Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Rutabaga


Let me know below what you think about my twist on Low Carb Shepherd’s Pie with pine nuts, warming spices & a mashed rutabaga topping!


For some reason, I find Shepherd’s Pie SO much fun to make! I love anything with layers. In fact, I started the double tank top layer trend at my middle school in 2002. The second and last trend I started was the following year when I would use my father’s ties as belts for my jean shorts and skorts.


These days I prefer layers I can eat and do not cause future embarrassment. I wanted to post a traditional Shepherd’s Pie recipe but with my spin on it! A little more nutrient dense than the already healthy, hearty original spiced with some of my most cherished Lebanese additions as well as bone broth & aminos for extra flavor.


The meat mixture could be served on its own. It features a combination of beef, pork or lamb, toasted pine nuts, onions, cinnamon, cumin, allspice and gut-nourishing bone broth. Traditional peas & carrots next… if you don’t eat peas you can use diced zucchini or asparagus.



Finally, I topped it with a creamy, smooth, buttery (well, ghee-y) mashed rutabaga topping. If you don’t love rutabaga roasted or boiled, definitely try it mashed with some Fourth & Heart Himalayan Pink Salt Ghee & fresh cracked pepper!


Please let me know if you like my take on Shepherd’s Pie below by leaving a review! Do you have any other casserole-style dishes you’d like me to health-ify for you? Also let me know below!



If you love casserole-style meals for your family (they make the best leftovers!), you’ll really, really love my take on AIP Pastelon de Platano Maudro in Enthused!






Caramelized Onion & “Ricotta” Pizza (from Enthused: 80+ allergy-friendly recipes you want to eat!)




Dairy-free, grain-free Caramelized Onion & “Ricotta” Pizza – from my new ebook Enthused!


If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve posted about this new AIP-friendly pizza recipe MANY times this month! It is STELLAR. One of my favorite recipes I’ve ever created (I say that a lot, but I swear I mean it every time!)


The combination of a thin, chewy & crispy-edged pizza crust, sweet caramelized onions, dairy-free “ricotta”, garlic, truffle salt & thyme… hello flavor explosion! We eat a lot of nourishing meals on our healing diets, but sometimes (hmmm, once a week at least) I need a “special” meal that falls outside my daily norm.


If you’ve been eating AIP for sometime, I’m sure you’ve tried my pizza crust recipe. If not, GET ON IT. I wasn’t going to reinvent the wheel with my crust recipe… it’s the same one you’ll find in my Pesto Chicken Pizza but the toppings make all the difference.


You’ve probably hard of “ricotta” made from cashews for a vegan cheese alternative, but have you tried one made from coconut? It’s shockingly convincing when you combine coconut butter, coconut milk and some extra-flavorful truffle salt and then broil it.


The “ricotta” gets melty and bubbly-brown and adds a rich, salty taste to the naturally sweet caramelized onions. Finished with fresh garlic and thyme to round out this classic restaurant-style pizza.






Look at that ooey gooey deliciousness! But don’t just look – try it for yourself below!



What else will you get in Enthused?

Some of my best recipes including Southern Style Biscuits, Italian Sausage & Roasted Veggie Soup with Dairy-Free Parmesan, Smoked Salmon Flatbread, Teriyaki Turkey Poppers, Real Caesar Dressing, Apple Butter Banana Bread & MUCH MORE!

I made sure to produce a high-quality ebook that I am proud to share with all of you! A follow-up to The Healing Kitchen that includes more unique, ethnically diverse & interesting recipes spanning Asian, Middle Eastern, Italian & Latin American cuisine!







Almond Butter Pumpkin Pistachio Fudge (Paleo, Vegan, Sweetener-Free)


Sweetener-free & no bake fudge made with almond butter & pumpkin then topped with flaked sea salt… fudgin’ amazing.


Hi healthy treat lovers! This will be my last blog recipe before Christmas, and it’s a gooooood one. I have 14 million fudge recipes on this website & I’ve thought long and hard about doing a healthy fudge ebook. Mostly for my own pleasure.


Real food fudge is just so much fun to make! You can combine fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and always flaked sea salt into something healthy, satisfying & decadent enough to take to parties.

I dubbed this fudge “hoarder-worthy” because you may not want to share. I recommend hiding your fudge in the vegetable drawer under something like Brussels sprouts. No one will find it.


No one looks in the vegetable drawer but you. I developed this handy trick once I met my husband who has never met a tray of cookies he can’t eat in one sitting.


This fudge is…

Sweetener-free – just a few softened Mejdool dates in this recipe!

Made with creamy, protein-rich almond butter. You can use any nut or seed butter though – even coconut butter!

Flavored with pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, pistachios and flaked sea salt!

Extra addicting because it’s drizzled with a sugar-free homemade chocolate made from cacao & coconut oil!






1 review

Almond Butter Pumpkin Pistachio Fudge

Prep Time :10 Inactive Time 2:00 Serves 9 to 12 pieces


  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Primal Palate Pumpkin Pie Spice or Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Spice
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder
  • flaked sea salt


Place dates in a small bowl covered with water. Microwave for 30 seconds then drain.

