About 6 years ago while searching for a healthy dessert recipe I came across a blog called My New Roots run by holistic nutritionist Sarah Britton . At the time I did little to no cooking and my idea of healthy eating was diet food... You know, like Weight Watcher frozen meals, things with "Low Fat" and "Low Calorie" written on them. I ate processed convenience foods marketed to people just like me that just assumed these companies were providing me with he food I needed to be healthy. I'll never forget making that dessert and reading her post which explained "the skinny on fat". I about died when I read that *GASP* fat isn't evil, it's in fact completely essential to our health. My mind was blown. Once I made these avocado based chocolate tarts and they turned out amazing (just like her picture, I couldn't believe my success!) I became completely enthralled with My New Roots and the things that Sarah was teaching her readers through recipe posts. Every time a new recipe was posted I excitedly read the whole thing learning about the ingredients, their health benefits and how she came up with the recipe. Then as soon as possible I'd head to Central Co-Op and grab the ingredients to make it myself. Over time I found that the skills and nutritional knowledge that I was learning from Sarah were really sinking in. It was becoming a way of life for me. Conveniently packaged and processed food were slowly falling away from my diet and instead I was starting make everything myself... Almond milk, bread, crackers, sauces, dressings... I felt like I could make anything and I loved how I felt. This food was so much better than what I had been eating for so many years prior and for the first time in as long as I could remember I wasn't hungry! At first my husband Don wasn't on board with the food I'd started eating but every so often he'd venture to take a bite and really like what I had made. Slowly with time he was fully on board too and processed foods were leaving his diet as well. Now both of us were cooking regularly, eating real food and feeling great! It sounds kind of extreme but I've been saying for the last 5 or 6 years that finding Sarah's blog changed my life. It opened up a whole new world for me and I'm so thankful for that. The reason I tell this story is because last night Sarah Britton held a pop-up dinner at Tallulah's restaurant on the back of Capitol Hill and I was able to attend with Don. Not only did I get the chance to meet Sarah and give her a hug but I also had a chance to tell her what an impact her work has had on my life and my health. It was really incredible.
I love that Linda Dershang does things like last night's pop up dinner. Her restaurant Oddfellows was the first in Seattle to implement Meatless Mondays and although her restaurants aren't vegetarian they are very plant focused and make healthy meets delicious dining very approachable for Seattle.
I had to get a photo of Sarah and Linda, I loved what they were wearing. (Sorry for the iPhone photos, I should have brought my camera)
As for last night's food... Ah! So good!
Next up was socca with grilled asparagus, wild mushrooms, dill and feta as well as brown butter heirloom carrots with pistachios and tarragon on a bed of black lentils. The socca was probably my favorite part of the meal and it's in Sarah's book so I can't wait to make it again at home.
Finally for dessert there was rhubarb clafoutis with strawberry odd flowers tea frozen yogurt. Sarah is a total genius when it comes to desserts. I'm a major sweet tooth and her recipes have been the reason I was able to remove refined sugar from my diet . She uses only natural sweeteners like raw honey and real maple syrup. This particular recipe (also in her book) calls for coconut sugar.
What an amazing night!
If you enjoy cooking, nutrition or are interested in learning more about a whole food or plant based diet I highly recommend checking out Sarah's blog or picking up her book My New Roots. She has also teamed up with the Cody App to create a plant based nutrition course that includes videos that walk you through a lot of her recipes along with nutrition tips.
Here are some of my favorite recipes from Sarah's blog that I love and make regularly to get you started:
Tips for Healthy Travel (with air travel friendly recipes)
I'll stop there but I could go on forever. All of the recipes are wonderful and will make you feel like a superhero in the kitchen.
Now I have to go eat my Smokey Tempeh Sandwich for lunch... Yum