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Real Food Recipes. Sustainable Living. Shining Health.

Holiday Favorites

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[...]
Roasted Lamb Riblets with Chimichurri Sauce

Roasted Lamb Riblets with Chimichurri Sauce

Have you noticed the new no food waste trend? It is now en vogue to eat every single part of a food, including the stems, the roots, the flowers, the bark, the seeds, right down to the ears and tail of an animal. I do my best to lead a no waste life. “Never use anything once,” is one of my mottos. When I roast a chicken I save the carcass for broth, when I steam kale, I reserve the stems for sautéing, and my egg shells are composted to create rich soil. So naturally I rejoice in the no food [...]
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[...]
Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookie Cutouts

Life is tough for a gingerbread man. They get a brief moment of admiration before they begin losing limbs and heads to hungry sugar monsters.  Although, I don’t think they mind it. Each cookie brings too much pleasure to the world. In our family the gingerbread house tradition continues each year. Last year we brought it to a new level…with cardboard and super glue. Don’t worry, no one ate it. My husband and I are too tempted by sweets to make such a ginormous sugar castle. Our soluti[...]
Dairy-Free Eggnog

Dairy-Free Eggnog

Well hello there eggnog season. Get out the punch bowl and make up a batch of this yummy and somewhat nutritious beverage. I give credit to the nutrient-rich, pastured egg yolks in this recipe, full of vitamins A, D, E and K. Eggnog hails from England back in the 17th century and was quite popular among the early American colonies. Rum was the spirit of choice back then and has evolved to cognac, brandy, bourbon or whiskey. My version of eggnog is sans alcohol so go with whatever suits your t[...]
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pancetta

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pancetta

I love recipes that look like the holiday they celebrate. Brussels sprouts and cranberries bring the green and red for a festive Christmas dish. For this recipe I chose pancetta rather than bacon. Like bacon, pancetta is made from pork belly and cured but it is not smoked. There are lots of flavors happening in this dish and I didn’t want bacon overpowering it. The fresh cranberries are quite tart so go ahead and add a bit more maple syrup if it’s too much for your palate. Dried cranberries [...]
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

The November recipe for the Local Eats Project is here! I really thought there would be less variety to work with this month but I sure was wrong. The Northeast is still showing gorgeous colors at the farmers market. The unseasonably warm weather is helping things out too. If you’re new to the Local Eats Project you can find all the rules to play along here.  But basically, once per month I’m making one meal made entirely from local foods. With this project I always want to challenge my[...]
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Happy pumpkin spice season! You either love it or love to hate it. Last year I went pumpkin crazy, creating a whole slew of recipes. You can go check them out here.  My absolute favorite was my Maple Glazed Pumpkin Spice Bread, an incredibly moist gluten-free bread that also stayed together. Too many gluten-free goods crumble to bits before you can even get a bite in your mouth. This bread keeps it's magic goodness together.  All I did for this recipe was to add in 1 an[...]
BEST Southern Potato Salad

BEST Southern Potato Salad

We perfectly positioned ourselves near a large park. 585 acres of nature are within five blocks of our city apartment. And it is an absolute necessity. That haven of green soothes my anxiety and I take full advantage of it. I’m there almost daily, walking the trails, putting my toes in the grass or laying in the green lawn. The park is also al fresco dining perfection. Last Saturday we spent five hours picnicking with friends in that park. I brought an abundance of food, per usual, and I too[...]
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[...]
Baked Sweet Potato Chip Nachos

Baked Sweet Potato Chip Nachos

Last weekend, I made a huge batch of my sweet potato dark chocolate mousse to feed a hungry crowd. All the skins had to be removed to achieve the right consistency and since I’m someone who can’t stand the thought of throwing away nutritious food, I saved all of them. The potato skins filled my already too-full refrigerator. I had to think of a creative recipe quick. And then it occurred to me. I could turn all those lovely peelings into chips! I honestly do not remember the last time I had na[...]
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[...]
Video: How to Make Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Video: How to Make Dairy Free Whipped Cream

Going dairy free can be complicated when you don't know how to substitute for your favorite foods. I've spent years of trial and error to find the foods that work best. This is the first of a series of videos showing examples of easy food swaps for dairy.  I had to begin with something extra delicious, whipped cream! I'd love to know your thoughts on this video. Please share with me below! [...]
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[...]
Festive Fizzy Drinks: Alcohol Alternatives

Festive Fizzy Drinks: Alcohol Alternatives

When I began my Bikram yoga practice, I gave up alcohol. The yoga room is 105 degrees and requires hydration. There is no way around it. You either come to class hydrated or suffer. One time I practiced after drinking 1 glass of wine the night before. My head was spinning and I thought I was going to suffocate most of the class. I choose hydration. I also choose health over a little drink that can set me back. My fitness level has always been important to me, but for many years I wasn’t willi[...]
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[...]
Making Gratitude a Daily Practice