In a food processor, combine dates, almond butter, pumpkin, 2 tablespoons coconut oil and spices until smooth.

Spoon mixture out onto a parchment-lined plate. Smooth and spread mixture with a rubber spatula until 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle with pistachios and a generous amount of flaked sea salt.

Transfer to freezer and freeze for 2 hours until very firm.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil in microwave. Stir in cacao powder. Drizzle over the fudge and watch it harden within a minute. Slice fudge into desired pieces. Store in freezer and let rest on countertop 10 minutes before serving. Fudge will be too soft if stored in fridge.

Recipe Notes













Enthused: 80+ allergy-friendly recipes you WANT to eat!


It’s here, everyone! My NEW ebook “Enthused: 80+ allergy-friendly recipes you want to eat!” is available for purchase today!


I’ve created a collection of OVER 80 BRAND NEW AIP recipes for you that will never bore. In fact, the recipes in Enthused will jolt you right out of any food snooze you may have been experiencing!


From breakfast to sauces and appetizers to main courses and dessert, you’ll find everything you need to live a vibrant & mega-delicious life.



Enthused contains 192 pages of

UNIQUE & FUN AIP recipes!




Beat any breakfast boredom with a new collection of classic grain-free, dairy-free morning meals including…

Southern Style Biscuits, Vanilla & Raisin Scones, Basil & Vanilla Matcha Latte and my take on the classic Breakfast Sausage & Mash.





Here you’ll find all the sauces, dressings and dips you need for food with punch-you-in-the-face flavor.

Don’t miss the Garlic Aioli, Cranberry & Pumpkin Meat Sauce, Tigernut Butter, Nightshade-Free Curry Paste, Real Caesar Dressing or Mango Ginger Dressing… okay don’t miss any of the recipes in this chapter! I even include at least one recipe in the book using these Little Bits.






We all need a few go-to recipes to bring to parties or when we’re craving a light meal. In this chapter, you’ll get access to some stunner recipes including…

 Crispy Fig-Stuffed Prosciutto Rolls (perfect for holiday parties), Chardonnay-Glazed Sea Scallops,  Kale Caesar Salad with Sweet Potato Croutons (OMG), Truffle Fries with Garlic Aioli (bar food done right) & the not-to-be-missed “Cheesy” Bacon & Brussels Gratin.

*You can download Enthused to your desktop, laptop or tablet!*




Over 20 new main courses, most a full meal, that will spice up your weeknight rotation. I included tons of ethnic options like…

 Grilled Beef Kofta, Salmon Larb & Sweet Potato Rice, Sticky Orange Beef, Thai Fish Curry Soup, Indian Butter Chicken and Lamb Shawarma & “Rice” Plate.  

There’s also some interesting takes on classics like Preserved Lemon & Basil Meatballs, Teriyaki Turkey Poppers, Chicken Spaghetti Squash Patties & Beef and Squash Stroganoff! Salivating yet?





I have a feeling this will be the most popular chapter! We ALL miss those comfort foods like pizza, fried chicken & waffles, nachos & wraps! I had a TON of fun creating these recipes, including…

Fried Chicken & Waffles with Sweet & Spicy Syrup, Caramelized Onion & “Ricotta” Pizza (+ 3 more pizzas), Grain-Free Runzas, Puerto Rican Pastelon and Pulled Chicken Nachos.





Okay, maybe THIS will be the most popular chapter. You’re getting 8 brand new AIP-friendly dessert recipes including my twist on holiday favorites like:

Tigernut Butter Sandwich Cookies, Salted Gingerbread Cookies, No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars & Maple Butter and Cranberry Bark (that one is to die for – it would be part of my last meal). You’ll also get this stellar Apple Butter Banana Bread recipe as well as Salted Lemon Ice Cream with Blueberry-Basil Jam Swirl. 




Looking for recipes to support your liver, gallbladder & digestion? Maybe you’re doing a liver cleanse program or need an extra boost of detoxification here and there! You’ll get this BONUS chapter of 11 AIP-friendly recipes that contain some of the most potent antioxidant foods you can eat on the autoimmune protocol including…

Turmeric Pumpkin Chicken Soup, Liver Loving Green Juice, Ultimate Detox Smoothie Bowl, Pink Lady & Beet Detox Salad, Detox Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing Gingered Carrot & Turnip Soup!




PHEW! I wanted to give you a really thorough run-down on Enthused so you know EXACTLY what you’re getting! But for real, are you drooling all over your shirt like I am?

















3 Easy Safer Skincare Swaps


One of my biggest passions in the women’s health community is to help educate and inform others about better-for-you and the environment skincare, makeup and household products.

Below you will find (3) easy safer skincare swaps to make over Thanksgiving weekend with the added bonus of free products & shipping!


We often think that just because something is safer to use, it’s not as effective. That is simply untrue. We have the research and resources in 2017 to create products that WORK but don’t cause a toxin overload in your body. You don’t have to be relegated to using coconut oil for everything – especially if you have specific skincare concerns that require more muscle.


