Golden Milk (Paleo, Vegan)

Autumn equinox – what a great day. Today marks the start of many things. On this day, it is the time when the length of night and day are of exactly the same. It’s the beginning of autumn (pumpkin spice lattes, y’all) and one step closer to cooler, darker weather.

While this equinox is not the more uplifting of the two, it is certainly just as important. Instead of being on the dawn of Spring, renewal, rebirth and other beginnings, this is the close of what was, and what is now behind us. Sounds a little spooky, and maybe a little woo-woo, but this would really be a great calendar change for the New Year.

So what actually is the equinox, and why should we care? Great question.

Back before smartphones, Lovesac couches and Keeping Up With The Kardashians, humans spent most of their life outside. The sky and everything in it served as both a clock and a calendar for civilizations, which allowed them to measure time, daylight, and the like. Without getting too involved in the science, the equinox and solstices mark Earth’s axis tilt and orbit around the sun, which greatly influences the weather, the energetic balance and our alignment with it.

From a spiritual standpoint, Fall represents the time of year to gather your harvest in preparation for the winter. Everything that souls experience is cyclical – this is the Universe’s gentle reminder of lessons we may have forgotten, or continue to learn. Human behavior, weather, science, thoughts… everything always has a chance to come full circle. It’s a great way to look back at your year and see the progress you’ve made as a human floating around on this big ol’ rock. Do something to honor your continuance, such as lighting a candle, paying it forward, or really just taking a few moments to be grateful for everything going on around you.

This makes it so much easier to “clear out your land” in time for the next cycle you enter, free of anything you’ve needed to shake off.

To me, though, more importantly, is that as of 4pm EST today, the Libras are now in the driver’s seat. That’s right – you read that correctly. The Justice League is here, with our logical left brains and fair judgment, until October 23rd. It’s no coincidence that Libra’s timeframe starts with day and night at equal length, promoting a sense of balance and equality. The forest greens, ocean blues and floral purples will be replaced with warm oranges, fire reds and golden yellows, in lieu of countering the darker end of the year. The tradeoff is equal, just different. What a great time!

This brings me to my favorite part…. What are we eating? Another great question.

Golden Milk! This years-old concoction is the perfect way to warm up and stay well as the weather cools, the sun sets earlier, and my sweater drawer finally opens up. A spicy blend including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and almond milk is the perfect replacement for chilled drinks and summery fruit mixes. There’s a few ways to make this and you can always swap out almond milk for something else, but boy does this turn into a rich little drink.

Can we talk about how amazing Golden Milk is for a moment? Turmeric is known for its inflammatory properties, as well as regulating blood sugar. It’s also been known to aid in sore throats and stuffy noses.

So, cheers! Enjoy your spicy cup of deliciousness.

Golden Milk (Vegan/Paleo)



  • 1 ½ cups almond milk
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract



  1. In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and whisk together over medium heat. It should steam, but shouldn’t boil.
  2. Remove from heat. Taste, and adjust sweetness to preference with additional maple syrup. If you need more spice, add additional ginger or turmeric, a pinch at a time.
  3. (Optional) Use a frother to add foam to your latte.




Spiced Chicken Tostadas (Paleo)

I’ve been feeling really sluggish recently. There’s been a lot going on in the world, and as a worrisome little empath, I’ve found that avoiding the news is probably the best tactic (albeit a selfish/ignorant one). So much destruction down south from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, a president that could double as a candied yam, work issues, and lots of ups and downs in life including not getting a good nights’ sleep in weeks… it’s a stressful time, these days.

As with every Sunday, we were deliberating what to make for the big group. We had some odds and ends to cook with… and while Sundays are for getting creative, we really just felt too out-of-sorts and tired to make it to the store for more ingredients. After some digging in the freezer, several chicken thighs made their way onto the smoker for some slow roasting. Great! One step down. Chicken it was.

