Growing up, cooking was an incredible source of connection between myself and my mother. As Mother’s Day rolls around, I’m always left thinking about the recipes I grew up on and how closely tied to memory those flavors are. Even though I can’t use her exact recipes any more, I’ve had so much fun adapting them to fit a Paleo and AIP template—and then getting Mom’s stamp of approval!
This year, I wanted to celebrate moms everywhere by putting together a roundup of incredible recipes that are perfect for Mother’s Day. There are some fabulous spring recipes here, including one that’s really special to me: my Nana’s Rhubarb Coffee Cake.
It’s named after my great-great-grandmother, who was “Nana” to her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren and something of a legend in my family as she was a formidable, caring and selfless woman. The recipe was passed down to me by my own mom, who used to make this coffee cake for meal trains and always served it to company when rhubarb was in season.
I spent a long time perfecting this recipe so it stayed true to the flavors of my childhood. It was definitely a labor of love! That sense of adventure in the kitchen is something I hope I’m passing on to my own daughters. Honor Mom this Sunday by making her one of the delicious recipes below; honor yourself by making a few of them with your kids; or, who knows—maybe play around with adapting your favorite “Mom Recipe” yourself!
Carrot Leek Spring Soup By Michelle Hoover
When I think of foods that remind me of my mom, I think Hungarian Palsacinta. My mom is from Budapest, Hungary and she always made it growing up. It’s basically a Hungarian crepe with lots of egg, and grains 😉 Not so into that anymore these days!
So when I wanted to make something in honor of my mom this year for Mother’s Day, I decided to think more along the lines of healing food with nourishing, gut healing soup! My mom loves soup. She eats it all year round and I always thought she was crazy for it… until I started along my own gut healing journey and realized how healing it was! I guess mother does know best 😉 This simple spring soup with carrots, leek, turmeric, bone broth and edible flowers is a perfect healing food for a mothers day brunch!
This simple soup really reminds me of my mom, her wisdom, and all she does. Thanks for all you do, mom <3 I’m not crying, you’re crying!”
Michelle’s recipe, Carrot Leek Spring Soup.
Really Good Root Vegetable Soup by Joanna Frankham
There are many words I could use to describe my Mum – kind, knowledge-seeking, self-contained, introverted, stubborn, independent, fit, loyal; they are all true. But, the one that resonates most for me is ‘constant’. My Mum has always been in my corner, no matter what. I love her most for that.
Mum is kind of famous in our family for her tried and true recipes. Recipes that work. So much so that my sister and I have been encouraging her to put together a ‘Frankham Family Cookbook’ for years, so that the food of our childhood is never forgotten. (Did I mention that Mum is stubborn? We’re still waiting!)
This REALLY GOOD Root Vegetable Soup is my favorite soup ever, even today. I have tinkered with it just a smidge so that it is fully ‘AIP Elimination Phase’ compliant, but essentially it remains the soup that Mum fed us when I was growing up in New Zealand. It’s REALLY GOOD!
Joanna’s recipe, Really Good Root Vegetable Soup.
Grandmas Russian Vinaigrette by Lexi Haverly
This Russian Vinaigrette reminds me of my mom because it’s a family recipe that I was raised eating. Growing up in Russia, my mom (and grandma) would both make a lot of delicious dishes using veggies grown in our garden at the summer cottage. It reminds me of one of the qualities I most admire about my mom – how hard working she is! She never gives up and has taught me to do the same. She works hard no matter the circumstances and always ensures her family’s needs are met. This has been a very encouraging piece in healing my autoimmunity by envisioning myself in that caretaker role one day and helping me keep my chin up as I work through even the tough days.
Lexi’s recipe, Grandmas Russian Vinaigrette.
Roasted Beets with Orange Balsamic Reduction by Maria Krummen
Unfortunately my mother wasn’t around for a long time – she died of a heart attack when I was 21. My mom worked as a make-up artist in theatre and cinema for most of her working career. She thrived in the artistic environment as she was very creative and her zest for life was contagious! My mom taught me to think outside the box and she was the one, who brought in zest into my life – literally, by adding it into my food, so that I could finish that boring porridge! And it did spread from there…I remember that her favorite combination was beets with citrus. For example this recipe brings back cherished memories of my mother cooking while I was enjoying citrusy flavor flowing all over our house.
Maria’s recipe, Roasted Beets with Orange Balsamic Reduction.
