5 Ingredient Guacamole

5 Ingredient Guacamole

The first time I had an avocado was memorable and it would be roughly 7 years before I would eat another one. 

I turned 9 shortly after we arrived in Germany. All the immigrants were moved around from town to town 3 times in a matter of months before temporarily settling into a small village named Burgsalach. 

The idea of moving from Romania to Germany was exciting but also very scary and it took some time to acclimate. Once we'd arrived to Burgsalach, where I would spend the next 4 years of my life, we were housed in a large hostel like place. There was one kitchen and one bathroom that roughly 7 families had to share. Not an ideal situation but it was fine.

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Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon and Dried Cherries

Crunchy warm Brussels sprouts work beautifully with salty bacon, tangy Dijon and dried cherries! An extra surprise crunch from almond slices and this salad is everything your taste buds dream of!

brussels sprouts salad
brussels sprouts salad with bacon and cherries
Brussels sprouts salad

I've had a special fondness of cherries my whole life. More than any other fruit, cherries are by far my favorite. I don't know if it's because they're a beautiful fruit or because they taste best only when in season. 

When I lived in Germany, we rented an apartment from a sweet, generous couple on the outskirts of a sleepy village. We shared the house. They had the downstairs and my family the upstairs. It was a decent size place - not big by any means but it was comfortable and we made do. We were used to small living but I don't recall spending much time inside anyway. Even during the coldest of winter days, I would play outside until numbness took hold of my fingers and toes. Back then, the elements didn't have the same hold of me as they do in my adult years. 

But summer...summer was my favorite time of year. Aside from hours spent roaming around on my used white Schwinn, one of my favorite activities was simply hanging in the back yard, daydreaming. On many days, I would climb a cherry tree and help myself until I could eat no more. Suspended above freshly cut grass, there was no sense of time, nothing pressing to get to and no anxieties to indulge. Gazing through branches at a clear, blue sky on a July afternoon, belly full of cherries, was a perfectly acceptable way to pass the time. 

Maybe this is where my love of cherries solidified. Maybe I associate them with carefree summer days, where the sweet smell of warm air in my mind still mixes with the sense of possibility and all is right in the world, if only for a few moments. 

Since cherries are out of season right now, the next best thing is dry cherries. Real, juicy dry cherries with no added sugar. I impulsively bought a few too many and wanted to make something with them aside from eating them by the handful. I had a bunch of Brussels sprouts in the fridge, a few leftover slabs of bacon and this is how this salad was born - crunchy, salty and sweet. This salad is definitely not for the lighthearted. While I'm only using two strips of bacon, I use every single part of the bacon, including the cooking fat, to whip up a delicious dressing. 

Sliced Brussels sprouts work exceptionally well as the base for this salad as they hold up well during cooking releasing all their wonderful flavor!

Tips for making Brussels sprouts salad with bacon and dried cherries

Here are some tips and alternatives for making this quick and delicious salad.

Can you make the Brussels sprouts salad without bacon?

You certainly could. If you wanted to keep it vegan, just use 1 tbsp olive oil to cook the shallots and Brussels sprouts in and 2 tbsp for the dressing as a substitute for the bacon fat. And follow the below instructions for the dressing substituting with the olive oil.

If you can’t find dried cherries

You could substitute using dried cranberries or raisins and even chopped up apricots would work. My recommendation is to look for naturally dried fruit without added sugar.

If you don’t want to use almond slices

You could substitute with any other nut of your choice or even seeds if you prefer. Or you can leave them out all together but I find they add an additional crunch that works perfectly in the Brussels sprouts salad.

If you don’t like shallots

If you don’t like shallots, you can replace them with leeks, which are milder. Just use the white part and finely chop it and use it in place of shallots. Leek cooks pretty quickly as well so it only needs a few minutes.

No matter if you choose the paleo or vegan variation, this salad may just become a staple.

brussels sprouts salad with bacon and dried cherries
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warm brussels sprouts salad with bacon and dried cherries

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 10-12 minutes

  • makes: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

Equipment

  • cast iron pan or another sturdy pan

  • small mixing bowl

  • plate

  • paper towels

Directions

Preheat pan on medium and add bacon. Cook until crispy stirring regularly - about 5 minutes. Remove bacon and set on paper towel lined plate. Reserve cooking fat in mixing bowl. 

