Frosted Carrot Cupcakes (Paleo, AIP, Vegan, 21DSD)

 


Oh tonight was fun. I was in the middle of working on a recipe for an upcoming E-book (not my own, just helping out), and my pup started acting funny – not wanting to use his back legs to walk and he has been constantly shaking his head for the past 2 days. I thought he had an ear infection but with his gait impairments, I freaked out and thought he had a stroke too. Not very logical but logical isn’t my middle name. $100 later the vet thinks he either had just a bad case of gas or possibly a disc herniation (obviously the worse of the two). We have to monitor him for the next 48 hours and put him on bed rest though. Poor thing. He is the light of my life.

 

I have not come across AIP cupcakes as of yet. Muffins, yes. Pancakes. a few. But nothing with some damn frosting. This isn’t real frosting, since it doesn’t contain any sugar, but it is real food frosting. Have you used palm shortening before? It’s kind of a miracle… the texture is fluffy, light, and creamy – somewhere in between whipped cream and butter. I actually went a little hog wild on the stuff the past two weeks but whatever – I am an “all or nothing” type of person (also known as Type A, also known as obsessive, also known as the person you don’t want to sit next to on an especially turbulent flight).

 

True to my hatred of sugar, these do not contain any added sugars, but are definitely sweet enough on their own! Nutritionally-devoid does not even begin to describe sugar – I truly believe it contributes to the majority of mental and physical illness. My husband just told me, as in 19 seconds ago, that he wants to do a 21 day sugar detox. As he shoves chocolate cream pie topped with extra Enjoy Life chocolate chips into his pie-hole. I guess this is his last hoo-rah for the next 3 weeks. I don’t think he can do it – he lives on sugar. Husband, if you’re reading this: stay strong. Nothing tastes as good as not feeling like shit feels.

 


Frosted Carrot Cupcakes [21dsd]

Makes 10 cupcakes | Ready in 40 minutes

2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato

1 ½ cups peeled and cubed Japanese yam (white flesh)

1 T lemon juice

2 T palm shortening

½ cup coconut flour

1 T cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground mace

½ cup finely shredded coconut

1 tsp lemon zest

¼ cup finely grated carrot

1/3 cup raisins (For 21dsd: omit raisins]

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line regular-size muffin tin with silicone baking cups or grease well with palm shortening.
  2. Place orange and white sweet potatoes in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let steam for 12 minutes until fork tender.
  3. Place sweet potatoes, lemon juice, and palm shortening in a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, mace, shredded coconut and lemon zest.
  5. Stir pureed sweet potatoes into dry mixture and mix well with a spoon. Stir in grated carrot and raisins until evenly incorporated.
  6. Pour ¼ cup of batter into 10 silicone-lined muffin cups. Press down with your fingers to make compact muffins.
  7. Bake for 17 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in refrigerator 30 minutes prior to frosting with cream cheese. Served best at room temperature. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator for 2 days.

 

Lemon Frosting (can be doubled if more than a thin layer is desired)

½ cup palm shortening

1 tsp lemon zest

  1. Using a hand mixer, whip together shortening and lemon zest for 30 seconds.

 

Grilled Steak & Cucumber Noodle Bowl

 

grilled steak bowl paleo

 

 

Whether you’re on Paleo, AIP or doing a Whole30 or 21dsd, this grilled steak & fresh cucumber noodle bowl will hit the spot!

Yazum! This was so fresh and delicious. Yazum is not a foreign language for the word “delIcious” by the way, but the exact sound that exited my mouth when I twirled a cucumber noodle around a tender piece of grassfed grilled steak.

 

Wish me luck – tomorrow I have to call ABC Kitchen at exactly 8 am to get a dinner reservation for a bachelorette party I am planning in NYC. My poor Sprint cellphone service could make or break the whole shebang. It’ll probably all work out – I am just being dramatic for sensational reading purposes.

 

I do have several more trips this year to look forward to – Atlanta for a wedding, NYC for some bacheloretting, Sedona and Scottsdale for the honeymooning, then Florida for the holidays. Dats a lot of stinky airplane.

 

I’ll actually be moving to Atlanta for a few months in January for school… more on that later, but I am excited to explore a new city. You would think I wouldn’t be sick of Chicago after only 16 months of living here, but you would be wrong. I’m in a land of sidewalks with nowhere to go but into a rubber-floored gym.

 

My body wants grass bad, and not the kind that would get me in trouble with the law. That just reminded me – I rolled around the grass in San Diego and my back got eaten alive by a bunch of flies that bite. Didn’t know that was a thing.

