Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ghee Coconut Rum Mugcake with Spiced Rum Glaze

Ghee Coconut Rum Mugcake with Spiced Rum Glaze....Pure decadence!

Ok. So last night I dreamt-- or rather had a NIGHTMARE-- that I woke up and the only jeans that fit were my pre-60 pound weightloss size 18's. Anyone else have dreams like this? I think I know exactly what brought it on, too. Last night I treated myself, and boy did I treat myself well! I must have had a twinge of guilt that crept into my subconcsience  while I was sleeping.

I had been thinking all day yesterday about butter rum cake. I mean, I could not let the thought go! I like to keep my life in balance, and when something is that overwhelming I allow myself the pleasure of enjoying it. However, I do believe in making everything I eat as Paleo friendly as possible, so I came home from the store last night on a mission. I didn't have much time, so I went the microwave mugcake route. I didn't know how it would turn out, but the result was this decadent Ghee Coconut Rum Mugcake with a rich warm glaze. The moment I took a bite, I knew I had to share it with you all!

Ghee Coconut Rum Mugcake with Glaze



1 egg
2 Tbs spiced rum
2 Tbs full fat coconut milk
1 Tbs raw honey
1 Tbs melted ghee (I very highly recommend OMghee's brand available online)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbs coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 heaping Tbs unsweetened shredded coconut


In a microwavable safe mug, small bowl, or ramekin mix well wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Microwave for approximately 2 min. How long you microwave it will depend on the type of container you use. If your mug is very light and thin you might want to start at 1 min 45 sec and go up from there if necessary. Once done, the cake should slide right out of the mug. Place on a plate to cool a bit.

*Note: If you do not use a microwave, you can certainly try it in the oven, although I have never tried this myself. My advice would be to cook it at 325*-350* F checking after 15 minutes. If not done, check it at 5 minutes intervals until done.



1 Tbs ghee
1 Tbs raw honey
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs spiced rum (you can always add more. Wink, wink)
1 heaping Tbs unsweetened shredded coconut


Put all ingredients in a small pot or pan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until mixture is melted and starts to bubble. Allow to bubble stirring occasionally until it begins to thicken. This is called reducing-- cooking off the liquid, and in this case the alcohol as well. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will be. Keep in mind, it will thicken more after it cools.

Pour warm glaze over cake and ENJOY!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Veggies! Part Three: Pink Horsey Slaw

Pink Horsey Slaw

This is the last installment of the Veggies! series, although this is certainly not the last time vegetables will make an appearance on this blog. I hope you've opened your eyes to just how exciting & delicious vegetables can be, and I hope you've learned a little something along the way! I know I have!

I wanted to do this series because I see a lot of delicious meat and Paleo goodies floating around the Interwebz, but BORING vegetables. No offense y'all! I was guilty of the same thing for a long time. I love Paleo goodies as much as the next person, and you will see a few here and there on this blog, but the fact is REAL food is what we should be eating the majority of the time. That being the case, this blog will mostly focus on delicious real food recipes--including meat, veggies, fruits, fats, nuts & seeds. If you are filling your day with Paleo breads, brownies, cookies and cakes, then you may need to reassess your diet and make some changes (I go through this occassionally and have to refocus myself). Vegetables should be half our plate when we sit down to eat. The common misconception is that Paleo is a meat based diet--it is not! Meat is our main source of protein, yes, but ALL of the other nutrients we need come from vegetables.

When I started researching different vegetables for this series, I was blown away by the common threads in all of them. Vegetables not only provide us with tons of vitamins, but they most all contain some kind of cardiovascular benefits, cancer fighting agents, and detoxifying nutrients. No wonder we're supposed to be eating so many vegetables! 


