jalapeño tuna salad

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I think about simplicity often. It’s a sort of longing for something calm and slow, something I don’t always have access to but vehemently long for. Maybe this is why I enjoy making uncomplicated food but food that nonetheless tastes delicious, by taking one or two ingredients and letting them shine.

As I’ve grown older, especially in recent years, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the food before me. An unparalleled appreciation for a juicy, sweet tomato and the sheer excitement of cutting into a perfectly ripe, vibrantly green avocado is something that’s become essential to cooking. Not just cooking for the sake of it but cooking with love and honor for each ingredient.

When I heard again from Joyce, the owner of St. Jude Tuna in Washington, I was ecstatic. In the last year, I learned a bit about Joyce and her husband, Joe who run the company. I found out about the way they source their tuna, about the love and gratitude that goes into every single can and about the respect for the ocean and environment. That immediately drew me to them.

Their tuna is wild caught, organic and ethically sourced and their philosophy, appreciation and care for their product is palpable. There’s not a lot of fuss aside from exceptionally tasty tuna, Jalapeño and salt that goes into each can.

So when Joyce asked me to create a recipe with this exquisite tuna, I knew it had to be something that takes nothing away from the fish but highlights it all the more. I wanted to use every single bit of the can minus the actual can and so this recipe wastes nothing.

I kept this dish fresh and light by combining ripe baby tomatoes with corn, black beans, avocado, adding chunks of this beautiful Jalapeño tuna and using the liquid to create a simple refreshing dressing with olive oil, cumin, coriander, lemon and oregano. It’s a burst of flavor in every bite and the tuna truly adds an unmatched flavor to this salad.

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jalapeno tuna salad

  • prep time: 10 mintues

  • cook time: 0 minutes

  • makes: 2 servings


  • 1 can St. Jude Organic Jalapeño Tuna (reserve liquid)

  • 10 cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered

  • 1 ripe avocado cut into chunks

  • 1/4 cup organic canned corn, rinsed (skip for paleo and W30)

  • 1/4 cup organic canned black beans, rinsed (skip for paleo and W30)

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp ground coriander

  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 rounded tsp green onion

  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro plus extra


  • medium mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl


In small bowl, drain Jalapeño Tuna liquid. Add olive oil, herbs, cumin, coriander, oregano salt, lemon and pepper. Whisk well and set aside.

In medium bowl combine, tomatoes, avocado, corn and beans and gently break up chunks of tuna on top.

Add dressing, cilantro and green onion and toss until all ingredients are incorporated. Serve right away.

 When it comes to making salads, sourcing the best possible ingredients is key, this is why I chose this tasty organic Jalapeño Tuna from St. Jude Tuna for this refreshing, vibrant tuna salad. If you’re following a paleo or whole 30 lifestyle, feel free to skip the beans and corn and have this be just as tasty! It’s gluten and dairy free as well. #ad #glutenfree #stjudetuna @joemalley #cameats #jalapenotuna #tuna #glutenfree #dairyfree #salad #paleo #whole30 #seafood #cannedtuna

paleo granola

 walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds
 walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds
 walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds
 walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds

When I first changed the way I eat in March of last year, it was mostly gluten and dairy free. While I noticed a significant improvement, grains still bothered me, particularly oats. That was pretty bad news for someone who ate oatmeal every day of her life for about 15 years and indulged in granola on a regular basis.

And yes, I tried the certified gluten free kind but without success. So I finally had to break it off and kiss oats good bye for good. No more oatmeal, no more granola. I was pretty bummed about it but there was hope. Enter paleo granola. I know, how can it be?? But it's true, you can make granola without oats and have it be magnificent.

This granola requires mostly nuts and also coconut...which is a nut. Is it a nut? I think it's a fruit or a nut...no a seed...Who cares? It's freaking amazing! Anyway, back to nuts. If you don't like nuts, this recipe is probably not for you, but it you do, this is pretty much a nut-coconut orgy. 

If you eat a mostly paleo diet, nuts will quickly become a go to snack and something that you will always have in your house…bag, desk, car…you get the idea. So for this granola, I had to make minimal effort to round up what I needed. Walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews and pecans are tossed with coconut oil, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and coconut flakes. The combination is sensational. You can’t go wrong with this one.

It makes a fantastic snack, though one that may disappear rather quickly. I tried it with cashew milk for breakfast as well and it is spectacular. So whether you're in the mood for a snack or breakfast, this has you covered. I try and keep the sweetness subtle so if you like it a little sweeter, you can always add more honey. 

So let's get to this nutty deliciousness. 

 walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds
 walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds with jar
 walnuts, pecans, almonds, coconut flakes, cashews, pumpkin seeds

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paleo granola

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • roasting time: 8-10 minutes

  • makes: 4-6 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 1/2 cup raw pecans

  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 2 tbsp raw honey

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • small pinch of salt


  • medium sauce pan

  • baking sheet

  • parchment paper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Over medium low heat, melt coconut oil or butter, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, salt in sauce pan and stir to combine. Next add the rest of ingredients and mix well. 