For years, I didn’t use deodorant or foundation or fancy hair products because I thought I only had two options. Don’t use the toxic products lining drugstores and department store shelves OR use them. I didn’t know there were other options out there besides making my own products at home.


Honestly, making my own skincare products became pretty exhausting, and I found my skin looking less and less vibrant with my coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and jojoba routine. Fine lines around my eyes started popping up and vinegar wasn’t cutting it for breakouts.


Thankfully, I was introduced to a couple skincare & makeup lines I trust and love for their dedication to transparency and responsible ingredient sourcing.


I’m going to share with you how to swap out some of your go-to toxic products for safer versions that are effective and beautiful!




Newborns are already born with almost 300 toxins in their cord blood. If that statistic doesn’t knock you off your feet, then maybe the list of ingredients in America’s most popular baby wash will. Some of the below ingredients are considered safe like citric acid and glycerin but the large majority are associated with health concerns like immunotoxicity, allergies, organ system toxicity and eye irritations.


Johnson’s Baby Wash Contains: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance. EWG SKIN DEEP RATING: MODERATE HAZARD


Beautycounter’s Gentle All-Over Baby Wash is safe for even the most sensitive skin and contains a mix of plant-based ingredients and safe synthetic to cleanse your baby without stripping away moisture or adding a toxin load to their bathtime! All of Beautycounter’s products are EWG Verified which means they have been screened through the most rigorous standards for human and environmental safety standards.






Foundation is a non-negotiable makeup item for many of us. It adds an extra dose of hydration, hides blemishes, dark spots, scars and unevenness and helps set our blush and bronzers. But many store-bought foundations like Dior Nude Air Serum contain ingredients that are illegal in Europe & Canada, have a high propensity towards allergic reactions & even have legal use restrictions in cosmetics. No thank you!


Beautycounter’s Tint Skin Foundation is a medium-coverage, lightweight foundation that gives your skin a luminous glow without looking or feeling oily. It provides buildable coverage so the first layer feels like a tint moisturizer and the second layer has the look of a thicker, high-coverage foundation. It is one of Beautycounter’s best-selling products for good reason & one I use everyday to even out my complexion.


Need help choosing your color? Use our FIND YOUR SHADE GUIDE!




Woo-wee, this is a big one if you are dedicated to leading a lower toxin lifestyle! Conventional deodorant contains a mix of ingredients like carcinogenic aluminum and hormone-disruptors that can be problematic, especially because they are applied directly on our armpit lymph nodes and near breast tissue.

Not to worry! PRIMALLY PURE has just released an updated version of their best-selling non-toxic deodorant (made with ingredients you can eat!) that is even more powerful than their old version! It stops more stink and controls wetness more than the old formula while still being suitable for sensitive skin!


Primally Pure’s BRAND NEW Charcoal Deodorant has an impressive list of non-toxic yet effective ingredients including kaolin clay and charcoal to help detox underarms and tallow and coconut oil to moisturize skin. A small amount of baking soda helps stop smell without causing irritation!


primally pure charcoal deodorant

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies (Coconut-Free)



Um… I don’t think these Coconut-Free Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies made with tigernut flour need much of an introduction. They’re basically the chupacabra of grain-free chocolate chip cookies. Coconut-free, egg-free, nut-free, and not loaded with sweeteners or sugar!


Well, first, I’m disappointed in myself for shying away from tigernut flour for so long. The price and my inexperience with it intimidated me. I had tried sliced tigernuts once and didn’t care for the tooth-breaking texture.


Little did I know Organic Gemini Tigernut Flour is the best thing that has ever happened to my sub-par baking skills. It’s light, fluffy, a little grain-y like almond meal + has a nice “whole wheat” flavor with a bit of sweetness. PS: Not sponsored. Just impressed!

Why I’m Loving Tigernut Flour Right Now

— Tigernuts are renowned for their high content of prebiotic fiber which helps good gut guys flourish

Organic Gemini’s Tigernut Flour is organic, non-gmo & made in a dedicated gluten-free facility

— The sweet, nutty flavor of the product replaced almond flour for nut-free baking

— It makes a nut-free alternative to baked goods for school events



My goal with these Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies was to make coconut-free. That’s right – nary a teaspoon of coconut oil in sight. But what’s better than coconut oil for baking? GHEE. Specifically 4th & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee.


My Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies taste like the real deal (my husband brought them to a work Thanksgiving + they disappeared before all the other desserts). The combination of the 4th & Heart Vanilla Bean Ghee with the richness of the extra-virgin olive oil takes these next level.


Why olive oil? The monounsaturated fat in olive oil makes for the perfect (in my opinion) cookie texture when combined with Vanilla Bean Ghee. Soft yet crisp, well-formed but with a fine crumb. Straight out of the oven, these will blow your mind, and you’ll always think “salad dressing + chocolate chip cookies” = good decision.




