grilled beet salad

*i discovered that grilled beets are just as good as roasted beets and don’t require turning on the oven when it’s 95 degrees out.

*cut 3-4 medium to large beets in slices. (don’t slice too thin or everything burns and you get burnt beet chips. i sliced mine about 1/4 inch thick.
* brush both sides of the slices with olive oil and cover with salt and pepper.
*grill on medium-high for about 4 minutes, both sides. depending on the width of the slices, they may take longer or shorter.

make your salad:
*mixed greens/spinach
*goat cheese
*grilled beets
*top with favorite salad dressing. we used Brianna’s real french vinaigrette, although some oil and vinegar would also work great.


new paleo nugget recipes!

i made an ungodly amount of paleo nuggets last week for the 4th of july festivities.
i also ate an ungodly amount of sugar over my birthday. currently in day 3 of sugar detox.

we had a very large cookout over the 4th and i decided all of my friends were going to be my guinea pigs for my new paleo nugget recipes. 2-3 of them have tried or are trying the paleo diet. the rest are just willing to be my test subjects because they like to indulge me.

in addition to the carrot cake and chocolate espresso flavors, i made salted pistachio lemon nuggets and cranberry pecan chia nuggets. the pistachio lemon ones were a big hit. i think the cranberry pecan chia had a little too much cranberry. need to keep working on that one.

if you try the recipes as listed, let me know how they turn out. or, if you alter them, let me know what you changed: i’d love to see new takes on the cranberry pecan nugget that might be better than what i’ve listed below.

happy eating!

salted pistachio lemon nuggets:
3/4 cup of salted pistachios (raw, if you prefer)
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
4 medjool dates (don’t forget to remove pits!)
zest of one medium size lemon
2 tbls unsweetened coconut milk

cranberry pecan chia seed nuggets:
3/4 cup pecans (raw)
3/4 cup dried craisins
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tbls unsweetened coconut milk

*combine all ingredients in food processor. add additional tablespoons of coconut milk if mixture seems too dry.

for real?


*my sister-in-law made me gluten/dairy/soy free cookie dough bon bons for my birthday. for real. i still can’t get over them. they made me giddy. literally: because i haven’t had sugar in a month and these bon bons were my first birthday sugar. hyp-er.

*they were so good that everyone at our 4th of July cookout tried them and couldn’t believe they were gluten/dairy/soy free. yum-e.

*here’s why this is one of the best birthday gifts ever:

being diagnosed with digestive issues makes you put a lot of things in perspective. for example, i never ever ever take for granted how much effort it takes to cook and bake for someone who has food allergies. it requires a lot of time. baking and/or cooking for someone like me requires the following:

1. finding a recipe (usually online) that is gluten, dairy AND soy free. a lot of times, gluten free recipes include diary and/or soy–both of which i have to avoid. so searching for a recipe can often require multiple attempts to “find the right fit” for someone like me.

2. figuring out ingredients that are super odd for most people. when i first learned i had to bake gluten/dairy/soy free, i realized i needed to figure out what flours i can use (almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, etc) and how they changed textures and flavors. i needed to figure out what the heck xanthan gum was. (it’s not gum you chew; it’s an ingredient that adds volume to baking with flours that do not “rise” the way wheat and grain flours do.)

3. reading labels. obsessively. knowing where the hidden things are. i.e. whey. whey = cow’s milk/dairy. most people don’t think about this. they see “gluten-free” and think: all is well! let’s do this! and then they bake me bread and i look at the label and have to say with guilt (usually because the person spent money and time making me something special): i can’t have this. (this has happened with mom a few times with bread mixes.)

4. having money to buy ingredients that are often triple the cost. some nut flours can cost $9-10. chocolate chips: $5 a bag. candy bar: $3 minimum. maybe more. the price tags can be shocking when you’re not used to them. so, if someone is willing to spend that much, it’s a big deal to me. there are no $1.99 cookie mixes in my world.

all of these reason are why i don’t bake for myself anymore and why it means so much to me when someone takes the time to figure out a way to feed me. because it takes all that effort, care, attention, and love to do it.

so, thanks gretchen: my amazing sister-in-law, who showed up tuesday with two containers of cookie dough bon bons made just for me. i couldn’t be more thankful for a more loving and perfect present. you’re the best.


paleo nuggets: chia style

i’ve become obsessed with making up new recipes for paleo nuggets. (a.k.a. paleo balls, but i really don’t want to call them balls, so i’m going with nuggets. maybe energy drops? i’m open to suggestions. nuggets for now.)

saturday, i made another batch of espresso chocolate nuggets and carrot cake nuggets. i’m realizing that the tricks to making these nuggets taste the best are:
*figuring out how much coconut milk to add. too much and they are too mushy. too little and they are too dry.
*being consistent with the type of dates i use in each recipe. this week, i bought organic dates, which turned out to be larger than the nonorganic dates i had included in the recipes last week. i realized after the fact that if i use the larger organic dates i need less of them; otherwise, the nuggets taste a little too sweet for me.
*rolling the nuggets in raw unsweetened coconut adds a nice texture and more protein/good fat. i’m thinking about what else i could roll these in that would add an interesting flavor or texture.

