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.

 

AIP Rustic Apple Cinnamon Rolls (Paleo, Vegan, Sugar-Free)

 


I made this recipe awhile back for a guest post, and then I ended up doing another recipe and totally forgot about my cinnamon rolls! Hello!? That is an egregious  mistake to make in the AIP community. This recipe does have a few steps, but it takes me less than 30 minutes to throw together! They aren’t soft and chewy like normal cinnamon rolls since there’s no yeast or eggs, but they are very reminiscent of the taste, and I actually prefer the crunchy, chewy, and gooey texture of these to regular cinnamon rolls.

 

This recipe makes 6 rolls, but it can be easily doubled for a larger gathering. You can also change up the filling by adding different fruits, a combination of berries or stone fruit sounds delicious to me! Enjoy this long lost recipe… I tested it 4 times to get the right ratio of tapioca and coconut flour for the texture I was going for! Have a wonderful weekend, and go try something new. We are going for a new bike ride to check out a pie shop for my husband who has a demonic sweet tooth. I’ll just be admiring the architecture along the way. I will of course be forced to watch at least 2 football games (growl.)

 

 

My hands are the size of a 5-year-old’s but these rolls are a nice, hefty size! As they should be, darn it!

 

 

Rustic Apple-Cinnamon Rolls [AIP Friendly]

Makes 6 rolls | Prep 25 minutes | Cook 23 minutes

Time Saving Tip: while the sweet potatoes are steaming, make the filling!

Dough

2 cups peeled & diced white sweet potato*

2 T melted coconut oil

¼ c unsweetened applesauce

¼ cup coconut flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch

1/2 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp fine sea salt

½ tsp baking soda

*The flesh should be white. The Japanese purple-skinned or California white-skinned varieties both work here.

  1. In a steamer basket set over a pot of boiling water, steam the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, covered, until they easily break apart with a fork.
  2. Place sweet potatoes, applesauce and coconut oil in blender/food processor. Blend until smooth and no lumps remain. Alternatively, you can mash in a bowl until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix coconut flour, tapioca, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Using your hands, mix sweet potato dough into dry ingredients, kneading to fully incorporate.
  4. Place dough on parchment-lined baking sheet. Using your hands, form dough into an even, compact rectangle, about ¼ inch thick.

Apple-Cinnamon Filling

1 cup finely diced Granny Smith apple

1 T coconut oil

5 large Medjool dates, pitted

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

Pinch sea salt

  1. In small saucepan, cook apple in coconut oil over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes until softened.
  2. While the apple is cooking, place dates in small bowl filled with ½ cup filtered water. Microwave for 1 minute. Reserve all of the liquid!
  3. Add dates, ¼ cup reserved liquid, cinnamon, and sea salt to the pan. Break dates and apples up with a wooden spoon as they cook down.  Once liquid has evaporated, add remaining ¼ cup reserved liquid and simmer, stirring, until a thick paste has formed, about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat immediately.

Apple-Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Spoon filling mixture on top of dough, covering entirely.
  2. Use the parchment paper to assist rolling the dough into a cylinder by starting with the short end of the rectangle and rolling away from your body. Ensure seam side is down.
  3. Using a sharp, serrated knife, slice roll into 6 even pieces. (Note: Place dough in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to cut.)
  4. Gently re-shape the dough into circles and lay face up on parchment paper.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 23-25 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle with melted coconut butter.

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). 

by

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)

This AIP Chicken and Gravy is a nutrient dense take on classic comfort food. The gravy is made with white sweet potatoes, herbs, bacon and broth! It’s Paleo, Whole30, gluten free and dairy free too.


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.

 

This AIP Chicken and Gravy is so simple and easy to make! Ingredients include:

  • Chicken thighs

  • White sweet potatoes

  • Bacon

  • Water or broth

  • Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano

  • Salt

 

I like to use Hannah white sweet potatoes for this recipe as they have the most mild and less sweet flavor compared to Japanese white sweet potatoes. If you love white sweet potatoes, check out these other recipes that utilize them!

 

How to make AIP Chicken and Gravy with sweet potatoes:

  1. Peel and chop white sweet potatoes and place in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water.

  2. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes until easily pierced with a fork.