Making Gratitude a Daily Practice

Every year on Thanksgiving my husband and I take a Gratitude Walk. It's a tradition we practice to remind us of all we have to thankful for in our lives. We set aside time to walk for an hour and take turns offering lines of appreciation. Beginning simply with, “I’m grateful for you” to “I’m grateful for Grandpa’s corny jokes.”  My inspiration wall includes a quote that I repeat throughout the day. “Gratitude is a practice. Make it a priority.” It serves as a reminder of awareness, forc[...]
Pumpkin Pie - Grain-free & Dairy Free

Pumpkin Pie - Grain-free & Dairy Free

Last week on the Splendid Table, the editor of Bon Appétit, Adam Rapoport, boldly stated, “No one likes pumpkin pie.” Excuse me? I want to know who this guy is hanging around with. I know plenty of people who don't consider Thanksgiving complete without a slice of pumpkin pie. It's even my husband's favorite dessert. Pumpkin Pie is also the only dessert that can count as a complete meal, containing protein, fat, carbs and little sugar. It's typically the healthiest dessert option on the Thank[...]
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[...]
4 Tips for a Guilt-Free Holiday (Eat the Pie!)

4 Tips for a Guilt-Free Holiday (Eat the Pie!)

It's Thanksgiving week. Let the overeating begin! Are you already worried about the excess food you'll consume and how you'll burn off those extra calories? I am. Or at least that's my old brain talking. In the past I would strategically prepare for the big meal. Practically starve myself the week before and work out like crazy to burn as many calories as possible. Then wake up early Thanksgiving morning to work out for an hour and get in a walk post meal. After all that, I’d still beat myself u[...]
Thanksgiving Grain-free "Cornbread" Dressing

Thanksgiving Grain-free "Cornbread" Dressing

When I think of Thanksgiving, I go right to the dressing. Turkey is a side dish. All I want is a huge plate of my Granny’s dressing drenched in giblet gravy with some turkey sprinkled on top. And yes, it’s called dressing. Not stuffing. Who actually stuffs their turkey anyway? It’s called dressing when you cook it in a pan. If you bake a stuffed turkey, you run the risk of bacteria developing since it takes longer for the stuffing to reach an appropriate temperature than the bird. Then you h[...]
5 Reasons to Buy Organic & Local this Thanksgiving

5 Reasons to Buy Organic & Local this Thanksgiving

I choose local, organically grown foods. Mostly because I’m a control freak. I like to know exactly how my food was raised. And I also want to know the foods I’m eating are nourishing me. Conventional produce and meats are not able to offer the same standards. Before I get into the other reasons why I buy organic, I have to explain one misconception. Foods labeled organic are not the only organically produced foods. Many small farms practice sustainable farming but do not carry the USDA Organic[...]
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[...]
Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprout Salad

Roasted Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprout Salad

I love creating meals that resemble the current season. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I'm in the mood for autumnal colors in every dish. Butternut squash, brussels sprouts and apples are fall on a plate. Brussels sprouts have pushed kale to the side and stepped into the spotlight. They’re the latest trendy vegetable to hit the table. I grew up eating them every week and have always loved them. It’s wonderful the rest of the world has finally caught on and fallen in love with thi[...]
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[...]
Paleo Parents, The Paleo Mom and Stefani Ruper in NYC!

Paleo Parents, The Paleo Mom and Stefani Ruper in NYC!

On Saturday I had the opportunity to meet four people who have hugely impacted my health journey, Stefani Ruper, Sarah Ballantyne, Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry.  I've learned a tremendous amount from them and I'm so inspired by their work. When I found out they would be in my city for a book signing, I squealed with excitement! And then Stacy asked me to do a guest blog post for them. Amazing!! So here it is, reposted from Paleo Parents Blog. Check out the original here. I was so thrilled[...]
Halloween Treat Honey Marshmallows

Halloween Treat Honey Marshmallows

As a kid Halloween was the highlight of my year. I got to wear a ridiculous costume, run around the neighborhood with my friends, and get a bag full of candy. Could it get any better than that?! It was fun overload. Once home, I'd pour my candy onto the floor and meticulously sort each piece. Gobstoppers, Nerds, Lemonheads and Starbursts were at the top of the pile. I was the rare kid who hated chocolate so all the mini candy bars were quickly discarded. My mom loved this of course. In colle[...]
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. [...]
Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

It's fall y'all! I know that's super corny but I can't stop saying it. That crispy, cool nip is in the air. Pumpkins are dotting my neighbor's stoops, Halloween decorations are making an appearance and I want to add pumpkin to all my recipes. First up is a batch of cookies. Grain free baking is no easy task. I did tons of careful research before embarking on this cookie recipe. In terms of grain free options, four types of flour replacements are predominately used: almond or other nut flour[...]
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 [...]
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Mini-Cheesecakes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Mini-Cheesecakes

  Makes 24 mini-cheesecakes Crust: ¾ cup raw peanuts ⅛ teaspoon himalayan pink sea salt 3 soft dates, pitted and chopped   Filling: 1 ½ cups raw cashews (soaked in water overnight, drained) 1 cup raw  peanuts (soaked in water overnight, drained) ¼ cup plus 3 tbsp coconut milk 2 tbsp lemon juice ⅓ cup raw honey ½ cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid) ½ teaspoon himalayan pink sea salt 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 small ripe orga[...]

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