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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Butternut Squash Roasted With Fresh Thyme

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

butternut_squashseedsRunning from September to March, we’re in the middle of butternut squash season, and they are really stunning right now. Crazy good for you, a cup of cooked squash skyrockets with vitamin A (over 400%), half your vitamin C for the day, 2 grams of protein and more potassium than a banana (582 mg). Wow! And did I mention delicious? Grab yourself one of these voluptuous vegetables and give yourself a wonderfully comforting side dish full of flavor and good health.


  • 1 medium large butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes, about a half inch (and reserve the seeds to bake as a bonus snack!)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 dense tablespoon of minced fresh thyme


Preheat oven to 450°.

Toss all ingredients into an appropriately sized bowl to mix, then transfer to a 9 x 12 inch pyrex baking dish. Sprinkle generously with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Bake for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is soft and just turning brown. Serve golden hot.

And when the oven has cooled to about 300°, bake the reserved seeds for about 12 minutes. Great plain or give a toss with a little olive oil and salt before baking.

Warm Sweet Potato Salad

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

sweet_potato_saladThis is an adaptation of Warm Mexican Sweet Potato Salad from Jane’s Healthy Kitchen. After making and loving the original recipe, I decided to try a strict Paleo variation that excluded the nightshades (original recipe uses bell peppers and cayenne and chile powders). As I haven’t figured out a way yet to get that exquisite cayenne kick from a pure Paleo palette, my version lacks the delectable fierceness of Jane’s, and I wouldn’t think any less of anyone who wanted to finish this off with a few good shakes of a searing sriracha.


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 to 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, loose dice
  • 2 cups diced zucchini
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano


Scrub potatoes and microwave until just done-on-the-firm side. (Ovens vary; mine took 6 minutes.) When done, cut into bite-sized chunks and toss into a large mixing bowl.

While potatoes are cooking, sauté bacon over medium heat until just crisp.

Remove bacon and toss garlic and onions into the pan with the hot bacon fat. Cook about a minute stirring to keep garlic from burning. Add zucchini, lower heat to medium low and continue to cook stirring occasionally until just-soft; about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare dressing by collecting remaining ingredients in a jar and shaking well.

Chop the cooked bacon and add, along with the other sautéed ingredients, to bowl with potatoes. Pour in dressing and stir until everything is well combined.

Serve warm.

Stir Fry

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

stir_fryI love stir fries. They’re easy and are completely cool with being impromtu. They don’t require much thought or necessarily even any shopping. It seems that even when the fridge is empty, there’s always something – a bit of broccoli, celery, the sugar snap peas I keep on hand for school lunches – tucked away in the recesses that with the addition of a few pantry basics, such as onion and cashews, becomes a fantastic five-minute side dish.

I learned from a friend who is a Thai chef that the secret to a good stir fry is, oddly enough, not to stir. Not much, anyway. You want to let your oil heat to almost smoking, throw in your veggies, and let them “grill” on the heat of the pan’s surface for a bit. After they’ve had a chance to sear on the side tossed in, give them a quick flip with the spoon and then let sit some more repeating until they are cooked just enough to still be crisp yet have that delectable seared flavor that turns fast into fantastic.


  • About 1 1/2 tablespoons of favorite cooking oil (I use coconut or olive)
  • A few cups of chopped vegetables of choice, key here is cut everything about the same size for even cooking
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1/2 cup cashews or walnuts
  • salt and pepper to taste


Add oil to wok or large skillet and place on stove over medium-high heat. Let this get really hot, a minute or two or until oil is almost smoking.

Evenly combine all the ingredients in a bowl. When the pan is really hot, throw everything in, give a quick stir to coat with oil and then let veggies sit for about 15 seconds. Give a few good tosses and then let vegetables sizzle against the pan surface for another 10 or 15 seconds. Keep repeating until veggies are to your liking, usually a few minutes.

Add salt and pepper, give a few more tosses and serve.

Chocolate Pomegranate Spice Clusters

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

chocolate_pomegranate_clustersAfter burning out on countless batches of chocolate covered raisins, I’ve turned my attention to other things to add to dark chocolate including, just to spice things up, some spice! If the addition of cumin seems just too odd to you, this is great with just the chocolate and arils. But the secret hint of a flavor that is at the same time both elusive and recognizable gives this recipe a sexy mystique that has so far made it quite popular with all of my culinary guinea pigs. See what you think.


  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces (chips or bar loosely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • a generous 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds


Place chocolate, oil and cumin in a bowl and microwave for about a minute or so until melted, but not burned. A few unmelted lumps are okay, just stir until these are dissolved and chocolate mixture is mostly smooth.

Mix pomegranate seeds into chocolate.

Form into 1″ clusters and place on plate or sheet of parchment and chill for about a half hour.

These will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days but will probably be long gone before then!

Chocolate Covered Raisins

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

chocolate_raisinsThis is easy. Really, really easy. And it’s delicious from both kid and grown-up perspectives alike. I make it with just four ingredients, but you can add nuts, shredded coconut, chia, other dried fruits or anything your Paleo imagination can come up with for this 2 minute-to-make, low-processed sugar delight.


  • 50g (about a quarter cup) 85% dark chocolate bar chopped or broken into bits (this is even good with unsweetened chocolate as the raisins provide plenty of unprocessed sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa nibs


Place chocolate and oil in a bowl and microwave for about a minute until melted, but not burned. A few unmelted lumps are okay, just stir until these are dissolved and chocolate mixture is smooth.

