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Real Food Recipes. Sustainable Living. Shining Health.

Breakfast

Corn Pudding (Dairy free & Gluten free!)

Corn Pudding (Dairy free & Gluten free!)

Corn Pudding (Dairy free & Gluten free) Makes 6 servings. 3 cups fresh corn kernels (canned or frozen works too) 2 cups canned full-fat coconut milk 6 tablespoons yellow cornmeal ½ cup cassava flour 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 3 large eggs ¼ cup honey 1 teaspoon fresh thyme - finely chopped Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9”x9” glass baking dish. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Beat in the eggs and add the [...]
Apple-Beet Chutney

Apple-Beet Chutney

Throughout the fall/winter I’m partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th! Apple-Beet Chutney Make 4 servings. 1 cup beets - roasted, peeled and chopped 1 ½ cups apple - chopped 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice - about 2 oranges  1 tablespoon orang[...]
Savory Pear & Onion Galette with Lemon Verbena (Gluten Free and Dairy Free!)

Savory Pear & Onion Galette with Lemon Verbena (Gluten Free and Dairy Free!)

Throughout the fall/winter I'm partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th!  1 pie dough recipe - I used cassava flour and palm shortening with a dash of salt. (Trisha Hughes has a great recipe.) ⅓ cup sweet onion - thinly sliced ½ tsp coconut oil 3 bosc [...]
Corn Fritter Salad Stack with Tomato & Zucchini

Corn Fritter Salad Stack with Tomato & Zucchini

Ever get your CSA share, take a look inside and have no idea how you're going to make the ingredients into a meal? Well that was my challenge this week. Local Roots NYC gifted me a lovely array of fresh vegetables for their Local Roots Cooking Challenge. I joined several food bloggers and photographers in an attempt to turn the ingredients below into a tasty dish. Ingredient included: 2 ears of corn 2 zucchini 2 tomatoes 1 bunch of savory herb 1 bunch of green leaf kale My recipe crea[...]
Summer Fruit Spring Rolls

Summer Fruit Spring Rolls

SPRING ROLLS 1 papaya - sliced 1 pineapple - sliced 1 jicama - sliced 1 bunch fresh cilantro 1 bunch fresh mint rice paper GINGER DIPPING SAUCE 1 two-inch piece fresh ginger - peeled and finely chopped 2 tbsp honey 1 tsp Sriracha sauce 1 tbsp water To make the sauce, place all ingredients except the honey in a food processor. Pulse for one to two minutes. The honey will incorporate into the sauce better when it’s slightly warm. Place it in a small bowl and heat in the microwave f[...]
Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)

Ambrosia Salad (Dairy-free!)

Ambrosia belongs in the Cool Whip concoctions category. Along with lime green jello salad, cherry fluff and watergate salad. You know the type. A combination of fruit, cool whip and mini marshmallows, served as a side dish. To me these all scream old-school Southern cuisine. The ooey-gooey salad was a fixture at my Memphis family gatherings and I anticipated the moment I could steal the first marshmallow from the bowl. Although I’ve come to find that creamy fruit salads are actually popular al[...]
32 No Sugar Added Desserts

32 No Sugar Added Desserts

Move over fat, there’s a new culprit in town. Sugar is now the ingredient to avoid. Do you know how much added sugar you consume in one day? I didn’t. My “healthy” dessert habit got out of control. I was obsessed with the one minute mug cakes, homemade magic shell, and single servings of chocolate chip cookies. After almost every meal I’d make myself a little treat. I used maple syrup or honey as the sweetener and I tricked my brain into thinking they were “nutritious” sugar. Well ALL swee[...]
7 Fruit-Free Smoothies

7 Fruit-Free Smoothies

I dream of smoothies in yoga class. The room is 105F degrees with 60% humidity and pools of sweats are making an island out of my yoga mat. I love every minute of the intensity. And after working that hard I want a reward. On the really tough days, visualizing myself sipping down a cool, refreshing smoothie is the only thing that gets me through class. I also wouldn’t hate one poured right over my head. There is an issue with smoothies though. Loads of sugar from the fruit. It is naturally [...]
Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

Grocery shopping is a communal experience at my local food coop. The place is notorious for lines that wrap around the store, mad rushes to get the last heirloom tomato and also new friendships. Recently as I’m perusing the apple selection, an elderly women asks for my assistance. "Would you help this old shorty and reach that bag for me?" Of course. I grab what she needs and then she says, “Enjoy your youth. I used to look like Vivian Lee but now I'm just gone with the wind." Ha! What a char[...]
2 Ingredient Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