I’ve only made these cookies as directed below, so I can’t make firm recommendations on substitutions but here are some ideas. I’ll say it once: you cannot replace the Tigernut Flour with coconut flour.


Substitution Theories

— You should be able to replace the cassava flour 1:1 with arrowroot starch for similar results (not exact of course). I haven’t tried this – I’m just assuming based on my past experiences working with the two flours.

— Yes you can use a plain ghee instead of Vanilla Bean. Just don’t use Garlic Ghee. You can probably use softened butter too. This is only a theory.


Okay without further ado friends… ENJOY! And Happy Thanksgiving!



39 reviews

Tigernut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time :10 Serves approx 14 2-inch cookies



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a light-colored cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until incorporated. Stir in the ghee, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until you achieve a smooth dough. Stir in chocolate chips. 
  3. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto parchment paper, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten the cookie to about 1/2-inch high. 
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, watching closely, until the edges are a light golden brown. Do not overcook or they will turn out too crunchy. Let cool (or burn your mouth on hot chocolate like I do) slightly before serving. 

Recipe Notes




Harvest Chicken Hash (Ebook Preview)





This Harvest Chicken Hash doubles as a Thanksgiving side or fall-inspired breakfast hash – your choice!



Hey, it’s me, that person who used to post recipes weekly. I have been a wee absent from the blog but still posting away on ye old social media. My absence has been for good reason though – I am plugging and chugging away on my ebook that will be releasing by the end of 2017! YAY!



In fact, I’ve been so busy making recipes for the ebook that I completely forgot about Thanksgiving. Did you know Thanksgiving is next week? Oh you did? You must look at calendars or talk to humans besides an 18-month-old.


It dawned on me as soon as I shoved this hash in my mouth that it reminded me of a delicious Thanksgiving side dish. So I said to Grace, “Let’s put this on the blog as a ebook preview recipe before Thanksgiving!” and she was like, “Mom, that’s an excellent idea. I must get my smarts from you and not Daddy.” Daddy would agree.



So here we are, my friends! AIP HARVEST CHICKEN HASH –> make it a Thanksgiving veggie side by leaving out the chicken or serve it as is for a holiday breakfast!



You’ll find this Paleo-friendly Harvest Chicken Hash in the breakfast chapter of my ebook which I have cleverly labeled “Sunshine & Dine”. Yes “Sunrise” would make more sense, but what would rhyme with that? “Sunrise + Appetize”? Not great.



Some other breakfast recipes you will find in my ebook:


Vanilla & Raisin Scones that have the loveliest dense biscuit texture + a not-too-sweet flavor!

— Three kinds of Lattes (iced + hot) in some super fun flavors

Hot Gingerbread Cereal which is so warming + kid-friendly

Breakfast Sausage & Mash … maybe one of the most addicting recipes in the book!


The ebook will include over 60 of my best recipes (over 50 of them never published before) including loads of holiday-themed, comfort food favorites + ethnic dishes!


— Chardonnay-Glazed Sea Scallops

— Vietnamese Shrimp Salad

— “Cheesy” Bacon & Brussels Gratin

— Lamb Shawarma + “Rice” Plate

— Teriyaki Turkey Poppers

— Thanksgiving Meatloaf

— Fried Chicken & Waffles with Sweet & Spicy Syrup

— Salted Lemon Ice Cream with Blueberry-Basil Jam Swirl

— No-Bake Pumpkin Pie Bars

— Apple Butter Frosted Banana Bread















25 reviews

Harvest Chicken Hash

Prep Time :15 Cook Time :35 Serves 4



  • 4 slices bacon, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fat of choice
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 pound celery root, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 gala apple, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon and onion over medium-high heat for 10 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the onions are soft and browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Saute chicken in the skillet with oregano and ¼ teaspoon sea salt until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to same bowl as bacon and onions.
  3. Add fat of choice to skillet along with Brussels sprouts and sauté for 5 minutes until browned. Stir in celery root, apple, rosemary, garlic, cinnamon and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Cook for 10 to 12 more minutes until celery root is cooked through.
  4. Add bacon, onions and chicken back to the skillet and pour in maple syrup, aminos, vinegar, and water. Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes allowing the liquid to evaporate. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes





Yellow Chicken Veggie Soup

 turmeric chicken veggie soup


The perfect gut-healing flavor bomb Chicken Veggie Soup made with broth, coconut milk, turmeric and tons of veggies!



I teased this recipe for the upcoming ebook but I had so many people message me for the details, I had to just hand it over to you! I’m still jealous of all of you in actual soup season. I walked 1/2 a mile this morning at 8 am and the thought of even a warm shower was repulsive. Florida, can you literally chill out please?


This post is going to be a complete stream of consciousness by the way because I’m at a coffee shop and ordered a decaf almond milk latte but pretty sure they didn’t hear the decaf part. Because girl is HYPAH. My sister teases me that Grace will have a speech impediment because I don’t use the “-er” suffix + everything is “chompah”, “lovah”, “-ah” instead of “-er”. When I ask to see her “chompahs” (instead of chompers) during teeth brushing she sticks out her tongue. It’s so cute. She’s so cute.