Beets are making a huge appearance in today's recipe! Why? First of all, I find their earthy sweet flavor delicious. Secondly, they are so incredibly good for us. Beets are part of the chenopod family which includes chard and spinach. Chenopods have been shown to provide nutrients unique to their family of foods. To quote an article from The World's Healthiest Foods, "The red and yellow betalain pigments found in this food family, their unique epoxyxanthophyll carotenoids, and the special connection between their overall phytonutrients and our nervous system health (including specialized nervous system organs like the eye) point to the chenopod family of foods as unique in their health value."

Gorgeous fresh foods!
Along with these benefits to our nervous system, beet's phytonutrients help fight inflammation, and help detoxify our bodies. Need more reasons to eat beets? Well, they are also loaded with antioxidants, but not just any antioxidants! Since beets get their red color primarily from betalain antioxidants pigments and not anthocyanins, they provide antioxidant support in a way that is unique from other vegetables. 

I think it's clear, beets are a unique vegetable that should be a part of our diet! But, what if you don't like beets? Enter today's recipe!

Pink Horsey Slaw

Who doesn't love slaw? Ok, some people don't like it--I'm one of those people! Slaw has never been a favorite of mine, until I made this recipe! Since this recipe contains raw beets the flavors will be a bit more unique from traditional roasted or steamed beets, and you don't have to hassle with that long cooking time. The blend of horseradish, dill and roasted walnut mayleo combined with the earthy sweet flavor of the beets makes for a delicious slaw that even the most passionate beet skeptic will enjoy. I love pairing this side with my pulled pork or burgers!


Droppin' some killah beets in the Comparison Kitchen!


1/2 head of cabbage chopped
3 red beets shredded


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 heaping Tbs fresh finely grated horseradish root (I did this in a magic bullet)
2 Tbs fresh chopped dill
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Put chopped cabbage and shredded beets into a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix sauce ingredients together. Do not be alarmed by the amount of horseradish--fresh horseradish is not nearly as strong as prepared horseradish. If you are concerned, add it a tablespoon at a time testing the flavor to get your desired hotness. 

Once you've mixed the sauce, add it to the vegetables and mix well. The result will be a beautiful pink slaw! Keep in the refrigerator. Although this slaw is delicious to eat right away, it will be even better the day after you've made it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Roasted Walnut Mayleo

Mayleo? Paleo mayonnaise!

Who doesn't love a yummy excuse to reuse fabulous jars?

My husband came up with that clever name the first time I ever made it. I've made several batches of mayleo ever since, but this is by far my favorite! Through a process of trial and error, I have combined a whole bunch of recipes I've tried, plus some of my own ideas to come up with a process and ingredients that yields my ideal mayonnaise.

I never thought of using walnut oil. I have always used a combination of lighter olive oil & coconut oil, but I saw this walnut oil, and couldn't resist trying. The result is a fabulously creamy, nutty mayonnaise with all of the incredible benefits of walnuts!

This recipe is going to create a slightly thicker mayonnaise which is what both my husband and I prefer. If you wish to have a thinner consistency, simply omit the coconut oil. Do not be alarmed by the coconut oil--the flavor is impossible to detect, but it is key for a thicker mayonnaise as it hardens when refrigerated. If you want to make an even more neutral mayleo, just use lighter flavor olive oil or avocado oil. Follow the directions closely, and I promise this will recipe will be fail proof!


1 large egg
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut oil melted
1 & 3/4 cup roasted walnut oil


Pour coconut oil into a liquid pourable measuring cup. Add walnut oil to coconut oil until you get 2 full liquid cups of oil.

In a food processor add egg & lemon juice. Process on high until egg and juice are well blended. While food processor is on high, add the oil.

IMPORTANT: When adding the oil, only allow the smallest stream possible to pour out without it dripping. This takes a while, so be patient. Don't be an eager beaver! It needs to be mixed slowly so it can properly emulsify with the egg & lemon juice.

Once all the oil is poured in, allow the processor to mix for another minute or so, and the result should be creamy mayonnaise! Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator. Keep in mind, it will thicken a bit more once refrigerated.

