Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beef Pad Thai

Pad Thai (pad meaning stir fried) is listed at No. 5 on The World's 50 Most Delicious Foods Readers' Poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011. This recipe uses beef with the traditional stir fried rice noodles and flavors, keeping everything in a balanced equilibrium of sweet, savory, salty, and sour.


1 package of Pad Thai Noodles

2 tablespoons ghee
2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
White parts of 6 scallions, chopped; green parts chopped and set aside for later
1/2 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt 
1 pound uncooked stir-fry beef, left as strips or cut into bite-sized pieces

Your choice of vegetables:
2 small red peppers, chopped
2 stalks broccoli heads, chopped into small florets
1 carrot, julienned
10 snow peas, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce) 
1/2 teaspoon coconut sugar

Lettuce leaves (optional)


1.  Fill a large bowl with hot tap water.  Submerge the Pad Thai noodles in the water and leave to soak until they are limp (about 8 - 10 minutes).  Drain the noodles in a colander.  Set aside.

2.  Add the salt to the meat pieces and mix.

3.  Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a wok or large cast iron pot.  Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute.  Add the ginger and cook until it is fragrant.  Add the white part of the scallions and cook for about 1 more minute.

4.  Add the beef and more oil as needed.  Stir the meat with a wooden spoon constantly until it is cooked through.

5.  Add the vegetables, one at a time, and stir fry them until slightly softened.

6.  Add the fish sauce; stir.  Add the coconut aminos; stir.  Add the sugar; stir.

7.  Put the noodles in the pan and mix everything together with tongs until the noodles are covered with the sauce and everything is well mixed.

8. Add the green part of the onions.  Put on plates and add lettuce, cilantro or hot sauce as desired.

Serves 4.

#paleo #glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #healthylifestyle #paleolife #foodblogger, #healthyfood #healthyrecipes #paleofood #paleodiet #nomnomnom #nutrition #patthai #thairecipes #beef #ricenoodles

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Scheherazade's Coconut Cookies

The science of baking eludes me.  I just know you have to carefully measure the ingredients because someone else has figured all that out.  So when I saw a recipe* for coconut cookies that are egg, gluten and dairy-free, I was curious to give it a try.  And while one cookie is rich enough to satisfy, I’ll definitely be making a double batch this weekend as they are good enough to eat for 1001 nights!


1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon coconut flour

1/8 teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


1.  Combine the shredded coconut and coconut flour in a food processor.

2.  Pulse in the salt, coconut oil, honey and vanilla until the dough forms a loose ball.

3.  Scoop up the batter 1 tablespoon at a time and gently roll it into a ball in your hands.  Put the ball onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press it with your fingers into a 1/4” high round cookie shape.

4.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 14 minutes, until the bottom edges are browned.

5.  Cool for 3 hours, then serve.

Makes 8 - 10 cookies.

*recipe adapted from

#paleo #glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #coconut #cookies #desserts #healthylifestyle #paleolife #foodblogger, #healthyfood #healthyrecipes #paleofood #paleodiet #nomnomnom #nutrition #foodie #foodphotography

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quinoa Salad w/ Asian Dressing

Quinoa has been called one of the healthiest foods on the planet.  In 2013, it was named "Food of the Year" by the UN due to its nutritional benefits.  Loaded with protein, fiber, and minerals, this recipe combines quinoa and veggies with a delicious Asian dressing.*


For the quinoa:

2 cups of uncooked quinoa, mixture of red and white
4 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the Salad:

1 medium Savoy cabbage chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
Veggies of your choice, chopped
Scallions, greens finely chopped

For the Dressing:

1 tablespoon ghee, or fat of choice
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1 small shallot, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Red Boat fish sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil


1.  To cook the quinoa, put 4 cups of water in a sauce pan.  When the water boils, add the 2 cups of uncooked quinoa.  Turn the heat to medium/low and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes (uncovered). Taste for salt.

1.  While the quinoa is cooking, melt the ghee in another sauce pan over medium heat until hot.  Add the ginger, shallot and garlic.  Saute for about a minute until fragrant.

2.  In a small bowl, mix the orange juice, coconut aminos, rice vinegar and fish sauce.  Add this to the ginger, shallot, and garlic mixture.  Cook over low heat for about 5-8 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.  Remove the sauce pan from the heat and add the sesame oil.  Let the dressing cool for about five minutes, or until the quinoa is ready.

3.  Toss the quinoa and salad ingredients in a bowl.  Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss.

While it might look like more steps and ingredients than many recipes, the complexity of flavors that results is well worth the effort.  And along with the previous discovery of the savory Red Boat Fish Sauce, coconut aminos turned out to be a delicious, gluten-free substitute for soy sauce.

Makes 6 - 8 servings.

Dressing recipe adapted from website.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Himalayan Mousse

Layers of flavors create a mountain of treats in this paleo-inspired recipe* for Chocolate Mousse.  Thanks to Ingrid Peterson for sharing a taste of her dessert at The Sanctuary Bistro; it was super easy to recreate at home.


1 - 14 ounce can of Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream Extra Thick & Rich, turned upside down and refrigerated overnight, or other full fat coconut milk

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (for a more kid-friendly cocoa, use Hershey’s cocoa, or personal preference)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon chocolate liqueur, or other liqueur (optional; omit for kid-friendly and paleo diet)

1/2 teaspoon of agave nectar

For Whipped Cream Topping:

1 -  14 ounce can of Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream Extra Thick & Rich (seems to work the best), turned upside down and refrigerated overnight 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon agave syrup

For other toppings:  your choice of chopped lightly-toasted walnuts, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, ground red chili pepper, ground cardamom, raspberries, strawberries, etc.


1.  Remove the lid of the refrigerated coconut can, scrape out the solid coconut cream, and put it in a medium-sized bowl.  Whip the coconut cream with an electric hand mixer until it forms soft peaks.

2.  Add the vanilla and liqueur (if using).  Continue whipping until the cream thickens; add the agave syrup until just sweet enough.

3.  Fold in the cocoa powder with a spatula.  Taste for vanilla and liqueur; drizzle a bit of agave if more sweetness is desired.  A little agave makes a good texture for the mousse; too much causes it to collapse, so use sparingly.

4.  Whip it all together again.  Taste.

5.  Spoon the mousse into serving bowls, ramekins, or glasses.

6.  If topping with whipped coconut cream, scrape out the solid part of the second refrigerated coconut cream can and whip the cream with a mixer.  Add the vanilla and agave to taste.  Whip to mix it all together and form stiff peaks.

7.  Finish with toppings of your choice.  Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour.  Enjoy.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from food “Foolproof Coconut Milk Chocolate Mousse.”'

#paleo #dessert #chocolate #mousse #lowcarb #non-dairy #glutenfree #nomnomnom

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Coconut Shrimp

Shrimp and coconut?  Who would have thought those two would go so well together?  Perfect for an appetizer, snack or light meal, these coconut shrimp* will be be flying off the plate.


1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails left intact

Marinade for spicy shrimp:
1/4 cup sriracha sauce
Finely grated zest from 1/2 lemon or orange

3 egg whites

1/2 cup arrowroot powder (more as needed)

1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut

1/4 - 1/2 cup ghee, or enough to fill the bottom of a pan about 1/8"


1.  For spicy shrimp, put the sriracha sauce and zest in a large plastic bag.  Add the shrimp and coat them with the mixture.  Refrigerate for 1/2 to 1 hour.  Remove the shrimp, and wipe off the excess hot sauce on each shrimp with a paper towel.

2.  Put the egg whites in a small bowl and lightly beat.

3.  Put the arrowroot powder in another bowl.

4.  Mix the coconut flour, almond flour, kosher salt, paprika and ground pepper in another small bowl.

5.  Holding each shrimp by the tail, dip it in the arrowroot power, and shake off the excess.  Dip the shrimp in the egg whites, and then in the flour mixture.  Dip the shrimp in the egg whites again, and then in the shredded coconut.  Set this shrimp aside; repeat with the rest of the shrimp.

6.  Heat the ghee in a wok or heavy cast iron pan.  Turn the heat to high to heat the oil.  Note: oil heated in a wok heats up very fast.  Turn the heat down to medium and put in as many shrimp as will fit in the wok.  Cook for about 2 minutes per side, until the shrimp turns pink. Set aside and finish cooking the rest of the shrimp.

7.  Serve immediately.

Makes about 12 - 15 shrimp.

Recipe adapted from the nom nom paleo cookbook.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Spring Rolls, Reconstructed - Part II

This recipe* uses the traditional BLT ingredients of bacon, lettuce and tomato in a lighter, gluten-free wrap. An optional maple syrup/scirarcha sauce candies the bacon with an undercurrent of heat.  It all comes together in a spring roll wrapper, with spicy mayo on the side.


9 pieces of bacon
1/4 cup of maple syrup, *optional
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce, *optional

9 lettuce leaves, thinly sliced lengthwise
1-2 tomatoes, chopped and lightly salted
Cilantro/basil/spring onions - your preference - chopped

1 package spring roll wrappers, preferably 9"

Dipping Sauce:

3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce


1.  Line a roasting pan with foil.  Place 9 slices of bacon side by side in the pan.  Heat at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes.  Mix the maple syrup and sriracha sauce in a bowl; brush on the partially-cooked bacon, flip the bacon, brush again, and cook 8 more minutes, or until it is browned to your preference.
Drain the bacon on a paper towel until ready to use.

*Alternative: just bake the plain bacon at 400 degrees, about 8 minutes per side.

2.  Fill a large bowl with hot water.  Dip in a spring roll wrapper in the warm water for about 10  - 15 seconds, just until the wrapper goes limp.  Quickly put it on a flat surface and fill it with the bacon, tomatoes, and herbs.

Turn the bottom of the spring roll up and roll the wrap tightly.

Serve with the dipping sauce.

Makes 9 spring rolls.

*recipe concept from the nom nom paleo website

#recipe #paleo #healthylifestyle #paleolife #realfood #crossfit #healthyliving #wholefoods #foodblogger, #lowcarb #glutenfree #healthyfood #healthyrecipes #paleofood #paleodiet #cleaneating #nomnomnom #nutrition #nutritionable #lchf #eatclean #cleaneats #foodie #bacon #blt #springrolls

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Spring Rolls, Deconstructed - Part I

I am not someone with a natural "gift" for cooking.  That is probably why I am getting so much joy from my successes on this blog, many of which are a process of trial and error.

For example, I always assumed that I would either buy spring rolls at a restaurant or as take out, not realizing how easy they are to prepare - and, more importantly, how much better they taste just after the shrimp are cooked!  I may have bought the wrong-sized wrappers this time - everything kept falling out - but they tasted so surprisingly fresh and delicious, we just kept wrapping and re-wrapping, enjoying every bite.


Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup soy or tamari (gluten-free) sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 thinly-sliced scallion (greens only)

Spring Rolls:

16 uncooked medium or large shrimp
2 - 3 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 box rice noodles (I used Annie Chun's Pad Thai Rice Noodles)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar

1 package spring roll wrappers, preferably 9"

Filling, your choice:

Napa cabbage, sliced in thin vertical strips
Red Pepper, sliced in thin strips
Carrots, julienned
Cilantro sprigs
Japanese cucumber, sliced into 1/4" strips
Mint, Thai basil, chopped
Juice from lime wedges


1.  Mix the ingredients for the dipping sauce, set aside.

2.  Fill a large bowl with hot tap water.  Submerge 1/2 box of the rice noodles (8 ounces total) and soak for 10 minutes, or until they are limp. Drain and set aside.

2.  If the shell is on the shrimp, cut with scissors down the back of the shrimp, remove the shell and the tail, and rinse out the black vein. Pat dry on a paper towel on a plate.

3.  Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a wok or frying pan.  When the oil is hot, put in as many shrimp as fit in the pan.  Fry for 2 minutes per side on medium heat, or until they have turned pink.  Put these on a plate. Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, and fry the next batch of shrimp.  When all the shrimp are cooked, set aside.

4.  Heat 2 more tablespoons of coconut oil in the wok, and add the drained rice noodles.  Stir the noodles with tongs to coat them with oil.  Add the seasoned rice vinegar. Stir. Taste. Set aside.

5.   Fill a large bowl with very warm tap water. Holding the edge of one spring roll wrapper, dip it in the warm water just until it starts to relax - about 10 to 15 seconds. Place the wrapper on a flat surface. The wrapper will soften up as the water left on it gets absorbed.   Fill the wrapper with fillings of your choice.  Fold up the bottom of the wrapper, and then roll the wrapper from one side, pushing the filling back inside as you roll it to a close.

6.  Serve with the dipping sauce.

Makes 8 shrimp spring rolls.