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread mixture in an even layer with spatula and bake for 8-10 minutes, tossing once halfway. 

When finished, let cool and enjoy. 

maple dijon thyme roasted vegetables

 carrots and brussels sprouts
 vegetables on roasting tray
 roasted vegetables in bowl
 carrots and brussels sprouts on cutting board

A tiny hand escaped from mine as her feet searched gleefully for a bare spot. She couldn’t find it. Leaves of every color blanketed the uneven pavement making it nearly unrecognizable. She hopped about kicking some in hopes that it would reveal itself. It was enchanting in a way standing on the familiar but not discerning any of it. I watched her do this for some time until she grew bored with the activity and moved on.

Nature is beguiling. I feel bewitched by the display before me. So many leaves, not one like the other, swaying about in the occasional gust of wind. I take her hand as we continue on our walk.

Fall is a feast for the senses. It puts a spell on me every year and I long for it to last. Everything is beautiful, rich, draped in every shade of yellow, orange and red. A trace of green still cutting through reminds me of what was and what will be in another 5 months.

Saddened by the realization that soon all will be bare and bleak, I walk a little slower feeling melancholy. But the bouncy, blonde haired, blue eyed girl beside me, dragging a stick in the pile of leaves, screaming with delight, jolts me out of it.

I wanted to pay homage to this season of gold and make a dish reminiscent of the very colors draping our lawns and sidewalks. Because not only are the leaves exquisite during this time of year but so is the produce. Beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts wed with tangy apple, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and thyme to create an earthy autumn inspired dish.

Even though beets tend to be selfish, enveloping everything around them in their deep red color, the taste these vegetables take on when roasted together is everything I want out of a fall dish. You can put them on salad, as a side for your Thanksgiving dinner, or top them with a delicious runny egg and make a meal out of them.

It’s undeniable that fall is the most dramatic and beautiful season and during this time I find my food is often inspired by it.

 brussels sprouts and string
 roasted vegetables in bowl
 vegetables napkin brussels sprouts carrots

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maple dijon thyme roasted vegetables

  • prep time: 10

  • cooking time: 30

  • makes: 4-6 servings


  • 6 medium carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch sticks

  • 1 large beet or 2 medium peeled and cut into 4 and sliced

  • 12 oz of Brussels sprouts cut in half

  • 1 large apple peeled and sliced

  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup plus 1 tsp (skip for whole 30)

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped


  • 2 roasting trays

  • parchment paper

  • large bowl


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line roasting trays with parchment paper.

In large bowl, add all vegetables and apple, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp maple syrup, salt, pepper and thyme and toss to combine.

Spread evenly on roasting trays and roast for 30 minutes, rotating the trays half way through and tossing the vegetables for even roasting.

Meanwhile, in same bowl whisk together leftover tbsp olive oil, Dijon mustard and and leftover tsp of maple syrup.

When vegetables have finished roasting, add them to bowl and toss to combine with the Dijon maple dressing and serve right away.

  • Note: You can skip the Dijon if you prefer without and if whole 30, skip the maple syrup.

 Experience all of fall’s produce in one delicious side dish. Roasted beets, apple, carrots and Brussels sprouts work perfectly with maple syrup and dijon mustard to create a delicious, festive Thanksgiving, holiday or every day side dish. It’s vegan, paleo with a whole 30 option as well. #vegan #calmeats #thanksgivingsides #fallsides #fallproduce #sidedishes #beets #carrots #brusselssprouts #paleosides #paleothanksgiving #whole30sides #whole30thankgiving

almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

It all begins with salt. You may be thinking that that’s a pretty strange intro for almond butter chocolate bars but the magical ingredient in this recipe happens to be salt.

Last week I started watching the Netflix series “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” and was immediately hooked. It was the salt episode that really had me in awe. It was mesmerizing seeing the work and love that goes into producing such an unpretentious mineral that ends up in our kitchen, which is often taken for granted. I realized I was smiling at the television from ear to ear because it just got me in the heart. Suddenly everything made sense.

Salt is everything. Consider all the delicious food we eat every day, the taste and intensity of flavor in our mouth. Salt has the capacity to turn every single dish we eat into something spectacular. We would’t be able to experience and appreciate food without the essence that is salt.

When I first tested this recipe, I made it simply with a pinch of salt in the chocolate and almond butter mixture but that’s it. It was good but not quite the taste I was looking for. I wanted something more. A certain intensity that was lacking.

Then I tried again and it dawned on me. What I needed to highlight the sweetness and simplicity of the almond butter and chocolate and bring out its sweetness in a subtle way, was salt. It’s a modest and yet transformative ingredient.

I’m sure most of you who spend time in the kitchen know just how important that pinch of salt is in almost any dessert as it brings out its sweetness. Well the same concept applies here. The melted chocolate chips used for these almond butter chocolate bars, take on an entirely new flavor profile when combined with almond butter and sprinkled with sea salt.