After more digging around in the freezer, we were able to find a bit of frozen corn, and a bag of corn tortillas. Continuing to scavenge around the kitchen, we pulled some sweet potatoes, a little box of grape tomatoes and a can of black beans. That’s when I knew we were onto something good. No impromptu trip to the grocery store, here! I was tired, thank God.

Tostadas! Delicious, easy, throw-together food you eat with your hands. Perfect. But, in typical Sarah-fashion, it had to be different…. I was going to smother the crap out of everything with spice. Spiced everything. They’re actually pretty easy to make, which I love. There’s a few steps, but this was definitely a “win” in the dinner book… and after our worrying that we would have to go out, spend more money, more time and more effort, there’s always a way to make it work.

This actually made me think about a recurring theme in my life. I can remember being young, and watching some movie that I probably stayed up late to watch because I wouldn’t normally be allowed to. It was some sort of action movie, and while I don’t remember the plot or details, the guy, the main character, was trudging on after literally having his arm nearly ripped off, his people killed… everything. I’m not sure why it made such an impression on me, especially since it was so long ago, but I do remember that for days after, I noticeably heard people reassuring themselves or someone else “well, there’s always a way!”

This rings true even today. There has been a lot of obstacles out there, both in my life and in others’ lives. With enough perseverance, motivation or sometimes downright foolishness, the only way to go was forward towards the light at the end of the tunnel. With enough praying, enough deliberating and belief that all problems come to an end, there is always a way. Sometimes you’ve already been given your tools, other times you need to go find them. Regardless, never turn down an opportunity to shine and come out on the other side, even if it means you’re going to have to go through the mud. As long as you can see a chance for growth – it’s the right thing to keep going until you find a way.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do 🙂 There’s a few parts to this recipe, but feel free to swap things out as you choose.

Note: this recipe includes non-paleo alternatives for flexible dieters – substitutions may be made.

Paleo Spiced Chicken Tostadas


Prep time: 45 min

Cook time: 50 min

Serves 6-8


For the Chicken:

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning, plus more to taste
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

For the tostadas:

  • 8 almond-flour tortillas
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder

For the “sour cream”:

  • 4 oz refrigerated coconut cream (or Greek yogurt for those flexible with dairy)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • juice of half a lime

For the succotash (non-paleo, optional):

  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 8 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1 8 oz can of black beans
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • juice of half a lime

(corn and beans can be removed, tomato and salsa mixture is also delicious)


  • Sliced jalapeños for garnish


  1. For the tostadas, mix together avocado oil, parsley, garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, onion powder in a small bowl. Lay tortillas out on a parchment lined baking sheet, careful not to overlap.
  2. Brush them generously with the oil mixture, making sure to cover the edges.
  3. Bake or grill at 400 degrees F, until crisp (but not quite charred). Once finished, set aside on a baking rack to cool. Keep grill or oven running at 400 degrees for the chicken.
  4. Place chicken on a large plate or baking sheet and brush with avocado oil. Generously coat the chicken with spice mixture, covering the entire outside. Grill for 20-25 minutes until chicken is done all the way through. Remember to get a clean plate from the first one you used! 🙂
  5. While the chicken is cooking, start the veggie succotash. Start by putting a very small amount (~ 1 tsp) of avocado oil in a pan, over high heat – we want these to stay a little dry. Add tomatoes and onion (corn and beans can be added if not strict paleo). You want to sauté the veggies over high heat so that they brown quickly, but still stay a bit crisp. If you find they start to burn, continue to stir and turn the heat down a bit.
  6. Season veggies with salt, and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl. Mix in cilantro, ½ of the lime juice, and a pinch more of salt, if needed.
  7. Take a 1 minute break to find a margarita or beer, because this is sort of time consuming.
  8. Back to the chicken. When it’s cool enough to touch, remove the skin and shred with fingers (or a fork to avoid getting your hands messy), also removing the bone. Taste the chicken, and add any additional taco seasoning with another tsp of avocado oil, if needed.
  9. Lastly, mix together the coconut cream (or Greek yogurt), other half of lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl.
  10. Arrange ingredients on a tostada and serve. Enjoy!



