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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Tales from a Cookbook Junkie

CookbooksSarah’s Rap: Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved to pore over cookbooks. I read recipes like some do magazine articles and usually head to the cookbook section in a bookstore before anything else, despite my already overflowing shelf of cooking and baking manuals. I don’t usually watch sitcoms, but sit me in front of the Food Network, Cupcake War or some other foodie cooking show and I’m sucked in. Or at least I used to be. Now that I can’t eat many of the things they are cooking on those shows, and frankly often don’t want to, I find them less appealing. Despite the fact that I started a Paleo diet because that was all I could eat, I actually prefer to fill my body with healthy foods. I love the way it make me feel and firmly believe that a daily diet full of fresh veggies, fruits, nuts and healthy meats and fish is the best way to nurture both the body and the mind.

Over the last seven years, my shelf full of high-sugar, grain- and dairy-filled cookbooks has transformed to be chock full of Paleo, anti-inflammatory, gluten-free, and grilling cookbooks. Wherever I look, stores are selling books and cookbooks on these topics as well as Clean Eating, Whole 30, the Mediterranean diet, the Ketogenic diet, and more. Every body is different, so a Paleo diet might not be the right choice for everyone, but there is no mistaking that cutting out sugar, gluten, corn and unhealthy oils can improve anyone’s health. There are so many great options out there for people who want to change their way of eating to one that will improve or promote better health. Continue reading

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

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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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!

Elk Burger 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