And this recipe is impossibly easy to make. You need 7 ingredients and there is no baking involved. Almond butter, coconut flour, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla create a nice thick base for the layer of luscious chocolate and almond butter that’s finished with a few generous pinches of salt.

It’s undeniable that sweet and salty compliment each other, bringing out the best in any sweet recipe. So check out this easy dessert, let your taste buds celebrate and let’s give a round of applause to salt!

 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
 almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

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almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • refrigeration time: 4 hours

  • makes: 16



  • 8x8 metal cake tin

  • parchment paper

  • medium bowl

  • large bowl


Line cake pan with parchment paper.

In large bowl combine 1 cup almond butter, coconut flour, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir until well incorporated.

Add mixture to parchment paper lined tin and even out with spatula and/or hand until you have an even layer.

Next you can create a water bath (see below) for your chocolate chips or simply take the lazy route like I do and pour the chocolate chips into medium bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir until all chips are melted. Add 1/4 cup almond butter and stir until combined.

Pour chocolaté mixture over almond butter base and even out. Sprinkle with as much salt as you’d like.

  • For water bath add one cup water to medium pan, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer, add bowl with chocolate chips and stir continuously until completely melted.

 Here’s a delicious 7 ingredient no bake vegan and paleo almond butter chocolate bar recipe with sea salt. They much remind me of peanut butter cups but in healthier and more nutritious form. #dessert #vegan #paleo #vegetarian #chocolatebars #chocolatealmondbars #seasalt #chocolateseasalt #paleodessert #sweets #nobake #vegandesserr

curried butternut squash soup

 curried butternut squash soup
 butternut squash, onion, garlic, sweet potato and thyme
 garlic and thyme
 curried butternut squash soup

This past week has been a strange one of sorts. The beating heart of my entire cooking operation is undergoing some cosmetic changes. Frankly I’ve been putting this project off for years because I knew what it would entail. Chaos. And for someone with anxiety, chaos in the house means chaos in the head.

I prefer order or at least some form of it. Call me crazy but if my surroundings are in a state of disarray, so is the general state of my mind. I’ve never been good at the compartmentalization business and just find myself wanting to escape from crazy messes or ignore them all together (and watch 2 hours of Chvrches videos instead). And by no means am I a neat freak or even overly organized. Hardly! But I need some sort of order, I need things to be as Anthony Bourdain so famously liked to say, mis-en-place. And I agree, I just like my shit to be in its right place so I can easily access it.

So right now, everything is everywhere and life with two small children and a husband who’s been knee deep in paint most of the day, has been trying. But I’m adapting; managing to cook as best as I can in the shell that used to be the kitchen.

I’m sticking with dishes that can be made simply without a ton of pots, without a lot of space, without a lot of fuss. For me, that’s always been soup. Soup is not a fussy food and it’s almost impossible to screw it up.

And since it’s fall and already too cold for my liking, I decided a warming, curried butternut squash soup would do. The effort required for this one is pretty minimal. You cut some vegetables, throw them in the oven, roast them for a while, toss them in a pot of broth and when finished cooking, puree the whole thing. Voila!

So whether you have an upside down kitchen or a perfectly organized one, you’ll be able to successfully make this curried butternut squash soup in under an hour.

 curried butternut squash soup
 curried butternut squash soup

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curried butternut squash soup

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • Serves 6


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes

  • 1 medium apple, peeled and cut into large chunks 

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled - left whole

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into large chunks 

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 dry) 

  • 1/2 tsp salt (you can always add more later)

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 1/4 tsp ginger

  • 1/8 tsp curry powder

  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth (I like this one

  • optional: pumpkin seeds and almond slices

  • optional: coconut milk


  • roasting sheet

  • large soup pan

  • food processor or blender

  • foil or parchment paper


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add vegetables to parchment paper lined roasting sheet. Add thyme, avocado oil, salt and pepper and toss everything together. Roast for 25-30 minutes stirring once half way through. Cook until all vegetables are soft.

Meanwhile, add broth to soup pan and start heating it. Once vegetables are finished roasting, remove garlic clove and discard, add all veggies to broth along with ginger and curry powder and simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Let cool for a few minutes before adding to blender or food processor. Add a little at a time as adding to much of the soup to the food processor/blender creates quite the mess.

Serve on its own or with a splash of coconut milk, almond slices and pumpkin seeds.

 Here is a simple, warming butternut squash soup recipe that’s you’re going to love. Roasting the vegetables first, gives them a delicious, hearty flavor. This butternut squash soup is paleo, vegan and whole 30 approved too and just plain delicious! #soup, #fall, #calmeats, #butternutsquashsoup, #vegan, #whole30, #grainfree, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #fallsoup, #whole30soup, #vegansoup, #paleosoup, #curriedsoup, #curriedbutternutsquash