written by Jamie Kessler, 2017

Forest Heights neighbor, Sherry Tader has garnered a bit of a following since hosting her first paleo party in the neighborhood a couple years ago. Modest about referring to herself as a Paleo culinarian, we happily are comfortable calling her that after sampling the delectable dishes you see here.

 Cooking since the age of eighteen, Tader says it took about twenty years for her make the move to cooking and eating Paleo.  “When I married my husband Matt, I was a decent cook, but when we started having children, something inside me kept asking Am I cooking the healthiest of foods?” And so began her journey of research, trial and error.

When her daughter Camryn was six years old, she was diagnosed with ADD. That led her to the discovery that those with disorganized brains, (she says herself included), are highly susceptible to the side effects of  gluten.  “I can attest that gluten causes inflammation in my joints and has given me headaches,” she explained. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is diagnosed by process of exclusion, and it doesn’t always show up on a food allergy blood test.  When her daughter turned seven, she was diagnosed with SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which required her diet to eliminate the carbohydrates. In a nutshell, SIBO happens when the bad bacteria in your gut dominate the good bacteria.  Bad bacteria feed on carbs. When one has SIBO, you really need to eat SCD (specific carbohydrate diet), which is essentially a stricter version of a Paleo diet.

According to the book, The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet, a Paleo Diet is an effort to eat like we used to eat way back in the day. If a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you. This means you can eat anything we could hunt or gather – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. But the pasta, cereal, and candy has to go.

“As a result of eating Paleo, not only does our family feel better overall, but we are healthier and our brains function better!,” said Sherry earnestly.

On an average day, Sherry prepares two meals a day, with lunch typically being leftover dinner from the night before. Her kids, Liam (6 years old) and Camryn (now 10), mostly like to help her make desserts and treats, like homemade gelatin gummies made  from pastured raised, collagen protein powder.

  “We are human and certainly far from perfect, and we do deviate from the diet occasionally,” laughs Sherry. “When we eat out, sometimes we get a dessert or have something not paleo.  Alcohol is not on the Paleo diet, but Matt and I do enjoy our wine and an occasional cocktail! That said, I feel my biggest failures occur when we leave the house unprepared.  If you have children, you know they eat often.” Sherry always makes sure there are healthy snacks like organic jerky, 100% fruit leather and plenty of water whenever leaving the house with the kids.

When chatting about Paleo with others, Sherry has found that people think it’s a difficult diet to live by, and they will be missing out on good tasting food.  Bread seems to be the hardest thing to give up. “I can assure everyone that there are many good paleo recipes out there, (just try the recipes in this article) including recipes for bread,” she promises. “Transitioning into a paleo diet is exactly that… a transition.  If you jump in with all your might, your success rate might be low.  I learned this the hard way.” Eating a healthy Paleo diet is a growth transformation. Starting out by eliminating processed foods is the biggest game changer in Tader’s opinion. She believes this is the crux of the Western diet and a big reason for the enormous number of health issues in the United States. She advises, if a food has more than 5 ingredients on the label, don’t even buy it. The next step is to cut out all grains, (including corn and pseudo-grains like buckwheat), dairy and sugar.

A couple fun of ideas from Sherry:

1. In addition to cookbooks, utilize Pinterest for Paleo recipes.  Be sure to review the recipe first to ensure it’s truly Paleo. 

 2. Have a Paleo recipe exchange party!  Bring a dish and copies of the recipe to share with each other.

This feature would not be complete without sharing some of Sherry’s healthy and delicious recipes with you – perfect for summer!   Bon appétit!

Smoked Salmon Leek Tart

Ingredients:

(for 1 Herb tart)

1 ½ C. almond flour (I use fine)

½ tsp. salt

1-2 tbsp. scallions

¼ C. grapeseed oil

Filling

2 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 1/2 C. sliced leeks (white/green)

1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill

5-8oz  smoked salmon (cut to bite size pieces)

½ tsp salt or garlic salt

6 eggs

Instructions for Tart:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ingredients. Press dough into 9” tart pan, or pie plate. Bake 15-20 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes before filling to bake again.

Instructions for Filling:

Keep oven at 350 degrees. Heat oil in skillet and sauté the leeks for 5 minutes, until slightly brown.  In a mixing bowl, add the leeks, dill, salmon, salt, and eggs.

Depending on your oven, bake 25-30 minutes, until center is not runny.

Orange Sherbet

Gluten-free, Dairy-free, No Sugar Added

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Oranges
  • ¼ to ½ Cup of Coconut or Almond milk
  • Orange Zest (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice oranges and banana.
  2. Freeze in a single layer.
  3. Add all ingredients to a food processor or high-speed blender.
  4. Process on high until the consistency of soft-serve.

Notes

*Add the zest of one or both of the oranges if you’d like!

*Look for the heaviest oranges when buying, as they usually have more juice.

*If you’d like a harder consistency (more like ice-cream than soft-serve), simply put the processed soft-serve in the freezer to let it harden then scoop into bowls.

* “I like to garnish the soft-serve with shredded coconut and chopped nuts. Yum!”- Sherry

Lemon Bars

Servings: 9-10

Ingredients:
CRUST
– 1/2 cup almond flour (or sesame seed flour if allergic to nuts)
– 1/2 cup tapioca flour
– 3 Tbsp. raw honey
– 2 Tbsp. ghee or coconut oil, warmed if solid
– Zest of 1/2 lemon (optional)

FILLING
– 5 large eggs
– 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
– 1 Tbsp. tapioca flour
– 1/2 cup raw honey, warmed if solid

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C). To make the crust, mix the almond flourtapioca flourraw honey and zest together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Press into the bottom of a 8×8 glass baking pan with your fingers. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes.
2. To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a medium sized mixing bowl. Mix the lemon juice and tapioca flour together in a small bowl until fully combined, and then whisk in with the eggs, being careful not to over-whisk. Whisk in the raw honey and then pour the mixture over the crust. Place in the oven and bake for another 23-27 minutes or until just set (firm one the outside but slightly wiggly in the center). The bars will continue to firm up as they cool. 
3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate until full set, or about 4 hours.

Grapefruit Margarita

1 Shot silver tequila

2 shots fresh squeezed grapefruit juice

1 Shot fresh squeezed orange juice

*  (pulp is always good when juicing)

Blend together in martini shaker or in blender with ½ cup of ice

Cran Codder Cocktail

1 shot Vodka

1 shot 100% Cranberry juice

2 shots Sparkling water

Lime wedge to squeeze/ garnish

Blend together in martini shaker with ice