  3. Add sweet potatoes, herbs, and a pinch of salt to the blender along with rendered bacon fat and warm broth. Blend until silky smooth!

  4. Use on the below AIP Chicken and Gravy recipe or on biscuits or in casseroles.

 

 

[simple-recipe:1772a]
 

 

AIP Chicken n Gravy

 

Paleo BBQ Chicken Nachos (Nightshade-free, AIP)

paleo nachos

 

Craving Paleo nachos? This grain-free version uses sweet potato chips & has two options for nightshade-free homemade BBQ sauce!

 

Most women probably don’t eat a plate of nachos two weeks prior to their wedding, but I did. Why? Because they’re freakin’ made of fruits & vegetables.

 

If you haven’t gotten your paws on Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips you need to find a way. Hatch a plan. If it involves a getaway car and a Brazilian alias, don’t feel ashamed. They truly are THAT good.

 

If you want to go about it in a legal manner, just order a case from their website. I cannot do such a thing because I can easily (and have three times now) eaten an entire bag in one day.

 

I love BBQ anything. We used to grill all the time when I was little. My favorite foods were BBQ chicken, coleslaw, and steak.

 

Not much has changed actually. My favorite part of a BBQ meal is using the moist towelette. That lemony scent is very satisfying. I feel so clean after. Like I didn’t just eat a pound of meat.

 

 

Below I’ve given you two versions of AIP nightshade-free BBQ sauce! One is Tangy & Fruity made with cherries, plums, bacon, fresh thyme and a bit of honey! The second is Smokey Cherry-Thyme which is made without the plums and apple cider vinegar instead!

 


 

 

BBQ Chicken Nachos

 

 

Tangy n’ Fruity BBQ Sauce

10 red cherries, stemmed & seeded

2 red plums, pit removed, cut into chunks

½ tsp finely chopped thyme

½ T lemon juice

2 tsp honey

3 slices bacon, chopped

  1. In a small pan, bring cherries & plums to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir in the thyme. Let cook for 10 minutes, periodically smashing fruit with a wooden spoon.
  2. Once fruit has cooked down, stir in lemon juice & big pinch of salt. Pour into a blender to cool.
  3. Add chopped bacon to pan and cook over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Pour 2 T bacon fat into blender. Blend until pureed into a smooth sauce. Adjust salt to taste.

 

 

Smokey Cherry-Thyme BBQ Sauce

1 ¼ cups pitted and halved cherries

1 tsp finely chopped thyme

1 tsp lemon zest

1 T ACV

1 T honey

Salt, to taste

3 slices uncured bacon, chopped

  1. Bring the cherries to a simmer in a small pot over medium-low heat. Once they start to release some of their juices (3 minutes or so), stir in the chopped thyme and lemon zest.

  2. Let reduce for 5 more minutes and now add in your apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, and salt (to taste).  Simmer for an additional 10 minutes periodically using a rubber spatula to break open the cherries. Transfer sauce to blender to cool.

  3. Cook the chopped bacon in the same saucepan until crispy. Set aside bacon pieces and pour leftover bacon fat into the blender with the cherries. Blend until pureed. Adjust salt to taste.

 

 

BBQ Chicken Nachos

1 cup cooked and shredded chicken thigh

2-3 oz Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips (or your own)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss ¼ cup of the BBQ sauce with the chicken thigh.
  2. Lay sweet potato chips on bottom of plate or pie dish. Top with chicken, bacon pieces & additional BBQ sauce. Bake in oven for 6-8 minutes until warmed throughout. Serve topped with chives & organic sour cream if you do dairy.

Mini Blackberry Tarts (Paleo, AIP, Vegan)

 

paleo blackberry mini tarts vegan

 

These are ah-mazing with an emphasis on the “ah”… open your mouth real wide for these babies. I adapted the lovely Jessica Flanigan’s recipe over at AIP Lifestyle. She makes incredible AIP-only recipes and takes consistently beautiful photos, unlike mine. Frankly, when I took this shot, it was rainy and I wanted to eat the dang dessert. Anyways, I decreased the sugar & time from her original recipe. Bonus.

