Monday, September 24, 2012

Chicken Lettuce Cups


2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (gluten-free Tamari)
1 tablespoon hoison sauce (homemade recipe below)
 2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp. Celtic salt
1/2 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons grape seed oil ( or Vegetable oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup red onion finely chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup canned chestnuts, finely chopped
1 pound ground chicken
cilantro and toasted cashews for garnish
1 Iceberg lettuce. 8-10 Leaves separated, rinsed and dried.


-Combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small bowl and mix together until the sugar dissolves.
 -Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the garlic and ginger for 10 seconds. Add the onion, mushrooms, and water chestnuts and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove the contents of the wok.
-Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok. Swish the oil around, add the chicken, and brown for 1 minute, or until no longer pink. 
-Add the cooked vegetable mixture back to the wok, decrease the heat, and stir in the sauce mixture. Stir for 1 minute, or until the sauce is heated and the chicken is cooked through.
-Spoon the filling in equal amounts into the lettuce cups. Top each lettuce cup with cilantro and sprinkle with chopped cashews. Serve warm.

* If you are vegetarian, instead of chicken use: sliced red pepper, green onions, and diced zucchini

Gluten-free Hoison Sauce

4 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
20 drops Chinese-style hot sauce
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Coconut Pudding with Mango & Strawberry Puree

This recipe only takes several minutes to prepare and make. The longest part is waiting for this delicious dessert to set and chill in the fridge.


2 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup arrowroot powder
1/8 tsp. Celtic salt


Place coconut milk and honey into saucepan. Slowly add in arrowroot powder until all powder is dissolved. Add salt. Heat on medium until mixture thickens. Add to 9 inch. greased pan and chill in fridge.
Drizzle with Mango and Strawberry puree. (recipe below)

Mango and Strawberry Puree:

1 large ripe mango
4 strawberries
Juice of 1 lime
1-2 tablespoons honey

Skin mango and place fruit into blender. Squeeze juice from mango skins into blender. Add strawberries and lime. Blend until smooth. In sauce pan heat puree with honey until thickened. Cool. Ready to serve or store in fridge until needed.

*This mixture can last days until you finish your pudding, however, it is difficult to not eat by itself.

Zucchini and Arugula Salad

(salad serves 1)

1 medium zucchini
1 cup arugula
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano 

Dressing Ingredients:
(serves 4)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 of lemon juiced (2 tablespoons)
1/8 teaspoon Celtic salt
1 garlic clove, smashed (just to infuse oil)

1. Halve zucchini length wise, and steam for 7 minutes until soft not mushy. Lay on paper towels to drain. When cool, cut into paper-thin slices. I personally chill in freezer for quicker chilling, and I slice zucchini with a vegetable peeler.
2. Place zucchini slices on a plate and top with arugula. garnish with basil, toasted pine nuts. and drizzle with dressing. Top with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Butternut Squash Creamy Soup

It took me a long time to appreciate the value of a butternut squash. This soup is out of this world, and liked by many non-squash lovers as well. Perfect for the cold months to follow, and an easy way to make a simple soup appear fancy. ( I loved serving this soup for dinner guests)


-1 butternut squash- seeds and skin removed, and chopped into chunks ( I love Costco's already prepared package for a busy work week)
-1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
(squash to carrot ration is 1 part carrot to 3 part squash)
-1 can (5.5 oz.) Coconut milk
-Chicken stock to cover squash and carrots plus and extra 1/4 inch above vegetables
-salt and pepper to taste
-honey ( I use around 1 tablespoon, add more if you like the soup sweeter)
-dried oregano for garnish
-lemon wedges to drizzled over finished soup ( this ingredient is my favorite addition)


In a larger stock pot place squash,carrots, salt, pepper, and stock, and bring to a rumbling boil un-covered. Cooking time will vary, but boil until carrots and squash are tender. Take a hand blender and blend mixture until smooth. ( you can put mixture into a blender in batches, but this can get messy, and it is hot.) Remove from heat. Add honey, coconut milk, and any extra salt and pepper if needed, and blend. Place into soup bowl, garnish with a sprinkle of dried oregano, and squeeze lemon juice over the top.

* for non-primal/Paleo eaters, this soup is delicious with garlicky croutons. Also, coconut milk is a great substitute for cream and milk in lots of other soups as well. Try it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Easy Beef Roast

I wrote a critique for the Marin I.J. and was required to make several recipes to write about. This was my first recipe I tried and I LOVED it! This recipe  is courtesy of Elizabeth Barbone's cookbook "How to Cook Gluten-Free".


Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons oliv oil
1 boneless chuck roast (3-4 pounds), patted dry
4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 medium onions, quartered
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juices

1.       Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Season the roast all over with salt and pepper.
2.       Heat the oil on a large (8 quart) Dutch oven over high heat until it begins to smoke. Brown the roast, undisturbed, for 7 minutes. Turn over with thongs and brown the other side for an additional 7 minutes. Turn off the heat.
3.       Add the carrots, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Cover and place in the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours. The finished roast should be very tender. Test with a fork. If the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, it is ready. If the meat seems tough when you test it, cook the roast longer.
4.       Remove the roast from the Dutch oven and place on a cutting board. Reserve the cooking liquid and skim off any excess fat, if you want to. Allow the roast to stand for at least 5-10 minutes before slicing.
5.       Place the sliced meat and the vegetables on a platter and spoon a little of the cooking liquid over the top. Serve with the cooking liquid alongside.
 *Use leftovers to make Shepard's Pie, and or turn into breakfast hash.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Garden Shake (green monster drink)

Although, this drink may appear to be tasteless and icky green, it is a drink that I use as a meal on the run, or as a way to get my extra greens into my die, and really, it does taste delicious.


1 banana
6 frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen pineapple
1 1/2 cup raw spinach
2 large kale leaves with stems
1 carrot cut into smaller pieces
1/2 -1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon honey (add more if you like sweeter)

Blend in blender until smooth.

Ingredients can be changed easily for your own taste buds, and I use frozen fruit to give this drink a smoothie texture.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Egg Mc Muffins- Have it Your Way

This recipe shows how you can make multiple flavor combos in one batch to please everyone's palette.


6 tsp. feta cheese
1/3 cup shredded fresh spinach
3 tsp. chopped sun dried tomatoes
12 basil leaves torn
1 1/2 large fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
12 eggs, beaten -salt and pepper
(this combo was created by Antonia Lofaso's former Top Chef All-Star)


1.Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin (or silicone non-stick cups) with nonstick cooking spray. Divide feta cheese, spinach, and sun dried tomatoes equally among 6 of the tins. Divide basil, fresh tomatoes and Parmesan cheese equally in the other 6 tins.
2. Pour the eggs equally among the tins. Mix with the other ingredients.
3.  Bake fir 15-17 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove from tins.

OTHER ingredients that are yummy to use: (This is a great way to get rid of piddling leftovers)

- Mixed bell peppers, mozzarella cheese, basil, and sausage bits
( seasoned ground turkey or chicken is yummy)
- Saute shallots, and mushrooms, feta cheese
- Ham, cheddar cheese, and broccoli ( GREAT FOR KIDS)


-Broccoli, onions, and red or green bell peppers
-Leftover veggie mix (zucchini, onions, cauliflower, peppers), fresh basil

Store in plastic bags 2 at a time for easy grab and go breakfast.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Breakfast Turkey Hash


1 lb. ground turkey (or ground chicken)
1 red bell pepper diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 carrots peeled and diced
1 onion diced
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoon Adobo seasoning
olive oil


-season ground turkey meat with 
1 Tablespoon Adobo seasoning, and salt and pepper
-lightly oil pan
-brown turkey meat, and set aside
-saute onions until almost tender(keep slightly firm for re-heating) season with 1/2 Tablespoon Adobo, and salt and pepper, then and add to meat set aside
-saute peppers until almost tender, season with remaining Adobo, salt and pepper. Add back onions and ground meat to peppers.

I make this turkey hash recipe ahead of time, and serve out portions every morning. I just re-heat a fry pan, or microwave a serving size, and serve alongside a couple of eggs and fruit.

* I also sometimes add zucchini, and other veggie when I have them on hand.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Paleo vs. Primal: What is the Difference

The Paleo diet is based upon the idea of eating the foods our bodies were designed to eat through thousands of years of evolution. These foods were available to early people through hunting and gathering [meat and fish, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables]. During modern times, and advances in technology now have made other forms of food available for consumption [grains, dairy, and processed foods], which are suboptimal forms of nutrition. The foods recommended in the Paleo diet provide our bodies with long-lasting energy that also aid in burning fat.

What is the difference between Paleo and Primal?

‘Primal’ generally refers to Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint way of eating which is very similar to Paleo, but allows some leeway with certain types of dairy and has fewer restrictions on saturated fat intake. Sisson's mission was to provide a symptom where failure was no option. With an 80/20 goal, you may allow yourself a break in the path if needed. Primal followers don't need to feel emotionally bad for not eating perfectly Primal. In general, the Paleo Diet is a high protein, moderate fat diet, and the Primal Blueprint is considered to be a high fat, moderate protein diet. Many people who follow this way of eating consider the terms to be one and the same. How ever you personally decide to “title” the ancestral diet that you abide by, both stem from the core principle of eating the foods our bodies were designed to eat: plants and animals.



Processed Foods