Archive for guest posts

Try something NEW: 10 Alternative Thanksgiving sides and accompaniments EVERYONE will love

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks away! Does anyone else’s family eat totally differently, with an array of allergies and preferences? One Vegetarian (or vegan), me, the token paleo, someone is always part-time gluten-free or Keto, various people have serious or subtle allergies to nuts (me and my cousins), or new restrictions like broccoli (also ME. I AM the problem). There is a lot to keep track of, and it’s hard to please everyone all the time. I hope that I’m bringing a solution to you in the following whole food, easy-to-make options for Thanksgiving. Whether you’re hosting, contributing to a potluck, or pulling together a “Friendsgiving” celebration, these dishes can help you to both please a crowd and branch out at the same time. It’s easy to dazzle tastebuds with loads of sugar coating or generous amounts of butter and cream, but you can also dazzle in a healthy way this holiday season. All my recipes are inspired by comfort foods and big flavors, so you can give the gift of a healthy side-dish that doesn’t “taste healthy” as my husband puts it!turmeric cocktail

For a spectacular and dazzling appetizer pair, try my Fall Turmeric Cocktail with Bacon-Wrapped Dates or shooters of Lori’s Butternut, Fennel & Leek Soup with a fennel garnish on top! For a different, but classically delicious Italian spin on traditional squash, try Acorn Squash Agrodocle, an uniquely delicious side that I recently posted.

Butternut Sage Quinoa

For a protein-packed vegetarian side (Vegan if you replace the butter with oil), try my very popular dish that everyone at Friendsgiving wanted the recipe for, Butternut Squash and Sage Quinoa with Macadamia nuts

For your sometimes gluten-free, one-time vegetarian, newly keto cousin, who you never know what the hell they might eat, try my spin on my Granny’s classic Tart Cranberry Relish.

Tart Cranberry Relish

Thanksgiving can also be stressful. Whether you’re hosting, spending time with the in-laws, or navigating your own colorful family, this holiday can be tricky. It can also get monotonous with everyone clinging to their favorite tradition. This is going to make me sound like a grinch, but it’s hard for me to endorse even the most sentimental traditions when they’re often made up of non-foods: canned cranberry sauce, marshmallow/sugary toppings, evaporated/condensed milk, instant puddings, the list goes on… Tradition is important, sure. It’s also important to have a balance, which is why I like to introduce new WHOLE food recipes that are totally homemade, but easy and with no artificial ingredients. THESE are the traditions that I want the children in my family to remember and adopt so that they can have sentimental favorites that also benefit their health.

In my mind, the most important Thanksgiving tradition is the Pumpkin Pie, and thus, I think it is my most important recipe for you to try. I encourage you to whip up some full-fat coconut milk, sweetened with a bit of vanilla extract and honey or maple syrup to top it! This recipe is dairy free, vegetarian, gluten free, and paleo.

If Pumpkin pie is not your thing, I encourage you to try my newest recipe for Sticky Toffee Pudding (coming 11/11) or my crowd-pleasing and nut-free Sunflower Sesame Seed Cookies

And finally, you will need some nourishment in the morning as you prepare the day’s Thanksgiving meal and watch the Parade! My Pumpkin Coffee Cake is my best recipe to date! It is melt-in-your-mouth perfection and would be an EXCELLENT way to say “Thank you” to your Thanksgiving host or “Good Morning!” to your house guests!

If this was helpful to you AT ALL, please drop a comment and let me know. It would make my holiday to know that one of the recipes I’ve created has made it to another family’s precious dinner table!

paleo pumpkin coffee cake

Guest Post: Butternut Fennel Leek Soup

Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other, gold.

One of the best parts of being an adult is finding true inspiration and fulfillment from your friendships. I’m really proud and lucky to say that I’ve been friends with Lori and Far for 15 years now, and they each inspire me in different ways. I’m totally humbled to think that my recipes and health lifestyle have inspired some of their own cooking. Far designed this website and Lori created and wrote this recipe with (ME?!) in mind. I’m excited to share that it is delicious and the perfect healthy way to warm up your icy weekend! Go get your ingredients quick, before the storm! And enjoy being snowed in this weekend.


This took me about 1.5 hours to make from start to finish. It has a very good earthy flavor and I think the
ginger does kick it up a notch, so feel free to use less if you prefer. If you don’t have a hand mixer (immersion blender) you can use a blender but be careful because it will be hot, so only fill it up half way! Also, I have read other recipes that call for coconut milk to thicken it up. I decided against it because once it’s all mixed together, I feel like its rich and thick enough. Here is how I made this soup. I think this is a good base and you can add or subtract anything to suit your taste. I thought, “Liz would have some good input!”