 

 

grilled steak bowl paleo

 

 

 

Grilled Steak & Cucumber Noodle Bowl

Prep Time :10 Cook Time :10 Serves 2


Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Remove skirt steak from fridge 30 minutes prior to grilling and sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt. Brush each side with olive oil to prevent sticking. Grill about 4-5 minutes per side to your desired doneness. Mine is grilled medium-rare and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. 
  2. Meanwhile, use a spiralizerpan> to make long cucumber noodles. Do so by slicing the cucumber in half width-wise and spiralize each half. Alternatively, you can use a julienne peeler to create long noodles. 
  3. Place cucumber noodles in a strainer set over the sink. Toss with ¼ tsp sea salt and let sit for 10 minutes. The salt helps the cucumber "sweat" out extra moisture. Remove excess liquid from cucumber by squeezing noodles with your hand.
  4. Toss cucumber noodles and remaining ingredients in a bowl. Top with thinly sliced skirt steak and serve.

Recipe Notes

 

 

 

Got the grill out? Try my Grilled Chicken Kabobs with Orange, Olive & Oregano!

 

 

Flaked Cod | Cucumber-Mint Sauce | Plum Relish (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)


I can FINALLY eat fish again after 7 months of abstaining from one of my favorite foods. My histamine intolerance got wicked ridiculous during the holidays, and I went on a very low histamine diet from January through July of this year. Fish is always a hairy situation because you really have to trust your source. If it isn’t handled well immediately after being caught, you can set yourself up for a bacteria bomb. This cod came straight from Boston, so I sacked two pounds of it from the market, and cooked it as soon as I got home.

 

When my fridge is the emptiest, I am the most creative. I was in the mood for a summery “bowl”. This is a one pot, one blender meal, and takes no time or skill to throw together once you have your ingredients prepped. Kitchen tip: always prep everything in advance (your “mis en place”) and that way cooking is a breeze once you light the fire. And you won’t burn everything as you scurry around the kitchen.

 

This dish is light, flavorful & the fruity relish really makes it pop!

 

 

Flaked Cod with Cucumber-Mint Sauce & Plum Relish

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:00 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lb wild cod
  • 1 head red cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut aminos, divided
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 2 plums, pitted and diced
  • Sea salt

Directions

  1. In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add cabbage and large pinch salt to pan, stirring to coat in oil. Let cook for 5-7 minutes until cooked through but not soft, stirring every 2 minutes. Set aside and keep warm. Wipe pan clean.
  2. Place cucumber, olive oil, 1 tablespoon coconut aminos, ginger, mint and pinch sea salt in blender. Puree. Set aside.
  3. In the same pan, heat coconut oil over medium high heat.  Rinse and pat dry the fish. Salt both side. Place fish in pan, ensuring not to crowd (work in two batches if necessary). Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking the fish up with a wooden spoon into flakes as it begins to cook through. Sprinkle with additional salt and remove from heat. Wipe pan clean.
  4. In the same pan, add plums, ¼ cup water, and remaining ½ T coconut aminos. Cook over medium-low heat, breaking open the plums with the wooden spoon, as they cook down. Remove from heat once the majority of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Layer individual bowls with cabbage, fish, plum relish, and cucumber-mint sauce.

AIP Fish Sticks made with sweet potato chips!

 

Fish sticks coated in sweet potato chips which makes them grain & egg-free!

 

I think every adult wishes they were still a child. I certainly long for the summers that seemed endless, sticky, and deliciously peppered with family BBQs, birthday parties, and post-soccer game orange slices.

 

When you’re a kid, you appreciate moments for what they are… you’re not thinking about what comes next, or what others may be doing/thinking/feeling. I miss that. I guess what I mean is life is pretty easy when you’re a self-centered pre-teen. That’s why play is so important for us old timers.

 

I take time everyday to do something “fun” albeit to me “fun” is 50 jump squats followed by some sprint intervals. Fun is also cooking dinner for my husband, taking my dog on a long walk through Lincoln Park, or gabbing with a distant friend over the phone.

 

One of the reasons I was so attracted to my husband is his inability to grow up. Most women would probably mean that as a dig, but I intend it to be a compliment. Play, laughter, and silliness comes easily to him although he is approaching 37 years old.

 

When my brain is “go, go, go”, I like to stop and watch him play with Rafael, our dog. It reminds me that my little doodle won’t be here forever, so I best enjoy him, snuggle him, and chase him as much as possible these next several years!

 

Side note: my dog likes AIP fish sticks. He’s a paleo pup and eats a lot of grass-fed beef and free-range chicken. I guess that makes him in the top 1% of his species. But man, he inhaled these faster than that 95 lb chick beating the world record for hot dog eating.

 

 

 

AIP Fish Stick

Prep Time :12 Cook Time :13 Serves 3 to 4


Ingredients

  • 1 5oz bag Jackson's Honest Sweet Potato Chips
  • 1 lb cod, cut into 2-inch sticks
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse sweet potato chips in a blender/processor until ground into small pieces (but not flour).  Mix chips and oregano in a shallow bowl.
  2. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk coconut milk and lemon juice with a pinch of salt.
  3. Dip fish sticks in wet ingredients first then roll in sweet potato chips to coat. Lay on a wire rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet (alternatively, you can place them on parchment-lined baking sheet, but the bottom won’t crisp up). Repeat with remaining fish sticks.
  4. Bake for 12-13 minutes until fish sticks can be easily pierced with a fork. Serve with extra lemon juice, a sprinkle of sea salt, and tartar sauce (Paleo) or coconut cream mixed with fresh dill, salt, and pepper (AIP). 