So we went to the Blues Fest this weekend. Always the best people watching. Two highlights: a drunk adult male in a safari hat with a pouty baby face because we didn’t want to be friends with him. Mostly because he was 2 sips of Budweiser away from vomiting on us. The second: My fiance forgot my fork at home (egregious, I know) and I couldn’t eat my beef & sweet potatoes, so he yelled ‘Does anybody have an extra fork!!!!?’ in a crowd of thousands of drunk festival goers. A family nearby donated me their baby’s two-prong tiny plastic fork, and I ate my meal with pride. Then wondered if I was swapping spit with a 3 month old. Anything for beef, right?

 

Mini Blackberry Tarts (makes 5 mini tarts)

Recipe adapted from Autoimmune Paleo Lifestyle Strawberry-Lemon Tart

Recipe can be easily doubled for a larger gathering

12 oz organic blackberries

1 T honey

1 T lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 c + 1 T sweet potato flour 

1 T + 2 tsp tapioca starch

2 T + 2 tsp coconut oil, melted

Whipped coconut cream for serving

1. Bring washed blackberries, lemon juice, and coconut sugar to a boil over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Let simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes until they thicken and become syrupy. Drain over a strainer to remove extra liquid and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 5 silicon muffin liners.

3. Combine sweet potato flour, tapioca starch and salt in a mixing bowl.Stir in lemon zest and melted coconut oil and mix well until fully combined and a moist (sorry) flour forms.Press 1 T evenly into the bottom of the silicon muffin liners. Bake on middle rack for 8-9 minutes until lightly golden brown.

4. Top the baked crusts with the strained blackberries. Place in freezer for 25 minutes to cool quickly or you can put in fridge for 1 hour, if you have time.Serve with whipped coconut cream.

Tartelette au Sucre (Refined-Sugar Free Tarts)

 

tarteausucre_edited.jpg

 

 

Looking for a refined-sugar free mini Paleo treat? Try these Paleo Tarts! Personal-size treats make portion control easy & this lifestyle sustainable!

 

I fell down the Paleo treat rabbit hole recently. A lot of them are still sugar-free in my household, but this one does have a little bit of sweetener in it. It’s probably my favorite Paleo dessert I’ve ever come up with on the fly. I was jonesing for some sugar pie, a French Canadian dessert that is literally sugar sauce in a pie crust.

 

Growing up, I spent time in Montreal visiting family every summer. We would always grab some tarte au sucre (essentially, sugar pie) always a meal of BBQ and fries. For some reason, BBQ is kind of a big deal up there. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? It’s friggin’ delicious.

 

“Sugar Pie” sounds like the least Paleo food in the world, but I’m not one to ignore an incessant craving. The crust is made from sweet potato flour which adds sweetness without adding a lot of sweetener. In fact, there’s only a few tablespoons of raw honey or coconut sugar in this recipe!

 

You’ll be able to stop at just one because they are nice and rich. The filling is thick, sweet and interestingly also made from sweet potato and coconut milk! Hey, real food treats are what I’m about!

 

Don’t be intimidated by the long-ish looking recipe by the way. It’s incredibly easy to put together!

 

 

Paleo Tartelette au Sucre (“Sugar Pie”) 

makes 5 tartelettes | 20 minutes

Ginger Graham Crust

1 T raw honey (for AIP) or coconut sugar

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/8 tsp fine sea salt

¼ c + 1 T sweet potato flour

1 T + 2 tsp tapioca starch

3 T coconut oil, melted

1. Line a muffin pan with 5 silicon muffin liners. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine coconut sugar (or honey), sweet potato flour, tapioca starch and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in ginger and melted coconut oil and mix well until fully combined and a moist flour forms.Press about 1 T flour into muffin cups creating a shallow “bowl”. Make sure the bottom and sides are even thickness to ensure proper/even baking.

3. Bake on 2nd lowest rack for 9 minutes until lightly golden brown. Make sure not to let it bake too long or they will crumble.Remove liners from pan (but not the crusts from the liners yet!). Set aside to cool while you prepare the pie filling below.

