“The Grain-Free Family Table” by Carrie Vitt

Sarah’s Rap: In a recent post, Tales From a Cookbook Junkie, I embarked on a journey to The Grain-Free Family Tabledive into my collection of Paleo cookbooks. Despite a major cookbook addiction, I often find myself making the same meals over and over again. My plan of action was to explore each of the gems which grace my cookbook shelf more in-depth in order to spice up my meal repertoire. The first one I started with was “The Grain-Free Family Table” by Carrie Vitt and it was a good choice. I’ve been eating well for the last two weeks! The recipes were ones that I could feel good about —  healthy and designed for people like me with many food restrictions. However anyone would love this book, not just those with illness.  The recipes are creative, yet simple and hearty.

The author suffered from severe hives and pain due to Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. By changing to a grain-free and soy-free diet, free of processed foods, she healed her body and is now in remission from her disease without needing to take thyroid medication. She developed the recipes in this book so that she could eat satisfying meals that nourished her body and didn’t leave her feeling deprived. The book’s introduction is inspiring and full of information for those suffering from illness.

One quote from her I love and can personally attest to is, “Natural healing isn’t a quick fix. It’s a long process, but it’s worth it in the end.” Well, with the recipes in this book, natural healing is a lot easier, and tastier, process. 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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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