Recipe Notes

Beef Shawarma (Paleo, AIP, Whole30)

 


I got married this weekend! It doesn’t feel different from just living with your fiance. As my friend Caitlin puts it “now you can just do your taxes together.” Hopefully I’ll score some spousal health insurance too. The wedding ended up being absolutely perfect, but we did have some pre-wedding scares. I’ll be doing 1 or 2 posts on the event. Mostly just so I don’t forget what happened.

 

My pre-wedding diet consisted of meat and lots of it. If I’m stressed (which I was since I was my own wedding planner), I have to eat extra meals or else I get sick or run down. Enter, meat on a stick. Convenient, delicious, fun to eat.  I don’t know what I did to make these so damn good, but they kept me interested for a full week. Yes, I gloat about my own food. The only thing I’m good at is cooking, so I may as well brag about it. I’m sure you understand if you live in mediocrity 95% of the time like I do. That’s a backhanded compliment to myself.

 

Well, here’s a sneak preview of our wedding. If it was a movie, the tagline would be “Twelve wrongs make a right.” If you’re more into action thrillers: “Monsoon Wedding”. And if you prefer chick flicks “Weather or Knot”. Stay tuned, folks.

 

Beef Shawarma Skewers [AIP Friendly]

Serves 6| Ready in 35 minutes

1 ½ lb grassfed ground beef (85-90% lean)

1 ½ cup Japanese sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes

1 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp lemon juice

1-2 tsp dried oregano (more if you love oregano like I do)

1 tsp coconut flour

Sea salt

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let steam until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Place in high-powered blender or food processor.
  2. Add ground beef, 1 tsp sea salt, lemon juice and lemon zest to food processor. Blend until pureed into a smooth paste. Separate meat/potato mixture into 7-8 even sized balls.
  3. Soak wooden skewers in water for 10 minutes to prevent burning. I forgot to do this. Roll one meatball onto skewer using both hands until you form a long, even shaped cylinder around the stick. It will look suspiciously like male genitalia. Ignore this and proceed with the remaining skewers.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the coconut flour, oregano, and a small pinch of sea salt together. Sprinkle over the top of the skewers.
  5. Preheat broiler to high. Place skewers on a rimmed baking seat on second highest oven rack. Broil on each side for 4-5 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: Can be served with sweet potato hummus for a Paleo meal or with coconut-cream tzatiki for an AIP meal.

AIP Chicken n’ Gravy (Paleo, Whole30)

 


I am so not a comfort food girl, but dang do I like me some gravy. Well, AIP gravy. I have actually never had “white gravy” in my life, so I had to consult my fiance on how it’s supposed to taste. He approved, so here we are staring at a picture of bacon-seared chicken thigh and gravy made out of sweet potatoes, bacon fat, broth, and fresh herbs. Yeah all of those things are really awesome on their own, but make for an Anchorman-like team when combined. As in they all complement each other and will make you giddy and gleeful. Lamp. I love lamp.

 

Ignore me if you don’t know what I’m talking about and scoot down to the recipe. I’m sure you do that anyway. Ah, so today I had to take some “professional” looking photos for an upcoming guest post I’m doing on another person’s website. I felt like a HUGE tool posing in the middle of a public park. I realized two things 1) I cannot and will not fake a smile (I usually think of something funny, so it makes me look more natural) and 2) My double-jointed arms look downright creepy and contorted.

 

AIP Chicken n’ Gravy

Serves 4-6 | Ready in 30 minutes

1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 ½ c peeled and diced white sweet potato

4 slices thick-cut AIP-compliant uncured bacon

1 T chopped fresh herbs (I like a mix of thyme, rosemary, and sage)

Salt to taste

½ cup warm broth or water

Time Saving Tip:  Steam the sweet potatoes at the same time as Steps 2 and 3 to save time!

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes until easily pierced with a fork. Add sweet potatoes, herbs, and a pinch of salt to the blender.
  2. In a large saucepan, cook bacon on medium heat until crispy. Pour 4 T of bacon fat in blender/food processor. Leave the remaining bacon fat in the pan to cook the chicken thigh.
  3. Generously salt both sides of the chicken thighs and place in pan with bacon fat. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes each side until cooked through and golden.
  4. Pour ¼ c warm broth or water in blender and puree. Add remaining ¼ cup and blend until pureed into pour-able, smooth gravy. Gravy thickness can be adjusted by adding more broth/water for thinner gravy, but I suggest adding a pinch more salt if you dilute it anymore.
  5. Serve chicken thighs with gravy and a sprinkle of additional herbs for presentation.