And there you have it! Thick, creamy mayleo you can use for your favorite Paleo lettuce wraps, salad dressings, or dips!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Veggies! Part Two: Roasted Broccoli and Garlic with Sundried Tomatoes and Balsamic Reduction

Roasted Broccoli and Garlic with Sundried Tomatoes and Balscamic Reduction 

So, are you all ready for part two of the "Veggies!" series? I am, because I'm really excited to discuss todays veggie--garlic!

While garlic (allium sativum) is going to be a little upstaged by the broccoli in this recipe, I wanted it to be the nutritional focus. Since we often see garlic as simply a seasoning, we forget that garlic is in fact a vegetable, and a nutritionally beneficial one!

Food is art!
A vegetable native to central Asia, ancient Egyptians were actually the first to cultivate and use the small vegetable. They had their superstitions in regards to the vegetable, including believing it could help their slaves be more productive. The ancient egyptians weren't the only culture to have their folkloric beliefs about garlic. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed it could strengthen athletes, and of course there is the old wive's tale that garlic can ward off evil spirits and vampires.

While our ancient ancestors may have been slightly off-base with their superstitions, they were right about one thing--garlic is definitely a super food! Garlic contains unique sulfur-containing compounds. These are beneficial for a number of reasons. They can fight oxidative stress and unwanted inflammation that increases our risk of cardiovascular disease. They benefit both our musculoskeletal and respiratory systems, and can even fight obesity! Along with the benefits of these sulfur-containing compounds, the allicin in garlic can help lower blood pressure, and garlic has been shown to help fight and prevent certain types of infection.

If you'd like to read a more in-depth discussion of these benefits, along with more facts about garlic, check out this article.

In The Kitchen

So, we've established that garlic should be a prominent and regular part of our diet. To get the most benefits, we need to consume about 1-2 whole cloves a day (if cooked). That's really not hard to do. Most recipes call for garlic (or garlic powder). I recommend using fresh garlic as often as possible as it is the best way to consume it. But, if you're looking for a way to bump up your garlic game, this recipe will do just that!

While it's not difficult to find ways to incorporate garlic into our diets, in this recipe, garlic gets to take a well-deserved spot center-stage alongside some big-hitting vegetables. This recipe is easy to make, and will serve as a great side for many meals. It's also delicious served cold--add some chicken and you have a quick delicious salad!

Roasted Broccoli and Garlic with Sundried Tomatoes and Balsamic Reduction (4 servings)


5 cups chopped broccoli (medium sized florets)
1/2 cup whole peeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup (before chopping) jarred sundried tomatoes
2 Tbs melted ghee or fat/oil of choice (I use OMghee's brand of ghee-- non-GMO, grass fed, organic)
1 tsp dried oregano (2 tsp fresh)
The process
1 tsp dried basil (2 tsp fresh)
Salt & pepper to taste
3/4 liquid cup balsamic vinegar


*Note: Balsamic reductions can always be made in advance & reheated. Just be careful not to overcook it when reheating. It is also optional for this recipe as the vegetables are delicious and flavorful on their own!

Preheat oven to 375*F. Place broccoli florets and garlic on a cookie sheet that has sides, or in a roasting pan (do not add sundried tomatoes yet). Drizzle with melted fat and stir until vegetables are coated. Add herbs, salt and pepper. Stir again. Place in the oven. You will roast the veggies for approximately 30 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, chop sundried tomatoes to desired size (mine came in whole slices that I chopped into quarters).

After you've done your first stirring of the vegetables (10 minutes into roasting), begin the balsamic reduction. This sounds fancier than it is. All you do is place a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Pour balsamic vinegar into the pan and heat it up until it begins to thicken (this is called reducing--cooking off the liquid condensing the sugars). Once it has thickened a bit, remove it from the heat--BAM! You have a balsamic reduction (perhaps my favorite thing in the world). Keep in mind, it will thicken more as it cools.