Sucre Filling

2 T cold water

2 T raw honey (for AIP) or coconut sugar

1 T coconut oil

¼ cup well-mashed sweet potato (orange variety)

2 T coconut cream (from top of coconut milk can), divided

Whipped coconut cream (optional)

1. In a small saucepan, bring water and coconut sugar/honey to a low boil. Let bubble for 2 minutes while whisking continuously.Now stir in coconut oil or ghee and only 1 T coconut cream and return to a low boil. Tilt pan towards you and continue to whisk until the mixture thickens to a melted caramel thickness (1-2 minutes).

2. Add in the mashed sweet potato and whisk vigorously to emulsify. There should be no clumps.Remove from heat and whisk in remaining 1 T coconut cream until smooth.

Assembly

  1. Place 1 T pie filling into cooked crusts and smooth it down with back of a spoon. Leave a little crust perimeter.
  2. Freeze for 30 minutes in the silicone liners. Remove from freezer and serve with fresh whipped coconut cream, if desired.

Pesto Pasta w/ Roasted Grapes+ Caramelized Leeks

Pasta_edited.jpg

I listen to  A LOT of “Paleo” /health podcasts (Balanced Bites, Fat Burning Man, Bulletproof Exec are my favorites) when I work out. I stopped listening to music because it seemed like 45 minutes of lost opportunity to learn something new. Recently, Stefani Ruper of the new book “Sexy by Nature” has been guesting on shows. I bought her book on Amazon after hearing her talk about revolutionizing how women see themselves. Most of us spend the day juding ourselves and others in purely superficial ways.

 

Guilty. It’s something I am working on and I think her book will give me the evidence needed to help me change my thought habits. It’s extremely dehumanizing that we live in a society that tells us our worth comes from the surface. The $13 billion pornography industry is one of our worst enemies, in my opinion. In college, I did a speech in my public speaking class about the consequences of pornography introduction in our male youth. I asked the class “How many of you know someone who is addicted to porn?”, 30 out of the 36 students raised their hands. I then asked “How many of you think Internet pornography should be regulated?” Nobody’s hand went up.

 

The sexualization of women in the media (including fashion magazines) is out of control. It’s hard not to feed into it when you’re inundated with sexy makeup ads starting at age 6. It’s in our 20’s and 30’s that I think, as women, we finally have the maturity and emotional intelligence to shed ourselves of these suffocating thoughts.

 

I have found that by eating real whole food, I have been able to let go of a lot of negative body images. I eat A LOT more calorie-wise than I used to, but I don’t EVER stress about food, quantity, or calories. I nourish from the inside and it shows on the outside. It’s really been freeing. It seems that’s what Stefani’s book is going to be about: letting go of self-judgment and realizing that we’re much more than crows feet + saddlebags. Can you imagine how absolutely boring we would be if we were just a shell?

 

On to food talk: this pasta recipe requires a spiralizer to get those perfect sweet potato noodles. I highly suggest buying one on Amazon; they are super affordable and so versatile. There’s a ton of flavor here. No meat – but if you’re looking to up the protein, some shredded chicken thighs or ground pork woudl go nice.

Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Leeks + Roasted Grapes 

2 servings | 40 minutes

1 cup red grapes

1 leek, thinly sliced, white part only

1 1/2 T coconut oil, divided

1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and peeled

Walnut Basil Pesto

1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed

¾ cup walnut halves

¼ cup olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 garlic clove, crushed

¼ tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast grapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through the baking time. Set aside.
  2. While grapes are roasting, make the rest of the recipe to save time.
  3. Heat 1 T coconut oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add sliced leeks to pan and do not disturb for 3 minutes. Stir the leeks, turn heat to low, then cover with a lid for 10 -12 minutes. Stir periodically so they do not burn. Set aside.
  4. To make pesto: Combine all ingredients in food processor. Set aside.
  5. Run sweet potato through your spiralizer to make long noodles.
  6. Heat ½ T coconut oil in skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potato noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes, tossing often with tongs, until they are cooked through but not mushy.
  7. Remove skillet from stove and gently stir in grapes, leeks, and 3 T pesto.
  8. Serve with a dollop of pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.