Stir in raisins and nibs and mix until these are evenly coated.

Spread evenly onto a large plate or sheet of parchment and place in freezer for about a half hour. Remove, break into desired-sized bits and enjoy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Great to pack in a school lunch.

Fresh Homemade Pomegranate Juice

Thursday, November 6th, 2014


No Sugar Halloween Treat

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

pumpkin_seedsIf you’re planning on carving any pumpkins for Halloween, take advantage of the fabulous treat inside with this no-sugar snack recipe that’s nutritious, fun, easy to make, and a great alternative to secretly munching on whatever you’ve sworn to only give out at the door.


  • fresh scooped pumpkin seeds
  • EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • salt and seasonings of choice


Rinse seeds. I’ve found an easy way to do this is to place seeds in a mixing bowl and fill with water. Pumpkin bits sink, seeds float, so after swooshing them around a bit, let the water settle and scoop the seeds off the top.

Place seeds in a pot with about 2 to 3 times more water than seeds, a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Strain seeds through a sieve or colander and pat dry. For seeds that stick to the towel, just grab on either side and snap towel, seed-side down, over the colander.

Transfer seeds to a plastic container with tight-fitting lid, add about a teaspoon of EVOO, a scant quarter teaspoon of salt and any other seasonings you might like. Cumin and cayenne are good as well as rosemary, pumpkin pie spice mix, or cardamom for something a bit wonderful and exotic.

Pour seeds onto a baking sheet and spread evenly, trying to keep seeds to one layer. Place in oven and let bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Check and give a stir after the first 15 minutes and then in 5 minute increments after to make sure seeds don’t burn and are cooked to your liking. Store in an airtight container and keep in front of the monster candy snack-pack.

Happy Halloween!

Monkey Salad

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

monkey_saladIf you eat Paleo or are ditching grains for a Whole Life Challenge, then think of salad as the new cereal. Perfectly Paleo and just about as easy as pouring something-O’s from a box, monkey salad is a wonderful way to start a day or enjoy a great anytime snack.


  • 1 just-ripe banana
  • flaked or shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • any combination of your favorite nuts (e.g., cashew, almond, pepita, walnut)


Slice banana into a serving-sized bowl. Add coconut and stir so banana slices are deliciously coated. Add nuts. Stir again. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Salad

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

sweet_potato_saladI’m vacationing with family in Connecticut this week, so I’m going to make this short and sweet as in sweet potato with a recipe from my sister-in-law Kath who I gratefully credit with introducing me to Crossfit as well as to awesome food. If, like me, you have a relative who has inspired you to live a healthier happier lifestyle, send some love that angel’s way! And maybe have them over for some sweet potato salad :o).


  • 2 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • (optional non-Paleo addition: 15 oz can black beans)


Preheat oven to 350°.

Toss sweet potatoes and onion with olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Spread evenly on baking tray and bake for about a half hour, giving an occasional stir until edges are golden.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix bell pepper and cilantro together with jalapeño, garlic and lime juice.

When the potatoes and onion are done, remove from oven, add to bowl and toss well. Season with additional s&p as desired and serve warm, room temp or cold. It’s all good!

Eat Like A Dinosaur

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Eat Like A Dinosaur

Noah and I are both Paleo lifestylers. The Paleo diet made tremendous health and weight impacts on Noah’s life (on top of his already dedicated CrossFit workouts) and I adopted this lifestyle a year ago, given his successes. As a female, the weight losses have not been as radical, but I am healthier and feel better eating Paleo clean.

Our children, however, are not strictly Paleo. They certainly have exposure to the lifestyle and eat many a Paleo meal, but they are not by any means kept restricted in their diet. I have also read that children do need more carbohydrates than adults and even though we are lucky that our kids love vegetables, we do let them eat pasta, rice, pizza, etc..

When I heard about How To Eat Like A Dinosaur, by The Paleo Parents, I was super excited to have a Paleo recipe book geared towards children. The book has interesting, child friendly recipes and great ideas on how to engage your children in the cooking process. If they make it, they are much more likely to take pride in the meal and eat it! And these are meals that the whole family can happily eat. The biggest difference for us in what our kids will eat and what we eat is the seasoning and spices. Many of these recipes can be easily spiced up for a more adult flavor, but they are quite fine without the extra spices as well.

Here is one that has been a great success with the kids and their friends: Fool’s Gold (Chicken Nuggets)

• 3 chicken breasts, deboned and skinned
• 2 cups of almond flour (a staple in any paleo kitchen)
• 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp paprika (you can adjust this for a more adult flavor)
• 1 tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp dry mustard
• 1/8 tsp black pepper
• ¾ cup olive oil

1) Cut chicken in 1 inch by 1 inch chunks.
2) Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl with a fork or whisk.
3) Pour olive oil into a separate bowl.
4) Dip each chicken piece in the oil then roll in the flour mixture.
5) Place nuggets on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping halfway through.
6) When done the crust will be golden brown and the juice will run clear.

*The author suggests making a bunch and freezing them for convenience. They also recommend a Southwest Pineapple Sauce dip. That recipe is also in the book, but the Trader Joe’s Pineapple Salsa is a good easy substitute as well if you are in a rush.

- Cara Guyot