Grilled Salmon Packets with Strawberry Ginger Salsa by Eileen Laird
My mother taught me how to cook when I was 10 years old, and that skill has served me well throughout my life. When I began turning to food as medicine, my comfort in the kitchen made my transition to the Paleo diet so much easier! At 90 years old, my mother still loves to cook and whenever I visit, we always cook together. While she isn’t Paleo herslef, she has seen the difference it has made in my health, so she totally supports me. What I admire most about my mother is her adaptability. After living this long, she’s seen a LOT of change, and she’s learned to go with the flow. Since she lives on Cape Cod, we make seafood the center of our meals whenever I visit. She loves it because she can’t get to the fish market herself any more. I love it because I live in the mountains with limited access to fresh fish at home. While most of what we cook is simple sear & bake, the recipe I’ve chosen to share is one of my favorites for grilling season. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
Eileen’s recipe, Grilled Salmon Packets with Strawberry Ginger Salsa.
Shepherd’s Pie By Alexandar Raver
My mom is amazing mother and has been a wonderful example for me, now a mother myself. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with her. I am told that even as a little baby I was in the kitchen while she cooked, busy pulling out all the pots and pans, ready to help. My love of food, cooking, and sharing my favorite meals comes from her. She had this tradition that each year she would cook our favorite meal for our birthday. Every single year I would pick her Shepherd’s Pie. It was a recipe she grow up having as a kid and it made her so happy to share it with us and I always thought it was so delicious. To this day, whenever I make it, I think of my mom and how she made this special meal for me each year. Now, I am excited to start this tradition with my own daughter, and share my favorite meal with her.
Alexandar’s recipe, Shepherd’s Pie.
Instant Pot Maple Tamarind Ribs by Alaena Haber
We spent a lot of time outdoors as a family growing up. You could find us at the beach or around our backyard pool from morning until evening during the spring and summer months! After playing all day, my mom always made sure to prepare us a big meal. To keep with the outdoor theme, she would grill up sticky sweet ribs, potatoes, onions and prepare a big salad! I loved watching my put-together mom sit down and get messywith us as we smeared barbecue sauce all over our faces in delight. To this day, ribs are one of my favorite foods to serve to my mom, so I can watch her devour them with glee again. She loves this Instant Pot rendition made with a two-ingredient maple and tamarind sauce that is sweet, tangy and of course a little messy!
Alaena’s recipe, Instant Pot Maple Tamarind Ribs.
Peach and Sea Salt Ice Cream By Bethany Tapp
This ‘Peach & Sea Salt’ Ice Cream reminds me of family and home in so many ways, but specifically reminds me of my mom because she’s from Georgia (peaches, get it?) and she loves homemade peach ice cream. Making this ice cream reminds me of eating out on my grandparent’s back porch on hot summer nights. It’s also the perfect treat to share with family and neighbors and friends new and old, which reminds me of one of the things Iadmire most about my mom. She has never met a stranger and within minutes makes everyone feel like family. Being an introvert myself I’m amazed with the way she approaches people everyone and speaks into their lives. She is a real encouragement to me and to so many others.
Bethany’s recipe, Peach and Sea Salt Ice Cream.
Apple Crisp By Rebecca Boucher
I admire my Mother’s strength and courage. Through her example, she has taught me to stand up for what I believe in and has empowered me to speak my truth. Always loving and encouraging, she is my guidance, support, and comfort. I have fond memories helping my Mom bake apple crisp during my childhood. After moving away from home, this is the dish my Mom would make when I came home to visit. Mom and apple crisp, true comfort!
Rebecca’s recipe, Apple Crisp.
Nana’s Rhubarb Coffee Cake by Sarah Ballantyne
Quite simply, my mom has been the single most positive and influential force in my life. Her strength, perseverance, determination, passion, appreciation for nature, dedication to her family, honor, innate curiosity, nerdiness, love of knowledge and learning, and ability to laugh until tears are pouring down her face… these are the things that made me who I am. She instilled my love of art, gardening, music, and science. She taught me how to cook, to think critically, and to pursue my dreams. I make a lot of sense once you meet my mother.
Beyond being my greatest roll model, my mom is also my best friend. She is my cheerleader, my shoulder to cry on, my kick in the pants, and my rock to lean on.
This recipe for Rhubarb Coffee Cake is steeped in childhood memories of visiting family, celebration, being in the garden and in the kitchen, the smell of home, and the feeling of being enveloped in a bear hug.
My recipe, Nana’s Rhubarb Coffee Cake