When you remove the pan from the oven for your second stirring (after 20 minute of cooking), add the sundried tomatoes and stir into vegetable mixture. Return pan to the oven and cook for the final 10 minutes.

After the vegetables have cooked for a total of 30 minutes, remove from the oven.

Place onto the plate, drizzle with some of the balsamic reduction and ENJOY!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Veggies! Part One: Spicy Basil Brussels Sprouts



Yes, they deserve an exclamation point. I've always been a veggie lover. I actually enjoy them more than fruit--weird, I know. While scrolling through fellow Paleolithic eaters' pictures online, I've noticed a saddening trend: BORING VEGGIES. My goal in doing this 3 part "Veggies!" series is to get you all excited about dreaded veggies, and to encourage eating a variety of them.

The fact is, vegetables are where most of our nutrients come from. Meats are a vital source of fats, protein, and iron (among other things), but vegetables provide us with much of what we need to keep our immune system strong and properly fuel our bodies. The fact is, America is not lacking in meat consumption, but we do not eat nearly enough vegetables. Why? Perhaps it's because they have been stereotyped as boring and tasteless. Of course, much of why we find vegetables tasteless is because our palettes are accustomed to highly processed and salted foods, so we lose an appreciation for the natural flavors in plants. But, we also don't explore the creative cooking possibilities for veggies, so we tend to regulate ourselves to steaming and salting some mainstream veggies--carrots, broccoli, green beans--then we scarf them down as quickly as possible so we can say, "I ate my veggies."

I'm here to bust the myth that veggies are boring! I'm going to provide you with three delicious veggie ideas to help you get out of that steamed broccoli rut, and also let you know about some of the nutritional benefits of the feature veggie in each recipe to emphasize the importance of variety in your veggie choices. 

So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the wonderful world of...


Part I: Brussels Sprouts

I have recently fallen in love with brussels sprouts--a veggie I ignored passionately for years. They are not a common part of most people's diets because they have a bad rap. For me, I didn't grow up eating them, so I was actually scared to try them. But, for most people, they're hatred of brussels sprouts comes from having eaten them poorly prepared--too soggy, no flavor, CANNED (ew). But I have found some really delicious ways to prepare them. 

Before I share one of these delicious recipes, I want to talk about WHY we should include brussels sprouts in our diet.

Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it is a part of the mustard family which includes mustard greens, kale, broccoli, and cauliflower, among others. Brussels sprouts are high in fiber which aids in good digestive health. They are also high in vitamin K making them a great anti-inflammatory vegetable. One of the more surprising facts about brussels sprouts is that they are high in Omega 3 fatty acids! This of course makes them beneficial for several reasons including fighting inflammation, and in turn fighting cardiovascular disease.  Brussels are also detoxifying. Because they are a good source of glucosinolates, consuming them activates enzyme systems in our cells that clean out cancer-causing substances from our bodies. If you want to read a more about these benefits, check out this article

Clearly, brussels sprouts are SUPER good for us, so how do we make them yummy? Try this Spicy Basil Brussels Sprout recipe!

This recipe is a little spicy, and also a little sweet--just like me! Wink, wink. It's great all on it's own as a side to your favorite meat, but would also be delicious over spaghetti squash, zoodles, or cauliflower rice. You could also eat them in one of my favorite ways--topped with an egg!

Spicy Basil Brussels Sprouts (2 servings)


3 slices of bacon chopped
1 cup of raw quartered brussels sprouts
1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I actually used organic canned fire roasted, but you can use fresh as well)
1/4 onion sliced
3 garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1/2 liquid cup of balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs dried basil (2 Tbs if using fresh)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
Salt to taste


Place chopped bacon and brussels sprouts in a pan over medium heat. I cook them for a bit on their own because the brussels will take longer than the other ingredients to cook. After they have cooked for a bit. Add remaining ingredients. Cook until the onions and balsamic vinegar have cooked down. 