Garlic Thyme Meatballs with Gravy (Paleo)

Fall has slowly been creeping up, which has been giving me the autumn decorating/baking/recipe itch. You’ll be proud to know I already have pumpkins, mums and gourds on my front porch… and have since this weekend. Don’t ever let anyone shame you, Autumn is a great thing to celebrate!

Back to the weather. It’s been getting quite chilly at night, and I couldn’t overcome the urge to make some good old fashioned comfort food. On my quest to make things bread/guilt free, I decided to pursue dairy free as well. This was prompted by some indulgence in fried queso fresco last week and the after-effects that I’d like to not re-live. But maybe once more… that cheese was really good.

Well, cue the children running, angels singing, and grandma smiling in her kitchen, because I came just about as close as I think is possible to an enjoyable, indulgent-without-the-guilt big family dinner without the loads of butter, cream and flour. You can even sneak a few more veggies in, if you’re a sly little chef whose constituents dare not eat leafy greens… knowingly, at least.

This meal came at a great time – this past weekend was the Mushroom Festival, and super busy in general. I haven’t been sleeping well, and that all came back to bite me when I went into work on Friday and let a short 3 hours later due to heartburn and general exhaustion. I drank a few swigs of Apple Cider Vinegar (lifesaving technique, by the way), sent some emails, and wrapped my day up with a nap.

It’s not really like me to leave work or to slow down while doing anything, actually. I can’t sit still, I am very routine/schedule oriented, and I haven’t sat through a full episode of literally anything on TV in probably years. Because of my penchant for running around, this all came to a screeching halt on Friday, and I realize this was the only thing that would really stop me in my tracks. I wasn’t listening to myself, and it came back to bite me.

Perhaps you’ve thought about fate, or destiny, or really any semantics used to describe something bigger than you laying your path down for you. This could be as small as turning a corner and running into that friend you were thinking of, meeting the love of your life at an event brought on by tragedy, catching a cold only to miss a rained-out event, or potential car accident that only amounted to a near-miss. Everything happens for a reason, and I think that was the universe telling me that I needed to slow down and take a nap.

At some point, if you’re moving so quickly that you can’t see alerts and signs to what you’re looking for, it will stop you in your tracks if that’s what it takes. Take the time to care for yourself, mentally, physically and spiritually… it’s a fine balance that, if thrown out of order, will correct itself. Save yourself the trouble — be self-aware!

With that, I decided I needed this delicious recipe. Gluten free, and dairy free! Load this dinner up with herbs and spices and surprisingly, almond milk! Serve over some…. what’s that, you ask? Paleo mashed potatoes? Recipe for that later this week 🙂

Paleo Garlic Thyme Meatballs with Gravy


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 ½ lbs grass-fed beef, 90/10% fat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 tbsp ghee, melted
  • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a medium sized frying pan, add 1 tbsp of ghee along with the onion and stir, cooking for 7-8 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and mushroom, continuing to stir for another 4-5 minutes, or until onions start to brown. Set aside and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Roll into 1 to 1 ½ inch balls and place on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between each meatball.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, until meatballs start to brown. If the meatballs produce a lot of juice, be sure to remove them and set aside immediately after baking, or into the gravy.

While the meatballs are baking, we make the sauce…. J

For the Gravy:

  • 4 cups high quality beef stock
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely minced
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 ½ tbsp tapioca starch, plus more if needed


  1. In medium sized skillet (I use a cast iron), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and stir, cooking for 7-8 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, mushroom and a pinch of salt and pepper, continuing to stir for another 4-5 minutes, or until onions start to brown. Add thyme and parsley, and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until aromatic.
  3. Add beef stock, and bring mixture to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce heat to low to allow to simmer. Add in tapioca starch 1 tbsp at a time, and whisk simultaneously to prevent clumps, ensuring you’re stirring vigorously. Once mixed, add almond milk, one cup at a time, continuing to stir.
  4. Allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, and taste to see if additional salt or pepper is needed. If gravy consistency is not at desired thickness, add more beef stock to thin, or a pinch of more tapioca starch at a time to thicken.