I wish all of you knew her in real life because she makes everyone smile and will turn your day around with one “monster giggle”. I guess everyone says that about their kid and rightfully so – they ARE all special. Big believer in all children being unique and worth every ounce of our attention, thought and love.


This Yellow Chicken & Veggie Soup sounds like it was named by a 4-year-old because I had no idea what to call it. Maybe a little similar to an Indonesian chicken soup I had years ago. It’s just yummy, it’s yellow from the turmeric and it contains chicken and lots of veggies. I almost went for Yummy Yellow Chicken & Veggie Soup or even Baby Poop Soup. JK. I got reamed for using the word ‘vomit’ in a blog post the other day. Are we 5 years old? Yes. 4 or 5. One of the two.


So I love that this soup includes okra. It’s such an under-used vegetables, and I love frozen sliced okra from the freezer aisle. No sticky cutting board and it’s a snip and dump way to get a new vegetable in your belly! Should I have not used the word dump either? Guys, my blog posts are completely off-the-cuff. I don’t have time to niggle and wiggle every little word that comes out of my fingertips.

Just make the recipe – I don’t put up food that doesn’t taste good. It’s why I don’t post recipes multiple times a week – I only make something that’s blog-worthy max one time per week these days. All of my other meals consist of an embarrassing mix of ghee topped dark chocolate, Chicken Vaca Frita from Latin American Paleo Cooking *the only way I’ll eat shredded chicken now*, and avocados with sauerkraut. Confession: I ate Vaca Frita with my hands for breakfast – just took a handful of leftovers and walked out the door with it.

Once I can get Grace in preschool, I’m going to start eating real food again. I did make it a goal last month to eat 3 balanced meals a day but that lasted 1 1/2 weeks. Surprisingly when I’m on vacation, I eat better and more balanced than when I’m at home. I run around like a drunk chicken at Chicken Shit Bingo (google it) until my husband gets home every night at 7 pm. At that time, I can finally breathe and go do some dang yoga.


I did a 20-minute Youtube barre class last night before yoga while watching the season premier of Riverdale. While the instructor’s voice and constant reminder to hydrate couldn’t have been more annoying, I could barely walk upstairs to go to bed after her class. Barre is the type of workout that hurts so bad, I physically want to punch a pillow I’m in so much pain. Burpees and sprints are much more tolerable to me.

Some quick hacks for this soup: I used Bonafide Provisions Chicken Broth, frozen sliced Okra from the freezer aisle, Aroy-D coconut milk (the best and no additives) and cooked it in my Cuisinart Classic Chef’s Stainless Steel Pot for quick and even heating.



30 reviews

Yellow Chicken Veggie Soup

Prep Time 00:15



  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium yellow squash, peeled and diced
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 13.5 ounce can coconut cream or milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, bite-size cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 10 to 12 ounce bag frozen sliced okra
  • for serving: minced red onion, chopped cilantro, coconut yogurt


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute diced onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add diced squash, garlic and bay leaf and sauté 2 to 3 more minutes until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Stir in dried herbs and spices and ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Add coconut cream and bring to a simmer.
  3. Transfer half of the pot, including the bay leaf, to a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer back to the pot along with the chicken broth and coconut vinegar and bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in chicken and carrots and cook for 5 minutes until chicken is opaque. Add frozen okra and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender. You can cook 2 to 3 minutes longer for softer okra, depending on your preference.
  5. Serve warm topped with red onion, cilantro and coconut yogurt or cream.

Recipe Notes


White Chocolate Energy Bar with cardamom & orange blossom (nut-free)

white chocolate energy bar

This Paleo White Chocolate Energy Bar is made with coconut butter, ghee, four different seeds, spices and orange blossom water!


I had a half-empty jar of coconut butter sitting in my cabinet and for some reason it was bothering me. Coconut butter is such a multi-purpose ingredient, and I find myself getting very creative with it. I just had to come up with something nwI used it to make a Garlic Aioli with Truffle Fries this weekend too – that recipe will be in my upcoming ebook!


truffle fries aioli

How freakin’ good do these look? I can’t wait to share them with you!


Ghee is a lactose and casein-free clarified butter with many health benefits. It’s popular in Ayurvedic cooking and has a buttery, silky smooth mouthfeel and a sweet taste. For the longest time, I didn’t do well with ghee. Only in the last 6 months have I been able to consume it without getting a headache. Now that I’m able to eat ghee again, it’s my main cooking fat for me and my 16-month-old.


I recommend 4th & Heart Ghee which is the best-tasting and most affordable ghee I’ve found. You can find it at some health food stores but I prefer to buy it discounted on Amazon. It comes in several delicious flavors including Vanilla Bean (heavenly in baked goods or on roasted root veggies), Himalayan Salt (what I used for this recipe), Truffle (not truffle-y enough for me), California Garlic (I have yet to try) and Original (just a good ol’ plain ghee).


