Paleo Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin breadSarah’s Rap: One of my family’s favorite baked goods is pumpkin bread. I’ve been making it since I was a twelve year old girl with an early love of baking. I was given my first cookbook, a classic Betty Crocker, and spent the next few years working my way through the recipes.  Out of all the things I made, the pumpkin bread recipe got the most use. We’ve tried various other recipes and box mixes over the years, but the classic Betty Crocker pumpkin bread recipe is still preferred by my family and always a hit with friends and co-workers.

Sadly I can’t eat this version any more, so over the last few years, I’ve tried many Paleo pumpkin bread recipes. I’ve never found one that tasted as good as our family favorite. So instead I set out to make my own based on that and I have to say that this year I finally nailed it. Continue reading

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Plans for a Paleo Thanksgiving

Sarah’s Rap: Time sure has been flying by! I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week. It is one of my family’s favorite holidays. We will miss spending it with our extended family on the East coast this year, but are fortunate that several friends will come share a meal with us. I’m sure you know by now if you follow my blog that I eat a strict Paleo diet for health reasons. This means that my Thanksgiving meal will be full of delicious vegetable dishes, meats, nuts and fruits. Many of you may be thinking… a Thanksgiving without bread, macaroni and cheese and sugar?! How is that even possible? Well, it’s actually pretty easy considering the umpteen ways to prepare vegetables, all the cookbooks and websites offering Paleo recipes and the plethora of grain, dairy, sugar and gluten alternative ingredients at the grocery store. There are so many wonderful dishes you can make using wholesome ingredients without having to be in the kitchen for a week straight. Be thankful for your health by rewarding it this Thanksgiving with a delicious, and surprisingly simple, Paleo meal. I know I will!

Thanksgiving

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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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Visiting London on a Paleo Diet

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It was fun to walk on the infamous crosswalk near Abbey Road Studios. A picture of the Beatles on this very same crosswalk graced the cover of one of my favorite albums – Abbey Road.

Sarah’s Rap:  As mentioned in a recent post of mine, I recently had the good fortune to visit London for the first time. I fell in love with the city on day one, despite the pouring rain we had. One thing about living in the Seattle area– it’s made me virtually immune to precipitation. We arrived by train from Glasgow, hopped in a cute black cab and checked into a charming hotel in Soho. We struck out to see the city, taking in such grand sights as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey.  Over the course of 5 days, I averaged about 25K steps  per day on my Fit Bit, taking in as much of the city as possible – Abbey Road Studios, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Covent Gardens and the Tower of London to name a few. The city is immense and we barely scratched the surface, but what we saw of it did not disappoint.

In addition to the wonderful things to see and do in London, restaurants are plentiful and varied. However, if you’ve ever had to travel with food restrictions you know that sometimes it can be a little stressful finding a place to eat that can accommodate your needs, even in as metropolitan of a city as London. I managed to find several places that fit my needs for a Paleo diet and wanted to share them here on the blog in case others can benefit from my experiences there.  Continue reading

Paleo Brekkies in London

IMG_4411.JPGSarah’s Rap:   I recently had the opportunity to travel to London with my husband for our 20th wedding anniversary. It was our first time there and we loved everything about it—the history, architecture, parks, museums, the Tube and the friendly people. It’s a bustling city, full of adventure at every turn. Some of my favorite sites to visit were Kensington Palace, Hyde Park and the Serpentine, Covent Garden, St. James Park, The National Gallery and Trafalgar Square. We stayed in Soho, which was a very central spot for getting around to these places and more. It’s also, a very trendy spot for dining – with restaurants close to our vacation abode, Hazlitt’s Hotel. The hotel, a series of townhomes built in 1718 that had been put together, had lots of character with slanting floors and velvet couches.

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Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park

 A Paleo lifestyle that includes exercise, relaxation, fun and good sleep was easy to find. In addition to the ability to walk to so much, there are also many yoga studios, massage options, bikes for rent, play and music venues, green spaces and more. I found that in all the places we went on our trip to Europe (we also went to Glasgow, Amsterdam and Brussels), people seem more laid back than in the US. Maybe it was because I was on vacation, but I think it’s more than that. There seemed to me to be a bit more of an appreciation for the here-and-now, unlike in the U.S. where everyone (including me) is always going a mile-a-minute and planning out the next 10 things they’re going to do. Continue reading

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