Leftover gravy can be stored in an airtight jar for up to 5 days.



Smoked Trout Dip (Paleo, Dairy-Free!)

I’m a water person. I love being near the beach, on a boat, by a creek, you name it. People find that being near moving water is really relaxing, and I couldn’t agree more. The sound of a creek meandering around rocks, the gentle turnover of waves on a beach, or the sound of a boat rocking over the water… I don’t really know of anyone that doesn’t get enjoyment out of this.

It very well could be the fact that moving water rarely goes stagnant and people like to absorb the energy from this. Moving water is doing exactly that — it’s in motion, on its way somewhere. That same inherent drive lies within people, which is why it seems people get so uncomfortable in “dead-end” jobs, relationships, and situations. If you aren’t moving, you aren’t changing your perspective. If you aren’t changing your perspective, you’re likely not growing as a person… which leads to a pause in all of the lessons you’re learning.

At some point in their life, no matter the scale, everyone will face a situation where they either see a need for change coming around the bend and adapt, or they will be put in a situation so desperately uncomfortable that they have no choice but to change their situation. I see it in my own life to an extent, maybe more than I’d like to admit. I’m a creature of habit, but I reluctantly force myself to do things that I know are necessary, knowing that sooner is better than later. I also see it in others’ lives — people that are close to me. The hardest thing to watch is someone with their feet planted firmly, not wanting to budge. Their world could be crumbling, but their “breakthrough” lesson of letting go has yet to happen. The biggest part of lessons like these are that they need to come from within — you have to feel so uncomfortable within your situation and your state of mind that you feel there’s no other choice but to take action.

Some people are much more urgent — others take a bit longer to react, and to feel comfortable with being uncomfortable. It’s a process, but as with everything, you take it step by step. If you are always changing, you will always end up downstream where you’re supposed to… much like moving water.

With this monologue about water and its likeness to us… comes a delicious dish of the sea. Or… the creek, rather. There’s something about brining and smoking a fish over a nice low heat until it’s got that rich, delicious flavor. If you don’t have the time for that, I recommend visiting your local grocer to find some sustainably-sourced trout fillets, already smoked (much quicker!). As for the other yogurt, feel free to use a a brand/type of your choice — I like this Almond Yogurt because it closely resembles the tartness and thickness of regular dairy Greek yogurt, but feel free to experiment and use what you’d like. This dish is

a perfect appetizer for a party!

Smoked Trout Dip (Paleo, Dairy-Free!)


prep time: 15 min

Cook time: n/a


  • 16 oz boneless, skinless smoked trout fillets
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup Greek style, plain dairy-free yogurt (can use regular Greek yogurt if not paleo)
  • 1 tbsp Coconaise mayo
  • Juice from half of a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp old bay
  • 1/2 tsp of preferred sweetener, such as honey, maple syrup or agave (do not use stevia!)
  • optional: salt and pepper to taste**


  1. On a plastic cutting board, loosely chop the trout fillets, ensuring larger chunks aren’t left behind.
  2. Add trout to a medium sized bowl. Mix in yogurt and mayo — gently stir until thoroughly mixed.
  1. Add in spices and herbs, and continue to stir.
  1. **At this point – I do a taste-check prior to adding any further salt or pepper — I find that I didn’t need it. When making this recipe, I added Old Bay first, which I knew would add to the saltiness of the smoked trout, but I wanted the Old Bay flavor. The lemon wasn’t enough to cut it alone, so I added a smidge of honey to balance it out. You can add additional yogurt, 1 tbsp at a time, until you get the desired taste.
    1. Lastly, add the lemon, then your sweetener, stirring the flavors together. Serve, and enjoy!
  • -S