my latest combination is: pistachio pecan and chia seed (above). i meant to make them with walnuts, but wasn’t paying attention and dumped in pecans instead of walnuts. they still taste great, but next time i think i’ll try making some with walnuts. there’s something distinct about the flavor of walnuts that i think will work well.

chia seed is high in essential fatty acids, fiber and protein and is known as “super food.” chai seed is similar to flax seed, only better: you don’t have to grind up chia seeds to get the nutritional benefit of eating them (you have to grind flax); you don’t have to refrigerate them like you do flax; and they are much higher in antioxidants than flax and therefore, last much longer than flax seed does. read more about the benefits of chia seed here.

i’m still perfecting this one, so i’ll post the recipe when i’ve got it down.
until then, go eat some nuts and seeds. happy tuesday!

pickled turnip

i can honestly say that turnip is one of the only veggies i’ve never learned to love. i always try it, and i never really like it.
i love turnip cake, but it’s time consuming to make. so, when i picked up farm share last thursday, i was slightly disheartened that we got turnips, having no really idea what to do with them.

i’m very interested in pickling and i want to do more preserving this summer, so i decided to try this easy way of pickling turnips and see what happens. the recipe has you add beets, which is perfect because C loves beets.

it makes a very pretty neon pink. i hope it’s tasty.


scape pesto

garlic scape pesto: keeps everyone away from your face for days.

things i do that are ridiculous.

here’s a fun fact: leeks look a lot like green onions. especially if they are tiny leeks. as in the smallest leeks i’ve ever seen.

we got our first csa share last thursday (yay!) and immediately the panic set in about how we are going to eat all the food before it rots.  i have a running list of recipes to use during the summer because nothing makes me feel worse than opening my fridge to wasted vegetables. i also make everything in huge batches so i can give at least half of it away to friends.

i thought this recipe would be a good use of our radishes, despite my tendency to avoid potatoes. (we ate a lot of potatoes growing up. i spent all of my 20s avoiding anything potato-related except for chips.)

the recipes calls for pickling your own green onions in vinegar before adding them to the salad. i spent way too much time trying to cut up my green onions, which were tough and stringy and nothing like green onions. you would have thought that was my first clue. or the fact that my csa lists what we’re getting every week and there were no green onions on the list, but whatever. i pickled away and threw in a bunch of radishes as well.

all seemed well until i tried eating the salad and i could hardly chew what i thought were green onions. i emailed back and forth with my friend, who gets the same farm share, trying to figure out what they were: tough green onions? garlic scapes? no: leeks. i was eating raw leeks. raw. leeks.

the salad is still good. i’m picking out the pickled raw leeks.
i also have 2 huge bowls left of it. come over for some raw leeks if you want some.

recipe edits: the salad i made turned out nothing like this because i got lazy. i got to the pickled onions/leeks/radishes part and called it quits. my salad was a combo of: new potatoes, pickled radishes/leeks (sigh), hard boiled eggs, grainy spicy mustard, annie’s organic green garlic salad dressing, salt & pepper to taste. toss in arugula for a leafy spicy kick. 


carrot cake & chocolate espresso paleo style

like most normal people, i’m obsessed with pinterest. i keep finding really amazing recipes, such as these:

chocolate espresso paleo balls on the left,  carrot cake paleo balls on the right.
i made these yesterday and plan on using them this week as protein pick-me-ups before workouts. or, whenever i feel like eating something that tastes like dessert, but isn’t. both recipes are just a base of nuts, a few dates, seeds and unsweetened shredded coconut blended in a food processor. for the carrot cake recipe, you add shredding carrots, cloves and cinnamon. for the chocolate recipe, you add cocoa powder and some ground up espresso. coconut milk and a few dates in each batch is what makes them moist and sticky.

both recipes call for almonds, but i ran out so the chocolate espresso ones are made with pecans and hazelnuts. i used raw unsalted nuts for both of these, although i’m sure roasted and salted would be good, but a much different flavor.

happy monday!



*i can’t stop making this dish. it’s perfect for lunch. i served it as part of a cookout over the weekend and everyone raved about it.
*i wish i could say i made it up myself, but it’s from “never enough thyme,” a blog i found on pinterest.

*easy-peasy: sauté garlic, onions, jalapeño, spices, tomatoes, add shrimp and cilantro and you’re done.
*really good served cold, too.

*if you’re on pinterest and want to follow my healthy-eats board, find me here!

holiday brownies

how i made the most amazing dark chocolate gluten-free brownies for the holidays, in pictures:

*start with amazing dark chocolate. (this is the only brand i could find locally that was guaranteed gluten and dairy free. it’s excellent!):

*slowly melt chocolate and coconut oil:

*combine dry ingredients:

*beat in melty chocolate coconut goodness:

*chop up half a chocolate bar to put on top of the batter:

*add to batter in pretty pie pan: