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A week full of Healthy Halloween treats! #3 Whoopie Pies With Pumpkin Filling (Paleo, gluten/grain-free)

Thursday, October 29th, 2015
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 4 teaspoons coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons + 1½ teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • ⅓ cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
Pumpkin Filling:
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup coconut butter, melted*
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the almond flour, cacao powder, coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, and baking soda.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, coconut milk, egg, vanilla extract, and honey.
  4. Using a rubber spatula, mix wet and dry ingredients together, then fold in chocolate chips. Do not over mix.
  5. Cover dough and freeze for 40 minutes or until easy to handle.
  6. Scoop about 2 teaspoons of dough into the prepared baking sheet (I use this cookie scoop), and using the palm of your hands flatten each cookies, spacing them on the baking sheet about 2-inches apart. If the cookies stick to your hand, use a piece of parchment paper to flatten them.
  7. Bake cookies for 10 minutes, then set baking sheet on a wire rack to cool.
Pumpkin Filling:
  1. Whisk all ingredients for the pumpkin filling together until combined.
  2. To assemble whoopie pies, drop 2 teaspoons of the filling on the flat side of the cookie. Top with another cookie.Yields: 11 servings. Store in the refrigerated in an airtight container.

A week full of Healthy Halloween treats! First up: Almond Butter Pumpkins (Paleo, gluten/grain-free)

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Halloween does not have to be just about trick or treating with sugar-loaded, teeth-rotting, disease-causing candy. There are healthier options, and this weeks’ blog is full of them.  Every day leading up to halloween I thought it would be fun for the blog to feature a unique  halloween inspired healthy treat recipe that your kids will LOVE. If you try to make one please post your pictures to our Facebook page!

All of these take less than 30 minutes to make, and are full of healthy fats, minerals and vitamins.  The first recipe is Almond Butter Pumpkins (Paleo, gluten/grain-free. I just made these and the kids had a blast!  Being deathly allergic to cinnamon, I left it out of the second batch we made and no one seemed to miss it.    Happy Halloween!


  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 4 large Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • ½ cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 70% or darker chocolate
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the pumpkin puree, almond butter, coconut oil, dates, vanilla extract and honey until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
  2. Add the almond flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon and salt, and pulse to combine ingredients. Scrape the side of the bowl if necessary.
  3. Place mixture in a bowl, and freeze for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Roll chilled mixture into balls, about 1½ tablespoons per ball, then set on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for another 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Cut dark chocolate into small squares, then place it on the to of each ball.
  6. Melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water (double boiler), then using a wooden stick or a piping bag with a small round tip attached, draw pumpkin faces on each truffle.Serves: 10. Keep Refrigerated

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

3/4 pound(s) parsnip(s), peeled and grated
1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
1 teaspoon(s) onion salt
1 slice(s) bacon
1/2 pound(s) zucchini, sliced
1/4 pound(s) mushrooms, white button, cremini or shitaake, sliced
1 medium celery stalk(s), diced
1 teaspoon(s) coconut oil
1/2 medium onion(s), red, finely diced
11/4 pound(s) turkey, ground
2 medium onion(s), green, sliced
1 tablespoon(s) Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon(s) celery salt
1/2 teaspoon(s) black pepper, freshly ground
8 large egg white(s), divided
1/2 cup(s) parsley, fresh, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
2. Peel parsnips and grate with a cheese grater. Mix with onion salt and olive oil, and set aside.
3. Cook bacon slice in a large saute pan over medium heat. Save bacon fat and leave it in the pan. Cool bacon slice, crumble, and set aside.
4. Add zucchini, mushrooms, and celery to the pan with the bacon fat and saute until slightly softened.
5. Heat a separate pan over medium-high heat, and add coconut oil when hot. Add onions, ground turkey, Italian seasoning, celery salt and black pepper to taste. 6. Saute until turkey is fully cooked.
7. Combine meat and vegetables in one pan and mix thoroughly. Let cool 5 minutes.
8. Combine 4 egg whites with parsley and stir into the meat and vegetable mixture.
9. Combine the other 4 egg whites with parsnips.
10. Coat an 8×8 baking dish with olive oil.
11. Add meat and vegetable mixture, cover with parsnip mixture and top with crumbled bacon.
12. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top begins to brown.

Marinated Flank Steak

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

flank_steak_marinadeWith a few slight modifications to make it Paleo, this recipe is almost completely lifted from It’s unbelievably delicious and totally okay with me if you lick the plate.


  • 1/2 cup high smoke point Paleo oil (I recommend avocado oil; EVOO has too low a smoke point and coconut oil is okay but a bit heavy and strong-flavored for this)
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free tamari
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak


In a medium bowl, mix the oil, tamari, vinegar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and ground black pepper. Place meat in a shallow baking dish or zip lock baggie. Pour marinade over the steak, turning meat to coat thoroughly. Cover/seal, and refrigerate for around 6 hours.

Oil and preheat grill at medium-high. Remove steak from marinade and grill 5 minutes per side, or until done as you like.

Dave’s Turkey

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

davesturkeyThis is an easy, delicious, kid and party friendly main course that I’ve been making just about once a week for ages. I think I blogged it here three or four years ago here, but it’s worth reposting; it’s that good!


  • 3 Tbsp gluten-free tamari
  • 2 Tbsp chicken broth
  • 1  1/4 tsp arrowroot
  • 1 to 1.25 lbs. ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 Tbsp walnut oil
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 small to medium red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Combine tamari, chicken broth, and arrowroot. Place meat in a bowl, separate into a half dozen or so chunks, and pour in mixture over to briefly marinate, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large, deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oils, swirl to coat, then add ginger, garlic, and red bell pepper. Cook about 1 minute, stirring often.

Next add the meat, crumble, and spread evenly along cooking surface. Cook 1 minute or until meat begins to brown. Turn to cook similarly on other side, breaking meat up further as you go.When meat is cooked through and very crumbly, add green onion and cilantro. Mix well.

Serve over shredded lettuce which can be combined with spinach chiffonade. Great with pan-seared asparagus.

Asian Pork Tenderloin

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

asian_marinade_porkProbably because I spend more time perusing Paleo food blogs than shopping for shoes, my browser entices me with primally-tailored ads. A recent one beckoned me with the line “eat like your ancestors” while showing a historic photo of a pioneer woman next to fast food products the ad claimed my great great grandmother would have shopped for. I think they’re missing the point. I do appreciate that somewhere in the commercial food world, someone wants to save me time in the kitchen with something healthier than chicken nuggets, but truth is, with a little planning, I can quickly make my own fast food that I know my great great grandmother would have loved to eat. Here’s one of my favorites:


  • 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free tamari
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 scallions, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger


Mix marinade ingredients together and place into a zip-lock bag along with raw meat. Let marinate for 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 450°. Remove meat from baggie and place on rack over a foil-lined pan.

When oven temp has reached 450, place meat in oven and reduce temperature to 350°. Cook until internal temperature of meat, when tested with a digital thermometer, reaches 135–140° – about 30 minutes for a one-and-a-half pound tenderloin.

When meat is done, remove from oven and let stand for about 5 to 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Savory Lemonade

Friday, March 6th, 2015

savory_lemonadeFor the most part, I’m happy drinking just plain water. And not that water isn’t fun, but every now and then, I find myself looking for something that’s, well, more fun.

Grocery stores in recent years have started to vend some natural low and no sugar products such as coconut water*, Honest Tea, and Hint Water to name a few. Great choices, Paleo, but store-bought healthy habits can still have a downside; these drinks can be pricy if you find yourself reaching for one several times a week.

So I’ve been playing around with spicing up homemade lemonade to avoid added sugar and have come up with a couple combinations that are distinctive, healthy, and fun in that something other than just-plain-water sort of way.


  • One 10-ounce glass of water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • one smidgen (1/32) teaspoon one of following: powdered cumin, powdered cardamom, powdered cinnamon, or salt


Combine, stir, and enjoy!

*A note about coconut water: As long as there is no added sugar, coconut water’s sugar content is mostly glucose which is fine, metabolically speaking.

Paleo Baking Powder

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

baking_powderLike cornstarch, baking powder is one of those small ingredients that’s easy to overlook. Most commercial versions contain cornstarch as the filler that keeps the base (sodium bicarbonate) and the acid (usually sodium aluminum phosphate) from reacting with each other while stored on your shelf. But it’s very easy to make your own thus avoiding the cornstarch and ingredients that have the word “aluminum” in them and give baking a metallic taste.

So this week’s recipe is simply how to make your own healthier, better tasting baking powder for immediate use or longer term storage as follows:


  • one part baking soda
  • two parts cream of tartar (a natural substance made in the fermentation process of grapes)
  • one part arrowroot – optional if you plan to make enough to store for future use


If you are only making enough for a one-time immediate use, just mix the appropriate amounts of baking soda and cream of tartar together to meet your need. Substitute evenly for any recipe that calls for baking powder.

If you wish to scale up and store about a half cup of BP for future use, then mix 1/4 cup cream of tartar with 2 tablespoons baking soda and 2 tablespoons arrowroot. The latter will extend the shelf life of your leavening for up to 3 months. After this amount of time, it would be wise to test the efficacy of the baking powder before using it by placing a half teaspoon in a small bowl and then pouring about a quarter cup of boiling water over the powder. If it bubbles happily, it is still good.

Don’t Overlook the Little Things

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

chocolate_puddingWhen going to the trouble of cooking Paleo or if you’re just trying to make sure that what you eat is as free from weird junk as possible, make sure you don’t overlook the little things.

One example is cornstarch. When a recipe calls for this as a thickener, arrowroot usually makes a great Paleo substitute. Cornstarch is a highly processed “food” that always involves prolonged chemical exposures and almost always is a GMO. Pure arrowroot powder, on the other hand, is milled pretty much the same today as it was ancestrally and is something that, unlike cornstarch, you could make pretty easily at home if you wished.

Arrowroot can be used as a Paleo alternative to cornstarch or flour in cooking as long as what you are using it in is non-dairy (can become slimy in milk) and will not be exposed to heat for a prolonged period of time as arrowroot loses it’s thickening power at extended high temperatures. When substituting for cornstarch, it’s an even exchange. When using arrowroot as an alternative to flour, use half as much arrowroot as flour.

A few other things to know about arrowroot: It will clump up when added directly to liquids so it is recommended that you mix it into a small quantity of your liquid before stirring it into the main pot, so to speak. And when purchasing arrowroot, be on the lookout for additives as some manufacturers combine it with potato starch.


  • 2 cups coconut milk or nut milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 3 large egg yolks


Put 1 1/2 cups of the milk, the honey, vanilla extract, cocoa and salt into a saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then remove pan from heat.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of the milk, arrowroot, and egg yolks together in a bowl. Gradually whisk the hot chocolate milk into the egg mixture.

Return to the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat stirring constantly until the pudding comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and continue stirring until thick, about a minute or two more.

Pour the pudding into approximately 6 small serving bowls; I like to use sake cups or shot glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set – 4 hours to overnight.

Baby Kale

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

baby_kaleOne of the highlights of winter season vegetables is the abundance of beautiful kale which is a cold weather crop. Especially wonderful is finding baby kale greens at the farmer’s market or grocery store and frying it up in this perfect recipe from Bobby Flay:


  • 1 1/2 pounds young kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider or red wine vinegar

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft; do not burn.

Increase temperature to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.