In the same pan, add olive oil and shallot and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring. Add Brussels sprouts and pinch of salt. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. You still want a bite to the Brussels sprouts. 

Meanwhile, combine leftover bacon fat, mustard, lemon and 1/4 tsp pepper and whisk well. 

Once sprouts are cooked, turn off heat and add bacon, dressing, cherries and almonds. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Enjoy. 


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Brussels sprouts make an unbelievably delicious salad, especially when they're cooked with bacon, shallot and dried cherries. The combination of sweet, salty and savory is heavenly! #brusselssprouts, #calmeats, #cherries, #bacon, #realfood, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #paleo, #whole30 #fallrecipes #autumrecipes #brusselssproutsrecipes #harvestrecipes
Brussels sprouts make an unbelievably delicious salad, especially when they're cooked with bacon, shallot and dried cherries. The combination of sweet, salty and savory is heavenly! #brusselssprouts, #calmeats, #cherries, #bacon, #realfood, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #paleo, #whole30 #fallrecipes #autumrecipes #brusselssproutsrecipes #harvestrecipes
Brussels sprouts make an unbelievably delicious salad, especially when they're cooked with bacon, shallot and dried cherries. The combination of sweet, salty and savory is heavenly! #brusselssprouts, #calmeats, #cherries, #bacon, #realfood, #glutenfree, #dairyfree, #paleo, #whole30 #fallrecipes #autumrecipes #brusselssproutsrecipes #harvestrecipes

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Paleo Mini Coconut Cupcakes

paleo coconut cupcakes in tin
paleo coconut cupcakes cooling rack
coconut cupcakes
paleo coconut cupcakes

I know, I know, it's the new year and everyone is on one sort of diet or another. But I'm craving sweets so let's talk sweets for a bit. I crave them just about every day but there are those days when I need them like I need air. Most of the time it's chocolate. Dark, pure, melt in your mouth chocolate with just a hint of sweetness is my weakness. But my other one would have to be cake. Not just any but the tiny kind...in the form of cupcakes. Just seeing them makes me smile. And while the cake part is fine, what I'm after is the frosting. Specifically whipped cream frosting. Buttercream frosting never quite did it for me other than maybe send a jolt of pain through my teeth from the overwhelming sweetness. 

The dilemma is that whipped cream frosting is made from cream and since I don't eat dairy, in comes the next best thing - coconut milk. I tried a few different variations to get the cream to consistency. A runny thick coconut milk with a bit of arrowroot powder left the icing too gritty...it was good but not good enough. 

So I moved on to another option. Chilling a can of coconut milk which I know consistently has a thick layer of cream on top and whipping that into an acceptable frosting. And wouldn't you know it - a can of coconut milk, a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of vanilla left me with a beautiful frothy whipped coconut milk frosting. So simple and creamy and truth be told, I find whipping cream to be cathartic. 

These cupcakes are not overly sweet. I may like sweets, but I don't go overboard with sweetness. The entire recipe makes 24 mini cupcakes and the whole thing contains 5 tbsp of honey. Not too bad if you're trying to eat well but not depriving yourself entirely. One of these little guys is the perfect treat when you're in the mood for a little something sweet. 

paleo coconut cupcakes
paleo cocconut cupcakes

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paleo mini coconut cupcakes

  • prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • baking time: 14-15 minutes

  • makes: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

  • 2 tbsp coconut cream (or coconut milk)

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 4 room temperature eggs

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 tbsp runny honey

  • pinch salt

For frosting

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk refrigerated for at least 6 hours (I highly recommend this brand as it has a thick layer of cream on top)

  • 1 tbsp runny honey (I use this brand)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use this one)

  • 2-3 tbsp shredded coconut

Equipment

  • mixer

  • 2 large mixing bowls

  • mini muffin tin (I use this one)

  • mini muffin liners (optional)

  • large whisk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you have mini muffin liners, line your tin now. If not, you can use coconut oil and grease the tin well. 

Combine all ingredients under cupcakes in large mixing bowl. Fill muffin tin until all batter is gone. This should yield exactly 24 cupcakes. 

Bake on middle rack for 14-15 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure toothpick comes out clean. Set cupcakes aside to cool. 

Open coconut milk can on the bottom and drain out the liquid. You can use it for smoothies or discard it. Scrape the thick cream into mixing bowl along with 1 tbsp honey and tsp vanilla. Mix with mixer for 1-2 minutes until you have a thick frosting. 