Butternut Fennel Leek Soup- Paleo, Whole 30, Dairy and Gluten Free

You will need 1-1.5 hours and:

1 butternut squash (cut in half and seeded)
1 fennel (separate stalks and fronds from bulb- fronds can be used to garnish)
2 leeks
ginger root (as mush as you want) I used almost an entire root- but
you can use 1-2 inches)
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
smoked paprika
olive oil- just enough to coat the veggies and a little to cook the
fennel stalks and ginger
garlic powder

  1. Preheat over to 350
  2. Chop up fennel bulb into 8ths, and cut leeks in half (I barely cut the
    end off and then just up to where the green on the stalk gets super
    dark- about 5 inches)
  3. Combine in a bowl with garlic powder, salt and pepper and olive oil
    enough to coat.
  4. Then take butternut squash halves, drizzle with olive
    oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. put on greased baking
    dish and surround with leek and fennel and bake about 40-50 minutes or
    until butternut is soft and easy to scrape out and the edges of fennel
    and leek are brown.
  5. Thinly chop up the fennel stalks, ginger and mash the garlic,
    throw into a pan and saute with salt and pepper to taste until almost
    caramelized- add some smoked paprika to taste. Add in the lemon juice.
  6. Then add about 4-6 cups chicken stock, simmer until the veggies in the oven are done.
  7. Finally, take a spoon and scoop out all of the butternut squash -should
    come out very easily and have nothing left but the skin, discard skin
    and transfer everything into a big pot. simmer for about another 5
    minutes. Take a hand mixer and mix everything until smooth- taste test
    it and see if it needs anymore salt
  8. Scoop into bowls and garnish with fennel
    fronds. Enjoy!

I LOVE how Lori uses EVERY part of the Fennel in this. Very clever and professional. Let me know if you guys try this out!

All Natural Protein Bar:Rise & Health Warrior

Natural Protein Bar Review: Rise Protein & Health Warrior Chia ProteinI’ve been so excited to receive these natural protein bars to do this natural protein bar review.One of my prizes for winning the Super Sister’s Bootcamp challenge was a sampler of some delicious and nutritious Natural Protein Bars. I was so excited to see them arrive in the mail, and I even got a sweet note of congratulations from Sarah at Health Warrior! After I cleaned up my diet and moved to all natural ingredients and whole foods, Protein bars flew out the window with a lot of the other packaged foods I used buy. Just look at the back of some of these wrappers! The dreaded”natural flavors” (not natural), xanthem gum, soluble corn fiber, coloring, and palm oil which is NOT sustainably sourced. We just can’t put this stuff in our bodies, especially if we are driven by health concerns to exercise daily and require extra protein from bars! Rise Protein Bar offers “the shortest ingredient list you will ever see” There are 5 ingredients and these bars are INCREDIBLE. They pack 20 grams of protein and sort of melt in your mouth like caramel. They are sweetened with honey, cinnamon, and natural vanilla (or dates) and are just sweet enough, especially for someone like me who hates the saccharin sweetness of white sugar. At 300 calories, this is a great breakfast post workout that I can’t recommend enough! I know that sounds like more calories than your typical bar, but the sugars and sodium are literally fractions of the other bars because this is REAL FOOD! There is an incredible lack of natural protein bars out there, and these hit the mark!

Natural Protein Bar Review: Rise Protein & Health Warrior Chia Protein

See! Real food!

Health Warrior sent me two types of natural protein bar: the 100 calorie CHIA Snack Bar in  several flavors, and the Health Warrior Chia Protein Bar (with plant protein) in a few flavors, including my favorite, dark chocolate sea salt.
What I love about this natural protein bar:
It uses plant protein, which is MUCH less caloric and much easier to digest (200 calories for large protein bar)! Kudos to this company for helping to popularize a more plant-based diet among athletes and active consumers. AND I love all the super foods they are exploiting! Chia seeds are among the healthiest foods on the planet! They were prized by the Mayans for their ability to provide sustainable strength. This is a really fun way to incorporate them into your diet. Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Bars!
What I don’t love about this bar: They are absolutely delicious, but the ingredient list is a lot longer than the Rise Bars. Ingredients like rice flour, brown rice syrup, natural flavors, and gum arabic make me think twice about repurchasing. I mean, are those ingredients really necessary? I am going to recommend their 100 calorie CHIA snack bars, with a purer ingredient list, as a perfect mid-day pick me up for sustainable energy!

Even if you are doing the right work out routine, your nutrition can defeat all your efforts in the gym. Please remember to eat real food for optimum health and swap out your chemical bar for an all natural protein bar.

 

Is it “Paleo?” And is it Real Food? From Real Food Liz

Is it “Paleo?” And is it Real Food?. Real Food Liz is like my spirit animal. #HomesteadingRocks

Real Food Liz

8 IBD Foods for Malnutrition

An amazing read for anyone with gut inflammation!

Mind. Body. Green.

I was so excited to be featured on one of my all time favorite blogs,  Mind. Body. Green.  last month! Take a look if you’re interested in ONE MORE pot of chili this month before moving on from what was stored up for the winter to what is ALIVE and ABUNDANT in spring. (fruits and veggies, duh!)

Also stealing this moment to introduce our newest family member and one BIG reason for my absence during the 2015 Snowpocalypse:

PUPPY ARTURIUS!

Talk about bundle of joy.