PS Just discovered on 4th & Heart’s website they will be releasing 3 cacao & ghee flavored spreads called Chocti at the end of this month (October 2017)! I’m going to get my little mitts on that as soon as it releases! I can’t believe they’re teasing me like this but I took a few marketing classes in university so I get it.


Well I hope I’ve convinced you to include ghee in your diet now! I didn’t even discuss all the health benefits but you can read up on them here. Noticeable improvements in my digestion & satiation since I started eating it again!




Okay so these bars are a new-to-me type of energy bar! Dense in texture, oh-so-crunchy, and full of my beloved Mediterranean flavors like cardamom, orange blossom and cinnamon. Imagine those warming tastes combined with creamy coconut butter, salted ghee and crunchy pepitas and sunflower seeds. It’s pretty heavenly. Oh and did I mention they contain absolutely no sweetener?!


These Paleo White Chocolate Seed Energy Bars are best served cold straight from the fridge since coconut melts at room temperature. They’re very satiating thanks to all the fat, fiber and minerals. You can slice them into large bars for a real hearty snack or into little squares just like fudge!


If you’re a fan of Lebanese, Turkish or Indian flavors – you will definitely love these seedy, crunchy, grain-free, nut-free energy bars! You can get creative with the flavors – add some vanilla bean powder, grated orange zest + ground ginger for even more flavor. I kept them fairly simple so that YOU can get creative & learn how to mix and match flavors to your liking.


Enjoy these sugar-free Paleo white chocolate energy bars full of gut-healing, skin-loving ghee! Have them with a cup of your favorite tea or even better: my White Tea Rose Latte!





4 reviews

White Chocolate Seed Bar with cardamom and orange blossom

Prep Time 00:15 Serves 12


  • 2/3 cup softened coconut butter
  • 1/3 cup ghee (I love this one)
  • 2/3 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut butter and ghee together over medium-low heat and stir to combine.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined. The mixture will be very thick and seedy. Taste and add more spices or orange blossom water, if you desire. 
  3. Line a small rectangular glass dish or loaf pan with parchment paper. Spread the mixture evenly into the dish. The smaller the dish, the thicker the bars will be. 
  4. Refrigerate until solid (about 1 hour) and slice into squares using a sharp non-serrated knife. Store in the refrigerator and serve cold to prevent melting. 

Recipe Notes

Minneapolis – a city of lakes, good eats and smiles!



Minneapolis has it all! Great food and drinks, thoughtful city design, beautiful lakes and the kindest people on the side (which side?) of the Mississippi!


My husband and I just returned from our 3-night stay in Minneapolis. I surprised him for an early 40th birthday gift – some time alone without Grace doing what we love to do. Namely, eat, explore and eat.


I chose Minneapolis because I had heard they were on the forefront of design and sustainability while still maintaining that mid-century charm reminiscent of 8th grade American history textbooks.


We visited at the end of September – just before it gets too chilly to ride bikes around the lake. In fact, they had quite the heat streak a few days before we arrived but thankfully we still got a reprieve from Florida’s 90+ weather. It was a comfortable 55 to 60 degrees our entire stay with a good dose of sunshine and some non-threatening drizzle here and there.



When planning this trip, I wanted to balance all of our eating and drinking with lots of city exploration and outdoor time.


We arrived to our hotel, The Hewing, on Friday evening, hungry and ready for a drink! The hotel isn’t cheap but it’s worth every penny to be in a neighborhood so walkable to great restaurants, coffee shops and the river. We had a king-size room for 3 nights that was just perfect. Big, beautiful shower with a separate toilet room, comfortable fluffy but not too fluffy bed, plenty of space for suitcases, large flat-screen TV and an upscale cabin feel. It’s only 10 months old too!


the hewing hotel


The Hewing is a converted warehouse with the original brick walls and wood floor. A private yoga studio, gym and spa treatment room are located in the basement along with free bikes for guest use. I used the yoga studio every day because… HELLO PRIVATE YOGA STUDIO.


The bar & restaurant in the lobby had fantastic people watching,  a great cocktail and cider list and the food looked quite delicious. And it’s beautiful to boot. We didn’t dine there but we grabbed a drink everyday. The front desk even gave us some drink coupons because some rambunctious wedding guests kept us up until 6 am Friday night blasting shitty club music.



Friday night’s dinner was my favorite meal of the trip! The Bachelor Farmer has it all going on. Great ambience (cozy, mature and upscale without being uncomforable), an attached speakeasy (very swanky, not totally my scene) and a little cafe for daytime treats. I had the crispiest skinned chicken thigh over the creamiest cauliflower puree outside of France. I can’t even describe how amazing the flavors were – the only non-AIP ingredients were butter and black pepper. They even started our meal with local melon seasoned with salt and pepper as an amuse-bouche. My husband had a cider cocktail and I had a glass of sauvignon blanc. The service was excellent. This is 100% a can’t-miss, don’t-miss restaurant in Minneapolis.