Add a generous amount of frosting to cooled cupcakes and top with shredded coconut. 

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. 


Here is an easy way to make a delicious and impressive tiny cupcake the paleo way. These are sweetened with honey, grain free and topped with a creamy coconut frosting and topped with shredded coconut. Click to find out more! #cupcakes, #paleocupcakes #grainfreecupcakes #glutenfreecupcakes #paleodesserts #glutenfreedesserts #calmeats #grainfree #glutenfree #dairyfree #refinedsugarfree #naturallysweetened #honeysweeteneddesserts #nosugar

 

 

 

Carrot Noodles with Almond Sesame Sauce

carrot noodles in almond sauce
carrot noodles with almond sesame sauce
carrots noodes with almond sesame sauce

Growing up, the food we ate was pretty standard to the region. I ate Romanian food in Romania and German food in Germany. Simple as that. 

While watching American TV shows and movies, I would marvel at actors eating pizza and peanut butter sandwiches but most intriguing of all was a weird white container food. What was that people ate out of those interesting looking containers and why the sticks? Food eaten with sticks was such a far out concept that in my mind it was just something that Americans did. Looking back, I was so naive, it's laughable but I just didn't know. 

My first introduction to Chinese food was anticlimactic. It wasn't as marvelous as it appeared on screen and there weren't even any sticks involved. Hmmm. But then there was this dish. Noodles, a creamy sauce, sesame seeds (I learned what they were later). It kind of blew my mind. I couldn't get enough of it. I ate until my stomach rebelled and still I wanted more. 

Ever since I came in contact with peanut butter when I was about 14, I fell head over heels in love with it. I kid not, I could and have eaten an entire jar sans utensils in about 3 days. Well there may have been a spoon involved when my finger no longer reached. Yup it's true and I'm not ashamed to admit it. The stuff made my brain crazy happy. 

But back to the noodles. They were spectacular in every way. Since I started eating closer to paleo, I don't eat peanut butter as much as I now have a new vice. Almond butter. If you're used to peanut butter, it will be a bit of a transition, but I treat nut butters the way I treat wine. I like it all. 

So here I am, craving sesame noodles. So what to do when I really want a food that's completely off limits? If I give in to my craving, I will end up with a week's worth of pain. I rummaged through the fridge determined to paleofy the hell out of this dish and went to work.

First I tried it with zucchini noodles. Mehhh not that great. It was missing something. The noodles weren't quite hearty the way traditional noodles are. Then I spiralized a few carrots and tried it again. There it was...the taste I was looking for. A hearty noodle that could hold up to the almond sauce. While taste tasting these, I may have eaten 1/2 a jar of almond butter but it's part of the job, right? Yes, taste testing is so laborious. 

Let's be serious, though. Next time you're in the mood for sesame noodles, but trying to be nice to your gut and not send yourself through misery's door, try these almond carrot noodles. Oh and I forgot to mention how quick they are to make. I think I'm gonna go make another batch right now. I'm in the mood. 

carrot noodles with almond sesame sauce

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carrot noodles with almond sesame sauce

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 5 minutes

  • makes: 2-4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp coconut aminos

  • 3 tbsp almond butter

  • 1/2 tsp lime juice

  • 5 tbsp water

  • pinch salt

  • tiny pinch garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp fish sauce (skip if vegan)

  • 4-5 large carrots spiralized

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

  • optional: scallions for topping

Equipment

  • small mixing bowl

  • spiralizer

  • small frying pan

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine the first 8 ingredients and stir well. Set aside. 

Preheat pan on medium heat. Add coconut oil along with spiralized carrots. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently until carrots have softened a little. Remove from heat and add sauce. Mix well. 

To plate add carrot noodles with sauce to plate and top with sesame seeds and scallions. 


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3 Ingredient Avocado and Greens Omelette

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I wake up early. Sometimes I wish I would allow myself an extra hour of sleep, especially on days that I work from home. But the need for alone time in the morning is much stronger than the need for extra sleep, which most sleep experts would probably frown upon, including the logical part of me (Since I wrote a post about it). But, until my children learn to sleep in later, I will suffer the consequences of not enough sleep, which I will likely regret around the age of 50. 

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Mornings have always held a special place. Rolling out of bed and getting on with the day, doesn't quite work for me. I want 2 cups of coffee, food and time to just be. The silence of the morning feels purifying in a way. An invitation for the day to be whatever it may. In those moments, there's blind possibility. 