2 Ingredient Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

I’ve wanted to make my own yogurt for years. In my dairy-eating days I would eat it every day for the probiotics. The super thick Greek-style yogurt was my staple. And I miss that tangy goodness. If you’ve tried any of the non-dairy yogurt options you know they are pathetic. Most often jello-y globs that plop out of the container. Eww. There are only two brands of coconut milk yogurt that I enjoy, Anita’s and CO YO. Both are fabulous, yet crazy expensive and hard to find in stores. Option B:[...]
Pork Sausage and Potato Hash

Pork Sausage and Potato Hash

Fall is zooming on by. Honestly, where did September run off to so quickly? My husband and I were discussing why September always speeds past us and we came up with a hypothesis. August is the month of leisure. It’s too hot to accomplish much of anything so the days are long and restful. Then September hits. Vacation is over, work resumes, school is back in session and the days get shorter. Goodbye sunlight at 8pm. Hello winter. Once fall hits, everyone’s calendars fill with activities and[...]
Honey Lime Hot Wings

Honey Lime Hot Wings

Skip the flour, skip the deep fryer. Go straight to the oven with these tasty hot wings. It’s a misnomer that chicken wings are unhealthy. Traditionally they are dredged in flour and dunked into a deep fryer to make the crispiest chicken. That’s just not required. Baking at a high temperature achieves the same effect. A trifecta of honey, lime and garlic infuses these wings as they bake. The chicken stays tender and you could even skip the sauce entirely. Marinate the chicken overnight for[...]
Are you Eating Complete Meals?

Are you Eating Complete Meals?

What are the makings of a complete meal? Before I began this health journey I thought anything could be considered a meal as long as it had enough calories. Chocolate chip cookies for breakfast? Why not? Salad with lemon juice only dressing for lunch? Entire bag of popcorn for dinner? That used to be my life and I was unsatisfied all the time, snacking constantly throughout the day. A meal must be complete in order to achieve satiety and eliminate that desperate urge for snacks four times per da[...]
Down to Basics Pâté Recipe

Down to Basics Pâté Recipe

When you want all the nutrients, you go for the holy grail, offal, or organ meats. I try to include them in my diet about once per week and my favorite way to prepare it is as pâté. Pair it with any raw vegetables and some apple slices and it’s a most satisfying meal. I make mine with lots of bacon and caramelized onions, which are always a winning combination. I've pointed out the numerous health benefits that come with eating non-musculature parts of the animal in this post.  As I know [...]
Top Paleo Travel Foods

Top Paleo Travel Foods

March is right around the corner and you know what that means?! Adult Spring Break! I think we all deserve a break after February to serve as a marker for transition into the new season. Especially after this snow-filled, icy cold winter. This year I have some exciting trips planned that include very long flights. To prepare, I made a list of all the travel foods I’ll need for the journey. Airport food has progressed a great deal in the last five years and you can actually find some healthy op[...]
28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

Coconut is a dairy-free girl’s best friend. It’s that huge sigh of relief when you realize creamy ice cream can still be a part of your life. I did a little dance the first time I tasted coconut whipped cream. I wanted to shout, “Yay! My tastebuds are no longer deprived!” Coconut makes a delicious alternative that’s rich in key nutrients. High in magnesium, 1 cup of coconut milk contains 88.8mg and this combined with it’s content of calcium keeps muscles and nerves functioning properly. It is [...]
Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Current temperature: 17°F. Wind chill: 2°F. My current state: huddled under a cozy blanket with the heat on full blast with no plans of leaving the house. At this point in the winter season I say enough and accept the fact that I’ve chosen to live in the Northeast. Let the hibernation continue. At least I can try to recreate summer in the kitchen. Lemon blueberry muffins add some sun to my snow-filled days. The best way to preserve a little summer to last through the winter is by freezing your[...]
Maple Candied Bacon

Maple Candied Bacon

“Do we eat too much bacon? Are you sure this is healthy?” asks my husband as I put the second tray of candied bacon in the oven. Bacon feels indulgent and almost too good to be true. How can something so delicious be nourishing? It all depends on the quality of the meat. Bacon is predominately fat and when you’re eating animal fat it’s most important to source humanely-raised, healthy pigs. The fat contains the highest concentrations of an animal’s diet. If a pig was raised predominately on cor[...]
9 Paleo Oatmeal Alternatives

