Roasted Delicata Squash with Bacon and Crispy Kale

IMG_5562Sarah’s Rap: I have discovered a heavenly pairing of two fall vegetables- kale and delicata squash, made even better by roasting with shallots until the squash and shallots are slightly caramelized and the kale is crispy, then finishing it off with a liberal sprinkling of bacon. This side-dish is gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo, but full of flavor and very versatile.

It will make an excellent accompaniment to any meat or fish entree, or can serve as an entree all on it’s own. For my own dinner last night, I had it with chicken sausage and asparagus. Fresh from the oven, the kale was crispy and made the dish really stand out. Today, I ate leftovers for breakfast with a fried egg – the kale had softened, which actually was a better compliment to the egg, and the bacon flavor permeated the squash more as they’d apparently gotten to know each other better overnight. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Feel free to mix up the seasonings to your taste.

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Roasted Celeriac, Carrots and Zucchini

Sarah’s Rap: I LOVE roasted vegetables. I’m not exaggerating. When I was a kid I told my sister I loved lima beans, so she told me if I loved them so much I should marry them. I have a distinct memory of waltzing with the pan of lima beans while Melissa hummed the wedding march. Well, these days, I’d do the same with roasted veggies! When I am on vacation and I can’t find a restaurant that serves them, I have serious withdrawals and that’s the first thing I make when I return. I just went camping over the weekend and took some of the below recipe along with me in the cooler. I warmed them up on the camp stove until sizzling and enjoyed them on a bed of lettuce with a grilled bison burger. It was delicious! I don’t think I’ve met a roasted veggie that doesn’t pair well with whatever meat I happen to be having for dinner. Continue reading

Scrumptious Paleo Pancakes

Sarah’s Rap: As promised in my last post for Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes, here is a Paleo version for those like me that cannot eat any grains. I played with different flours and found that a combination of almond and cassava flours made the best texture and flavor. Just like their GF cousin, these are also very thick and fluffy.  As you can see, I like to pair one of these flapjacks with a pastured fried egg, nitrate-free bacon and veggies of some sort. Mmm mmm, and the best part – no need to wait for breakfast. This makes a delicious dinner as well!

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Fluffy Gluten-Free Pancakes

Sarah’s Rap: I have become accustomed to breakfasts that consist of eggs, meat and vegetables, or even sometimes leftover dinner, but I can’t resist the occasional weekend treat of pancakes. Also, I have two small pancake-monsters in my house who clamor for pancakes on a regular basis. On weekends I make a triple batch and freeze them, so the monsters can get their fill during the week. My kids are big breakfast eaters and we feel good sending them off to school full of a wholesome breakfast consisting of one of these protein-packed pancakes, bacon and/or pastured egg and berries. While I eat a Paleo version of these pancakes, my kids prefer this gluten-free, dairy-free version. Never fear… I’ll post the Paleo recipe this week too.

Why gluten-and-dairy-free, you ask? Well, my oldest son is allergic to dairy, my youngest is lactose intolerant and both do better without a lot of wheat and sugar in their diets (and really, don’t we all!?) My oldest son, for example, has shown drastic improvements in mood, focus and skin clarity by cutting way back on both. Continue reading

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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