as it can be prepared in a single pan. I steamed vegetables on the side of mine so I used two pans, but there’s no reason you can’t just throw smaller-cut veggies right into the mix with the cauliflower and saute them instead.

This recipe is very flexible. Feel free to add seasonings and greens of your choice. Throw shredded carrots in the mix instead of on the side, add some grated ginger with the garlic or even throw in some diced avocado when it’s all done and you’re ready to plate it up. Mmm, I’m making myself hungry again, so without further ado… here’s my recipe for Bison Stir-fry. I hope you enjoy it!

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Elk Burger Extraordinaire

Sarah’s Rap: As promised in my previous post, “Where’s the Beef?” I’m sharing my first recipe from my recent exploration of cooking with non-traditional meats. I found that it has a similar taste to beef, but much leaner. It’s a good thing the meat is so lean, considering the luxurious toppings I paired it with. 🙂 They complemented each other perfectly!

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Where’s The Beef?

Sarah’s Rap: Does anyone remember the slogan “Where’s The Beef?” from Wendy’s commercials? Well, this has been what I’ve been asking lately. Burgers are one of my favorite foods on the planet. Even when I went vegan for almost a year back when I was diagnosed with digestive issues (it was the wrong tact for many reasons!), the only meat I craved was a nice grilled hamburger – juicy, sloppy and covered with yummy toppings. Considering my love of this guilty pleasure, you can imagine my disappointment when a recent MRT LEAP food sensitivity test listed beef as one of the foods which I was not IMG_2577tolerating. Not only beef, but things like almonds, lemons, avocados, cucumbers, tomatoes, garlic, salicylic acid and a few others made the list. This was definitely upsetting, particularly the last one. Do you realize all the things salicylic acid is in? I hadn’t until I started researching. It’s not pretty! But as upsetting as that sensitivity is, the beef one seemed to bother me even more. Probably because I felt like one of my last comfort foods was being taken away. If you’re wondering why I have so many food sensitivities, this is very common for people suffering from Leaky Gut, particularly with foods that are eaten often. Leaky What? For more information on Leaky Gut and the bane of my existence in recent years, check out this excellent article by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne.

Well, as you may know by now, I am not one to sit back and let something like a beef intolerance get me down. I’ve already given up dairy, grains, sugars, most fruits, alcohol, most nuts and starchy vegetables after all! Continue reading

LOVEly Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Sarah’s Rap: Sugary treats in my house are a rare event these days, but on special occasions I do like to give my boys a treat. These gluten-free sugar cookies were a big hit and they had no idea that I had snuck in a little butternut squash and replaced the wheat flour with gluten-free and almond flours. If you’re looking for a special treat for your loved ones, give these a try.

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A pair of Paleo pies to make your holiday sweeter

Sarah’s Rap: Eeek, Christmas Day is almost upon us! Where did this month go?! For me, travelling, work and a cold-turned-sinus-infection have kept me busy on top of the usual holiday fanfare. But not too busy, which is a first for me at Christmastime. I have mastered the art of saying “no” this month and not trying to take on more than I can handle. My long-overdue haircut can wait until after Christmas, as can some friendly get-togethers, and I will be sending New Year’s cards with the dubious mailing date of “sometime in 2017” in lieu of Christmas cards. Instead, I’ve tried to maximize fun time with my husband and sons, as well as ensuring I set aside time for some self-care.  Sorry folks, that also meant less time worked on the blog, social media and writing this month, but you’re all hopefully doing the same! Melissa and I are excited for our blog plans for next month so stay-tuned on that.

On top of the busy calendars, the holidays also can be one of the toughest times (after happy hour) for those of us that cannot have alcohol, sugar, grains or dairy. Most, if not all, traditional desserts have one or all of those ingredients. I cannot eat most Paleo desserts either due to an intolerance to even natural sugars like honey, fruit and maple syrup. This year I was determined to develop a recipe for a dessert I can eat, is tasty and won’t leave me depressed as I watch my fellow holiday revelers chowing down on their own sweet treats.  Hence my pumpkin and chocolate pie recipes are born. Thanks to multiple test runs while I perfected the recipes, I’ve enjoyed a month straight of pie. And even better news folks… I can say that I haven’t put on a pound! I didn’t lose any either, but that’s what January is for! 🙂

These recipes, below, are my holiday gift to you, along with my deepest thanks for your support these past few months as Melissa and I have embarked on a new journey together. I hope you enjoy these recipes as well as the blog! Continue reading