9 Paleo Oatmeal Alternatives

Letting go of oatmeal was a painful break-up. I had a special closeness to my morning oatmeal. That bowl of comfort I’d lean onto for support to begin my day. As I transitioned to a mostly grain-free diet I developed recipes that tricked my brain into thinking it was enjoying oatmeal. Sweets define breakfast in our modern diet. Cereal, muffins, croissants, bagels, granola, protein bars and oatmeal are all just excuses to eat sugar for breakfast. Breakfast should be a complete meal just like lun[...]
Prosciutto Wrapped Persimmons

Prosciutto Wrapped Persimmons

A working lunch in the health conscious world seems to be a big faux pas. It’s important to practice mindful eating, taking time to enjoy your food so that your body properly absorbs all the nourishment. Work and food can play well together though when you’re in the right company. I spent the afternoon with my supremely talented friend learning how to achieve brand cohesion through photography. We didn't have time for a complex meal so I kept our lunch simple. Prosciutto, persimmons and o[...]
Christmas Chocolate Fruit Cake

Christmas Chocolate Fruit Cake

Three more days until Christmas! Joy is officially in the air. I can even smell it. It’s a combination of pine, bonfire, cold air, cloves and fresh baked sugar cookies. Christmas has a distinctive scent that can’t be bottled into a candle. I did try to replicate it in this cake though. Fruit cake is the butt of every holiday joke. Typically weighing almost ten pounds, filled with every fruit and nut imaginable and said to last forever, they are loathed by most. This cake is my attempt to chan[...]
Real Texas Beef Chili

Real Texas Beef Chili

I didn’t have my first real bowl of chili until I was 28. And it’s a damn shame too. Years of filling my recipes with tomatoes, beans, lentils, corn and ground turkey. I apologize to my stomach for this wrong doing. Texas does it right, focusing on the chilies and the meat to get the most flavor out of one bowl. The recipe calls for making your own chili paste and I recommend giving it a shot. It’s a few extra steps but I was so proud when I scooped out that beautiful red blend. Since this r[...]
Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

My mom always had canned cranberry sauce in our pantry. You know the one I’m talking about. A cylindrical, molded block that slid perfectly out of the can and plopped onto the plate with no intention of ever losing it’s structure. We had it year round because it was one of my favorite after school snacks. Every 10 year old eats that right? I had a strange food palate. I’d eat it in slices while watching early 90s reruns of 90210. SO addictive. The show and the sauce. That canned stuff is t[...]
Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

Pumpkin Creme Brûlée

  As pumpkin season comes to a close, I’m squeezing in all those recipes I ambitiously jotted down just as the leaves began to change. The leaves have found their way to the pavement and I’m soon calling it quits on fall flavors. Christmas decorations began creeping in weeks ago so Thanksgiving is the absolute cut-off. At my Granny’s house, there is a tradition of dessert assortment that puts any extravagant cruise ship buffet to shame. Two tables covered in desserts. It’s not Thanksgivi[...]
Milk Allergy vs Lactose Intolerance

Milk Allergy vs Lactose Intolerance

Last week I dragged myself into the allergist doctor. I've been delaying this appointment for years. Unfortunately I've become leery of specialist doctors. There are only so many misdiagnosis a girl can take though. It all began with the rash on my scalp. When I was 15, the thing popped up almost overnight, covering the back of my scalp and a sliver of my neck. I can’t tell you how many topical creams, shampoos and oils I tried to get rid of the thing. And here I am at 29 with the same rash ex[...]
Dark Chocolate Mousse (Dairy-Free!)

Dark Chocolate Mousse (Dairy-Free!)

My chocolate cravings are insatiable. I have a hard time keeping them at bay so I must have healthy chocolate options available at all times. At home I keep raw cacao powder and honey on hand to whip up a quick chocolate sauce and I try to have a dark chocolate bar stashed in my purse for emergencies. You never know when you’ll get stuck on an airport runway for two hours. Chocolate helps during these frustrating times. Sweet potatoes have become one of my staple breakfast items. Back when I[...]
Fat: the Good, the Moderate, the Ugly

Fat: the Good, the Moderate, the Ugly

Friends often ask me, "what's the most important thing to change about my diet?" I tell them to eat the right kinds of fat. This has been the biggest shift in my cooking. I've learned that fat is not the enemy. In fact, every cell in your body needs good fat to survive and thrive. So why then did I avoid it like the plague for years? The health community touted the low-fat diet as the be-all, end-all for years and I absorbed every piece of nutrition advice from the media. I think the general co[...]
Crispy Potato Crust Breakfast Casserole