View from farmer’s market across Mississippi River to Nicollet Island 


We also visited the Mill City Farmer’s Market which runs on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm through October. I’m glad we didn’t skip it because this farmer’s market is in a very unique location – along the river and an old train depot in the mill district. An old Pillsbury factory sits nearby that I believe offers tours (don’t quote me). You can  grab tacos, a green juice or a bag of local organic apples and sit on the steps watching the bikers and joggers move along the river.


Mill City Museum next to the Mill City Farmer’s Market


I picked up some incredibly fresh-pressed juice at the market. My favorite was the beet-ginger – it tasted spicy and cleansing – perfect for the morning after lots of cider sampling the night before. I also grabbed a 9-pack box of Ommie Snacks. The owner is a friendly woman who offers a wide variety of fruit and seed based snack bars with interesting flavors like Apricot Chai and Lemon Poppy. They are delicious, not too sweet, but perfect little snack squares and only about $2/pop! You can order Ommie snacks online HERE. I will be ordering & having them shipped to Florida!


We needed to get some activity in to make room in our stomachs for more food on Saturday afternoon. This task proved easy to accomplish as Minneapolis’ lengthy city bike system and trails connect the north loop of the city to the Mississippi to the chain of lakes to the west. We rented Nice Ride bikes for a couple hours one day and biked from Uptown (a neighborhood just south of downtown) along the charming Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and adjoining neighborhoods.

View of Lake Calhoun from the bike path that weaves around the chain of lakes


The homes along the lake are a feast for the eyes – a mix between Victorian, 60s modern and 21st century sleek. There’s a separated bike path away from walkers, joggers and rollerbladers so you can speed along at your heart’s content. Lake Calhoun has a deck with concessions 100 or so people were resting on around 3:30 pm Saturday, watching the sailboats and kayakers mosey down the sparkling water.


I recommend downloading the Nice Ride bike riding system app if you choose to rent city bikes and getting a 24-hour pass if biking for longer than 60 minutes. You have to check them into a station every 30 minutes so it helps to have the app with a maps of stations and a timer.


Oysters & cider from Spoon & Stable


That evening we headed back to the hotel to unwind before grabbing another drink at The Hewing bar before walking to dinner at Spoon & Stable. This was my least favorite meal of the weekend but it was still quite delicious. We sat at the bar because it was slammed by 7 pm. It felt a little too pretentious in there for me and the bartender was being a bit of a know-it-all about my food allergies. I’m sorry, but they’re my food allergies, not yours, sir. We had oysters and Aspell cider to start. For dinner, I ordered the Tamarind Glazed Pork Chop which was at least 12 ounces – HUGE! It was undercooked even though they said it wasn’t. It was 100%. I sent it back and they re-plated it and it was perfect – much better. Other than those minor transgressions, I’d recommend it but it The Bachelor Farmer was a step above for sure.



Artist-designed mini golf in Sculpture Gardens at Walker Art Center


My top city pick though was the Walker Art Center. Situated just on the southern outskirts of the center of downtown, this modern and intellectually designed 7-story building housed some of the most kooky and ironic contemporary art I’ve ever seen. I much prefer it to the Art Institute of Chicago which is so enormous and echo-y, you need a full 8 hours to see the whole thing. Just walking through the smartly designed space is a feast for the eyes.


The Walker was much more digestible – and speaking of digestion – they have the cutest bar and restaurant inside called Esker Grove. The bartenders and patrons were so friendly and gave us lovely suggestions for later in the day! I grabbed a cider (Aspall Blush – an English apple cider with a touch of blackberry juice and the color of rose) before exploring the Sculpture Gardens along the museum.


Minneapolis bars almost always had a local or craft cider on tap!

The Sculpture Gardens seem to be the most iconic Minneapolis attraction other than the bridge. A large spoon with a cherry sits in the center while a variety of other quirky statues are walking distance around it. A giant bright blue pop-art rooster and the artist-designed mini golf course were my favorite. There’s also a beautiful basilica near the museum that we admired from afar. Next time, I’d love to go inside to check it out.

We headed back into Esker Grove to grab another cider (this time a Sociable Training Wheels) and took the suggestion of the bartender to walk south to Uptown. Yes, Uptown is south. It’s up of some town, I’m sure.


Uptown is the trending young professionals neighborhood full of everything the crunchy hippie part of my heart desires.

Coconut milk ice cream from Sebastian Joe’s in Uptown



We had dairy-free, vegan ice cream at two places: Sebastian Joe’s and Milkjam Creamery. First stop, obviously.


At Sebastian Joe’s, I got a scoop of their coconut milk strawberry and coconut milk dark chocolate (which had a funny name I can’t recall … maybe Nuclear?!) It was rich, creamy, and I couldn’t finish the whole thing. The kind of ice cream you could easily trick your newly diagnosed lactose intolerance kid with.


Milkjam was a more interesting experience though their ice cream was less creamy, more ice-y. While the ambience and scent at Sebastian Joe’s left a lo to be desired. MilkJam is bright, fun, and engaging. Their flavors and topping offers are much more condensed and unique – you can get a donut ice cream sandwich even! I chose the vegan (almond and coconut milk) Toasted Coconut + Black Chocolate.