January is quiet. I listen closely for a chirp, a sign of life outside my house, but aside from the occasional car and the hum of the refrigerator, there's silence. I have permission to collect my thoughts and because quiet moments are a rare commodity, I appreciate them even more. 

It's New Year's Day. While I rebel against the notion of resolutions, I do enjoy the feeling of a fresh start. Life is a series of reinventions, whether it's in the middle of the year or on January 1st but I do understand the need to hit the re-set button after a potentially gluttonous month. 

Most people opt for a diet change around this time of year and while I think that's a good thing for many reasons, I often think it ought to be more of a permanent shift. One in the direction of eating whole, real food that's minimally processed. People often assume this means eating bland food or needing to spend countless hours creating a dish. It means, using real ingredients and making delicious food that's simple and satisfying. It doesn't have to be complicated to be good. 

Take this 3 ingredient breakfast for example. In the time it takes to wait for 2 pop tarts to pop out of the toaster, you can cook this very basic omelette. All you need are eggs, salt and pepper, some fresh greens and avocado. You'll feel full, your blood sugar will be stable and you won't need to have a snack an hour later when you would have otherwise crashed. 

As you can see I have a bit of an obsession with avocado and eggs - rightfully so they're pretty spectacular when combined. So check out this speedy breakfast (or lunch or dinner) you can whip up in 4 minutes. It's also fantastic with a little sriracha drizzled on top!


Tips for making a basic omelette

When it comes to making food, we just need a few basic ingredients that are satisfying and a simple technique.

Making the perfect omelette

There is really not much to making an omelette aside from eggs salt and pepper. Beating the eggs for a few seconds but not too much, will give the omelette a pillowy texture. Adding salt and pepper to the eggs before cooking will also ensure that your omelette is properly seasoned throughout.

The best skillet for basic omelette

Non stick is key. I love using a skillet with ceramic coating. It’s non stick, easy to clean and will result in the perfect omelette every time. A good wide spatula will make your life a lot easier, unless you’ve mastered the art of flipping omelettes in the air.

What can you fill the omelette with?

I like keeping things simple and make this dish in the morning or for lunch when I haven’t planned ahead and need a quick meal. In my opinion the egg and avocado are soulmates so cutting some slices of avocado and folding them inside the omelette is ideal for me.

If you have greens in your fridge, they add an extra crunch and some added antioxidants. You can also drizzle your favorite sriracha or hot sauce on top and enjoy.

But if you want to get more creative, feel free to sauteed vegetables to the omelette. Onion, pepper, spinach and mushrooms all make great companions. If you’re keto, feel free to go for the cheese.

It’s a simple recipe you can make anytime and be a master omelette maker!

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3 ingredient avocado and greens omelette

  • prep time: 3 minutes

  • cooking time: 4 minutes

  • makes: 1 servings

Ingredients:  

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 avocado sliced

  • sprouts of your choice (optional)

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • pinch salt

  • pinch freshly ground pepper (it's a small touch but freshly ground is so much better)

  • optional: sriracha sauce for drizzling on top

Equipment

Directions

Preheat frying over medium heat. In bowl, whisk together eggs, slat and pepper. 

Add olive oil to the pan and pour in egg mixture. Evenly distribute it throughout the pan. Let cook for 2 minutes until set then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes until that side is set.

To assemble, place omelette on plate, add sprouts and avocado slices and fold over in half. 

Optional, drizzle sriracha over top.


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Delicious doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out this quick 3 ingredient omelette you can whip up and have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. #omelette #eggs #avocado #breakfast #brunch #whole30food #whole30 #quickwhole30recipes #calmeats #paleo #paleofood #vegetarian #grainfree #glutenfree #dairyfree
Delicious doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out this quick 3 ingredient omelette you can whip up and have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. #omelette #eggs #avocado #breakfast #brunch #whole30food #whole30 #quickwhole30recipes #calmeats #paleo #paleofood #vegetarian #grainfree #glutenfree #dairyfree
Delicious doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out this quick 3 ingredient omelette you can whip up and have for breakfast, lunch or dinner. #omelette #eggs #avocado #breakfast #brunch #whole30food #whole30 #quickwhole30recipes #calmeats #paleo #paleofood #vegetarian #grainfree #glutenfree #dairyfree

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