“The Grain-Free Family Table” by Carrie Vitt

Recently, 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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Paleo Banana Muffins / Bread

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 my sister at her request, as I made it the other day for her while I’m here visiting. I’m so thankful to be visiting her 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

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Creamy Thai Pumpkin Soup

In my opinion, there is nothing better than a creamy pumpkin or squash soup in the fall to round out a meal or to serve as a light yet satisfying respite from meat. This recipe was inspired by a Thai butternut squash recipe that my good friend and fellow foodie gave me. I had been thinking of what to do with a pie pumpkin that I had bought so I swapped the squash for pumpkin, made a few personal tweaks and voila…this Thai Pumpkin Soup was born!

I love this soup so much that I always make sure I have some on hand in the freezer (frozen in individual portions to grab one for work or to serve alongside my dinner). The spice level depends on how much curry paste you use. I find 2 tablespoons is perfect for me, but feel free to add more or less as your taste desires. Look for one that does not contain sugar or weird additives. Continue Reading

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Scrumptious Paleo Pancakes

Here is a Paleo pancake recipe for those like me that cannot eat any grains or for those that just don’t want to. I played with different flours and found that a combination of almond and cassava flours made the best texture and flavor. 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? There is no need to wait for breakfast as this makes a delicious dinner as well!

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Roasted Delicata Squash with Bacon and Crispy Kale

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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Paleo Chocolate/Carob Muffins

I have to fess up. I have a major addiction. Well… two addictions. Okay, okay, maybe a few more than two, but that’s all I’m going to fess up to now! What two you ask? Well, chocolate is one and muffins are the other. I love them both dearly and these are two things I cannot give up.

Now that I eat a Paleo diet my muffin recipes have changed, but they are close to consistency and flavor of traditional muffins and I find them incredibly satisfying.  I recently developed this recipe for Paleo Chocolate Muffins and am eager to share it!

If you can’t eat chocolate, don’t worry! You can substitute carob powder for the cocoa powder, which I often do as it makes a sweeter muffin and I am very sensitive to the caffeine in chocolate. Since I often eat these for dessert with a dollop of whipped coconut cream on top, I prefer to steer clear of caffeine so as not to interfere with my sleep. I find substituting with carob powder is very close in flavor to chocolate, particularly when made with “toasted carob” powder. Continue Reading

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Paleo Strawberry Shortcake

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

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Paleo Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries

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 an optional crumb topping recipe that can be put on these muffins before baking or skip the topping all-together and enjoy the pure unadulterated goodness of freshly baked blueberry muffins without any guilt!

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Weeknight Paleo Bison Stir-fry

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 haricot vert 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.

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Paleo Wild Boar Meatballs with Squash Noodles

 

Here is my final recipe shared as part of my “Where’s the Beef” series. For the first two recipes, check out Weeknight Bison Stir-Fry and Elk Burger Extraordinaire. 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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