Okay maybe it wasn’t called Black Chocolate but it was made from the darkest cocoa I’ve ever seen – literally black in color. I topped mine with a drizzle of olive oil and a flaked smoked sea salt… which they were super stingy with… the 15-year-old kid clearly did not understand my love for fat and salt. They also win on logo design.


MilkJam is connected to a restaurant that smelled like my Moroccan dreams called World Street Kitchen. We didn’t get to eat at it but it’s on my list for next time. The smells tied me over until then.


Organic cheese curds from Wisconsin and Lowry Hill Meats pickled beets for a quick snack



While in Uptown, we also visited Lowry Hill Meats and got a bag of organic cheese curds with a container of their house-pickled beets for snack. I wanted handfuls of salami and pastrami as well but I was saving my appetite for dinner at Burch Steakhouse.

At the recommendation of a bearded and kind-eyed patron at Esker Grove, we headed to Tao Natural Foods. It’s one of the coolest crunchy vegan shops/cafes I’ve ever been in. It felt like I was in a cozy wooden cave with smells of burdock and turmeric wafting through the air. There’s a small upstairs loft with an impressive selection of bulk organic herbs – everything you’ve heard of and never heard of. There’s even a small, cozy and dimly lit massage room with a lovely orange glow and scent of lavender eye pillows.


Tao Natural Foods’ upstairs loft herb bar



At the cafe, I ordered the best turmeric latte of my life and even grabbed the recipe from them. It was coconut milk, turmeric, cinnamon, honey and a splash of vanilla. Frothy, thick and so, so warming. Tao Natural Foods makes me want to be a 23-year-old Master’s student in Minneapolis on a cold February day.


For shopping, we visited Patina – this store was Urban Outfitters meets Etsy meets some Minnesota state park’s souvenir shop. I LOVED IT. And spend a lot of money. You have to visit and leave at least an hour to peruse! Pacifier in North Loop is also the cutest freakin’ baby store I’ve ever been inside. I mentally spent $2,000 there but physically bought Grace a $5.95 book. You can shop Pacifier online for gifts – I know I will be!


We walked around the Lowry Hills neighborhood after that and before dinner at Burch. Beautiful tree-lined streets, modest brick and shutter homes and apartments that probably cost 3x what they would in Florida. Very charming. The kind of neighborhood I’d love to live in – walkable to tons of shops and restaurants!


Our third night’s dinner at Burch did not disappoint. We arrived for an early 6 pm dinner and it was already packed. The smells of meat over an open flame, the sounds of a bustling city restaurant full of celebratory events, and the open kitchen was exciting. We ordered another Sociable cider, a grass-fed 6 ounce sirloin each (medium rare, charred crust) and a side of caramelized carrots with a sherry gastrique. The food was easily modifiable – the housemade A1 sauce and horseradish came on the side with pickled beech mushrooms. They left the goat cheese off the carrots – which were dessert in themselves. Caramelized in sugar water until dark brown with the perfect hint of wine-like vinegar. 7/10 for atmosphere and 9/10 for steak.


Grass-fed sirloin, glazed carrots & pickled beech mushrooms at Burch


Monday morning we walked to the North Loop Whole Foods for breakfast. It was only 3 blocks from the hotel, so I  grabbed salad there every morning for my breakfast to save some money. They have a nice local chocolate selection there too! We also went to an adorable donut shop in The Skyway (indoor mall) called Cardigan Donuts. I didn’t see any gluten-free options but my husband enjoyed his 3 (!!!) donuts and coffee. Speaking of coffee, there’s so many amazing coffee shops in the city but our hotel had delicious coffee for free…. so we didn’t go to them! But I did have a homemade almond milk latte at Penny’s!



Oh yes, and we also tried two places for lunch that I recommend for grass-fed burger salads: Red Cow and French Meadow. We also had lunch at the Minneapolis-St Paul airport at French Meadow. They made me a wild salmon and kale salad with kalamata olives and scallions that was pretty good for airport food!



This was a FANTASTIC burger salad at Red Cow! Grass-fed & well-salted beef, a whole avocado & tender greens!



WALKABILITY OF THE CITY:  7/10 from the hotel to the Walker Art Center was 1.5 miles and to Uptown another 1 to 1.5 miles. We used Lyft and the drivers were so nice – one even gave us free water bottles he had in a little cooler for his riders. Uber can suck it.


FOOD & DRINK: 9/10 excellent for sustainable and organic food, unique menu items, well-designed cocktails and a wide variety of gluten-free cider choices – much healthier options than Chicago or even Austin!


PEOPLE: 10/10 SO DAMN NICE. Is “Minnesota Nice” a saying? I feel like I’ve heard that before. If not, it needs to be… everyone was incredibly helpful, accommodating and inquisitive. They wanted to know all about you unlike NYC or even Chicago where people put their heads down and avoid stranger interaction.