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Apple Pumpkin Spice Bread with Caramel Sauce

Oh, delicious "SOMETIMES" treats! Key word: SOMETIMES.

Apple and Pumpkin do not have to be mutually exclusive Fall flavors. Combined, they pack a huge Autumnal punch!

I love pumpkin as much as the next person. I also love apples. Growing up, I remember fondly school and family trips to the apple orchard to pick apples, enjoy cider and yes, even chow down on those caramel apples! Apples say "Fall" to me just as much as pumpkin. I wanted to combine the two flavors, but didn't see any sweet Paleo recipes that did that, so I set out to make my own!

Three trials later, I think I have finally nailed the recipe for this bread. It is the moistest Paleo bread I have ever eaten. And the caramel sauce is the first I've had to rival that of the refined sugar world. The bread is delicious on it's own--but CARAMEL! I mean, why not?

I will be the first to say that the caramel sauce will take time and patience. There are quicker recipes out there, but the flavor and texture will not be as authentic. Keep in mind, it is difficult to get a Paleo caramel sauce that gets as thick as traditional while keeping true to the flavor, so this is a sauce and will be a bit runnier--especially when heated. But, my goal here was authentic flavor. 

Apple Pumpkin Spice Bread


5 eggs separated
2 Granny Smith apples peeled and grated
1 c pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
1/2 c pure maple syrup
3/4 c coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt (fine)
1 & 1/2 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice


Preheat oven to 350*F. Separate eggs putting whites into a bowl in the refrigerator (I find they whip up better if cold--especially in warmer climates). To the yolks add apple, pumpkin, & maple syrup. Mix well. Sift together & add remaining dry ingredients. Mix well. I prefer using a wooden spoon or spatula to mix as this portion of the batter is thick.

Remove egg whites from the fridge and with an electric mixer on high whip until stiff peaks form. Add thick batter to the egg whites and gently fold together until whites & batter are completely blended. It is important that you take your time with this.

Oil & flour a bread pan (I use coconut oil & coconut flour). Pour in batter & spread evenly in the pan. Place in the oven and cook for 45-55 minutes. Mine cooks for 45 minutes exactly. Remove and allow to cool in the pan before removing. This bread is moist, so you must let it cool quite a bit before removing. Or, if you get impatient like me, just eat it right out of the bread pan!

To remove, gently run a butter knife around the edges between the bread & the pan to make sure it separates easily. Gently tip the pan over allowing bread to rest in your hand.

Caramel Sauce


1 c coconut sugar
3/4 c water
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 Tbs ghee (or grass fed butter, I prefer OMGhee's brand)

*Note: Ghee/butter is optional if you are dairy sensitive or choose not to consume dairy, however the sauce may be a bit runnier when at room temp or cold.


In a medium non-stick sauce pan over med-low heat stir together water and coconut sugar. Stir continually until mixture begins to bubble. Stop stirring and allow the mixture to bubble for 15 minutes. RESIST THE URGE TO STIR! The mixture will thicken which is what you want.

Meanwhile, heat up the coconut milk (I do this in the microwave, but you can also do it on the stove-top). Heating the milk before adding to the the sugar/water mixture is not entirely necessary, however it will speed the process up significantly.

After the water/sugar mixture has bubbled for 15 minutes add the hot coconut milk while stirring. The sugar/water mixture might clump a bit, but that is ok. As it continues to heat up & as you stir, any clumps will melt down. Continue stirring until caramel reaches a bubble. Stop stirring and allow the  caramel to bubble for 10 minutes. Again, RESIST THE URGE TO STIR! After it has bubbled for 10 minutes, remove from the heat and stir well. Add ghee and stir until melted and well blended.

At this point, I like to transfer the caramel into a separate bowl/jar (I re-used this stunning OMGhee jar for mine). Caramel can burn easily, so removing it from the hot pan helps prevent that.

Slice up the bread, drizzle (or completely drown it) in caramel sauce & ENJOY!