Crispy Potato Crust Breakfast Casserole

Sunday night is meal prep time for the week. I get anxiety when I have to buy meals from a cafe or restaurant. I like knowing what's in my food. That's the control freak in me. I don't agree with the majority of common ingredients out there and I feel uncomfortable when I have to play twenty questions with a server. Since I'm on this body healing journey, compromising my health with a lunch cooked in canola oil really sets me back. To prevent that from happening I put  aside designat[...]
Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread

Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread

Nope, still not burned out on pumpkin. All this pumpkin spice obsession is okay by me. Starbucks created a trend worth buying into and I'm glad it's branched out to inspire other creations. Like my Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread! I baked this up and brought it to a brunch party. When I revealed it was gluten-free, I watched as everyone turned to me in surprise.  They loved it and could not believe something so delicious was healthy. I walked around beaming with pride the rest of the day. [...]
Dairy Free & Nut Free Cheese

Dairy Free & Nut Free Cheese

Cheese and I had a special bond for many years. It was my go-to quick afternoon snack that kept me going until dinner. At some point I'd even read an article that influenced me to eat a piece of cheese before dining out at a restaurant. That one piece was supposed to prevent me from over-eating. I stuck to this rule for years and I think all it did was make me constipated. I gave up most dairy in 2007 and felt incredible. Until that year, my body had been inundated with lactose, which I d[...]
Fegato alla Veneziana (Liver & Onions)

Fegato alla Veneziana (Liver & Onions)

It happened the first time while watching cartoons with my cousin. My grandmother brought us a huge plate of liver and onions. I was seven. Most kids my age would have turned up their noses. I was a strange kid though. I loved everything I was supposed to hate and vise versa. A few of my favorite foods included turtle soup and oysters. Pizza, french fries and ketchup were never on my plate. They just weren't in my palate. I wanted the "adult' food. So my grandmother made me liver and onions[...]
How to Bake a Sugar Pumpkin

How to Bake a Sugar Pumpkin

Baking a pumpkin can be intimidating and awkward. They're oversized, heavy, cumbersome and can make a huge mess. But fresh pumpkin can make all the difference in a recipe. It's actually easy to prep and bake. Just follow this step-by-step tutorial below. Makes 4 cups. 1 sugar pumpkin 2 tsp real salt 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil  ►Preheat oven to 350 degrees ►Rinse the outside of the pumpkin and cut off the top as you would when making a jack-o-lantern ►Slice the pumpkin in [...]
Peachy Chia Smoothie Bowl

Peachy Chia Smoothie Bowl

The smoothie bowl was inspired by two things. 1. Juice Revolution. I had the Amazing Greens Acia Bowl on my birthday this year instead of cake (with coconut substituted for bananas). It's THAT good! 2. Clean Food Dirty City. This woman has serious gorg-factor on her site. Check it out if you want to be wowed. There is a certain satisfaction in eating a smoothie rather than drinking it. Using a spoon extends the smoothie moment. I tend to slurp it down in a matter of minutes when [...]
Grocery List: Buying Real Food

Grocery List: Buying Real Food

This is the result of a successful shopping trip. A few items are missing that are camera shy, including liver, coconut yogurt, arrowroot powder and nutritional yeast. Here's the entire list: Red Cabbage Broccoli Rabe Carrots Ginger Native Forest Coconut Milk Native Forest Coconut Cream Coconut Aminos Sparkling Water Figs Avocados Zucchini Butternut Squash Ginger Lemon Juice Sugar Pumpkin Turnips Nutiva Coconut Flour  Real Salt Wild Caught Sardines in Olive Oil Grass-fe[...]
Roasted Peaches with Honey Meringue

Roasted Peaches with Honey Meringue

It's September. So I'll be eating large quantities of summer fruit until the very last day of harvest. Peaches are still available in my local market and I wanted to create a dessert that brought out their full flavor. The best way to do this is by slow roasting until the juices burst through the skin.In my dairy-days I would have reached for plain vanilla ice cream to top off this dessert. Alas, those days are done. Dairy is my primary food intolerance. I tried convincing myself for years that [...]
Hollandaise Sauce and Cracking the Code on Eggs

Hollandaise Sauce and Cracking the Code on Eggs

Rich, creamy hollandaise sauce. Pour it over any dish and you have something decadent. The sauce harmonizes the flavors and ties every ingredient together. But really, who am I kidding? I just want the sauce. The egg, salmon and vegetables are simply vehicles for the main attraction. Hollandaise sauce has a secret weapon, it’s all in the quality of the eggs. Quality will always trump quantity in my book. When it comes to food, the source matters. And it matters most when you’ll be consuming [...]
Coconut Berry Parfait with Granola