    Ooey-Gooey Brownies (Paleo, Vegan)

    It’s Labor Day. Do you know what that means?

    fullsizeoutput_34dIt means sweater weather is close. It means that all the money that I spend at WHBM on sweaters will finally be worth it, and I can put on boots and jeggings and be cozy. (shameless plug: I’ve worked part time at White House | Black Market for the last 7 years and it’s the best reason I don’t have any spare time or spending money)

    It also means that I have off of my regular job, and I spent most of the day cooking. I also bought a few Mums, going to decorate my stoop once I finish writing and cleaning my clothes up. But let’s talk more about food.

    I’m not a sweets-person, so when I post something that is sweet, rather than salty, you know that I fully support it. Cue this recipe… nothing beats a really, really good brownie. A gooey, sticky, melty, chocolate-y brownie.

    And with that comes all of the reasons why I don’t eat brownies. I’m a slob, somehow I always end up wearing chocolate stains, and I don’t really eat sugar if I can help it. Mainly, the chocolate stains, though. Others tend to notice them before I do, and having to explain why you have chocolate streaks on your jeans… well. No one really wants to know why you have chocolate on your pants, or if it’s really even chocolate. If only people knew I drop everything I eat in my lap at some point.

    Cue an embarrassing memory; I was at work, and the memo went out that our CEO was walking around for an impromptu meet-and-greet. We had had these before, and I was looking to make my best impression. (Back story: after trying to sneak off quietly and change into my mucking boots to head to the barn, imagine my surprise when I come running out of the bathroom in knee-high socks, holding muddy boots, turning the corner only to stop a few centimeters short of our CEO, his Tom Ford dress shirt and a handful of executive board members. I figured the only place to go was up from that point). I was about to head out for the day, but decided to stay behind and give a warm hello as he made his rounds. Not wanting a messy desk, I quickly ate the brownie on my desk that a friend gave me a while earlier, straightened my things, and turned around to shake his hand.

    I had brownie on pretty much every inch of my smile. I know this, because he asked me if was enjoying my snack. What. A. Boob.

    I’d like to think someone out there thinks I’m charming, brownie-grin and all. (I don’t work there anymore… thankfully I moved on and up based on merit and my own free will…)

    I guess whenever I think of brownies, I have to laugh at myself. I’ve done some pretty stupid stuff; some ended up being a pleasant surprise, and others making me wish I was an ostrich with my head in the sand until eternity ended. At the end of the day, with all my goofy idiosyncrasies, all my quirks, singing lyrics as a response to a question, including others in conversations I’d been having with myself, my lack of filter, my A.D.D blended coarsely with some O.C.D., I’ve come to surround myself with people that I love, and that love me, too. And, after everything is said and done, I’ve come to learn that this is most important.

    fullsizeoutput_34c(Though it’s definitely important to note that these brownies are paleo, vegan, gluten-free deliciousness……….)


    Paleo/Vegan Ooey-gooey Brownies

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: 12 minutes

    Yields 12 small brownies



    • 1/3 cup almond flour
    • ¼ cup cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 cup almond butter
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil
    • 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
    • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
    • ¼ cup coconut sugar
    • 2 tbsp almond milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • ½ cup vegan dark chocolate chips



    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8in baking pan with coconut oil, or organic cooking spray. (I use a glass Pyrex dish – I find the cook time to be more accurate than a metal dish)
    2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.
    3. In a medium sized saucepan, heat almond butter and coconut oil over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Add honey (or maple syrup), coconut sugar, apple sauce, almond milk and vanilla extract. Mix until well blended.
    4. Once almond butter and other wet ingredients are mixed together, add to bowl with dry ingredients, stirring thoroughly. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Add to baking dish, ensuring the mix is evenly spread out.
    5. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Like normal brownies, you can check their doneness by poking with a toothpick or fork. The batter should not stick to your toothpick or fork once removed.
    6. Let cool thoroughly before cutting.