Coconut Berry Parfait with Granola

I've been making homemade granola for years. Most of the pre-packed granolas out there are loaded with sugar and contain three or more types of sweeteners. With just a few ingredients, it's so simple to make that I see no point in buying it. Last March my husband and I stole away to DC for the weekend. We love experiencing a place from the locals perspective and rented a quaint garden apartment in Capital Hill for our stay. The hosts wowed us with welcome gifts and even made us homemade grano[...]
Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

Paleo Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet potatoes quickly became a breakfast staple when I embarked on this new food journey. I cooked up four or five pounds the other day and have been on a mission to use them in new ways. The lack of bread-like foods is becoming taxing and I needed some substitutes before I ate an entire loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. So I asked myself how I could turn sweet potatoes into a bread-like consistency. There had to be a way, right?! Yes! Pancakes. Most paleo pancake recipes call for almond or co[...]
Sweet Potato Muffins

Sweet Potato Muffins

I woke up with a burning desire to bake. On Sunday morning I literally leaped out of bed. My adrenaline was pumping in anticipation of my kitchen creation. I began throwing things out of the pantry faster than my brain could process. Since I have a tendency to create before I think, I took a step back and surveyed everything on the counter. The recipe I was dreaming up used several farm fresh eggs and it would have been tragic to waste them. A few years ago I was having a business breakfast w[...]
Egg Custard with Fresh Plum Sauce

Egg Custard with Fresh Plum Sauce

When I was 11 I made creme brûlée for the first time. It was my absolute favorite dessert and I wanted to prepare it exactly as they did in restaurants. Caramelized sugar and all. As the custard baked, the entire house filled with its sweet aroma.  I proudly served the beautiful creme brûlée to each family member. Then they took their first bite. Silence fell over the room. Yuck! My heart sank. I had switched the salt and sugar proportions. Oops! My family will never let me live this down[...]
Chia Sweet Potato Soufflé

Chia Sweet Potato Soufflé

My body craves carbs in the morning and I'm still trying to find a substitute for my pervious oatmeal morning ritual. I would strategically add in coconut flakes, sunbutter, fresh ginger, raw honey, cinnamon, raw cacao powder and vanilla. Then I would enjoy it as I sat at my inspiration place writing my journal. My oatmeal routine turned into an obsession so I'm now searching for a more nourishing replacement. Sweet potatoes are an excellent vehicle for all the add-ins and toppings I love[...]
Almond Milk

Almond Milk

For all of us in the world who cannot tolerate traditional dairy, we must turn to some sort of alternative. I choose to be soy-free, cow-milk-free, and grain-free. The only option left then is nut milk. Once I took my first sip of chocolate almond milk, I was hooked! That stuff is dee-lish! Then I looked at the ingredient list. All that sugar! Ahh! No good for this gal. I had to make my own. Almond milk is simply almonds and water. You soak the almonds in water and then blend it together.[...]
Watermelon Granita

Watermelon Granita

My childhood summers were spent doing anything possible to stay cool. Most of the time that meant turning on the sprinkler in the backyard and running around until we were too exhausted to stand. Then my mom would bring out giant slices of fresh watermelon. With that first bite, the juices would run down my arms and then my legs. My mom knew watermelon was an outside food. Now that I live in a Brooklyn apartment, I had to find a way to make watermelon indoor friendly. Watermelon Granita was t[...]
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Nutella is too good to be true. Fact. Perfect straight out of the jar. Fact. Entire jar does not equal one serving. Fact. (Unfortunately.) Highly addictive. Fact. It is for all these reasons that I had to create a healthy version of this delectable treat. Makes one small jar. 1 cup roasted hazelnuts - thin casing removed. 1/4 cup raw cacao powder 1/8 tsp Pink Himalayan sea salt 2 tbsp raw honey Dash of ground cloves (optional) 4 tbsp boiling water 1/2 tsp coconut oil [...]
Strawberry Coconut Butter

Strawberry Coconut Butter

It's strawberry season! Summer came a bit late to the northeast this year so we are just now enjoying the first crop of sweet strawberries. It is impossible to pass by this fruit without snatching up at least two cartons so I end up with more than my stomach can handle. I raided my kitchen last night to what I could possibly create. And since it was 10pm, I wanted to make something quick. I grabbed the food processor, some coconut flakes, strawberries and sea salt. Five minutes later I had t[...]

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