Cheese Burger Casserole (Gluten-Free, Keto-friendly!)

Today is exactly one month until my birthday! I  can’t believe it’s already September. Time feels like it’s stopped but is also moving at warp speed.

I CANNOT WAIT! To start making pumpkin everything. This fall looks a little different, where I’m not drowning in new sweaters and drinking Punkin Ale. While both are tradition, I haven’t worn anything but leggings in 6 months… and I am going the low-carb route to reset my metabolism and blood sugar. Perhaps a little bit of calorie cutting…. I still have to fit into my sweaters from last year.

So, the interesting thing about low carbs is all the hype about how cool and effective the Ketogenic diet is, and how you just lose weight super fast and it’s sooo great! Well, maybe… but also, no. A bit of science on how this works:

Most of us know what macronutrients, or macros are. These are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. When you eat, your body will seek to burn carbohydrates first from foods, and then fat and protein. Without the go-to of carbohydrates for energy, your body will burn fat instead…. This metabolic state is called ketosis. With your macros, a typical ketogenic ratio is 5:20:75 – carbs, protein, and fat %. This helps maintain that state, and can contribute to fat loss.

It’s a lot of hard work to count macros so specifically, but with an increase in energy, mental  clarity, reduced bloating and potential weight loss, it’s rewarding!

So having said that… what do you cook?

…..a Hamburger. Sort of.

Enjoy this recipe and just picture a Big Mac. You can do it. Just close your eyes. It sort of works.

Cheese Burger Casserole (Gluten-Free, Keto-friendly!)

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time 45 min total

Serves 4-5


    1 lb lean ground beef (I used 90/10)

    1 medium zucchini, grated (pro tip: I shredded mine first thing in the morning and let it sit on a paper towel/plate to dry out all day until I cooked it. Less water = better casserole!)

    ½ medium sized yellow onion, diced

    1 small tomato, diced

    1 heaping tbsp Grey Poupon Dijon

    1 tsp paleo-friendly Worcestershire sauce

    1 tbsp vegan or paleo-friendly mayonnaise

    ½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste

    pepper, to taste

    1 tsp hot sauce of your choice

    ½ cup shredded cheddar/Colby mixture, plus a pinch more for the top


  1. In a large frying pan, add your onion and preferred cooking fat. Sauté until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add your ground beef, breaking up into small pieces. Sauté until browned, about 10-15 minutes. You may want to drain the liquid and fat from the pan if any collects – I use a turkey baster and remove it.

  1. Once cooked, remove the ground beef from your pan and add to a large mixing bowl. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Next, add your zucchini, cheese, tomato, Dijon, mayo, hot sauce and sea salt to the mixing bowl. Mix together thoroughly, tasting and adding any additional salt or pepper.

  1. In a greased pyrex dish (I used a 9X9in – it all fit perfectly!), pour your mixture into it, ensuring an even layer. Sprinkle your remaining cheese over the top.

  1. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling, and cheese has melted. Enjoy!


Beef and Broccoli (Paleo, Keto-Friendly!)

Spring has sprung (for now)! Tomorrow it’s supposed to be cold and rainy, so I’m enjoying all of this while I still can.

I’ve been doing a lot more cardio, and contrary to what I’ve wanted to be true for FAR too long, the pounds are coming off. I don’t know from where, because I don’t feel that I look any skinnier, but the scale says otherwise. I think I’m losing weight from my big ol’ head. If you knew me in person, you’d likely ask why I’d even want to lose weight. I’m 5’8”, a size 4 (sz 2 in some things) and am what most would consider quite fit or thin. I’m making a personal decision to trim down so that I can see the hard work I put into weightlifting, and to feel more comfortable in my skin when I’m at the beach. So far it’s going well, but to be conscious of every little thing I eat is pretty hard. I obviously LOVE food, love to eat, love to cook, the whole nine. That said, I’m sticking to it because I want my hard work to pay off. I’ll let you know how it goes in about…. 1.5 months.

I’ve been missing for a while, and let me tell YOU! I’ve also set aside some time to cook for y’all. I do not think you’ll be disappointed. I feel like I often come back with a wacky dessert, but this has been a lot of experimenting with savory recipes. They have turned out pretty good. Another thing that recently happened is a good friend’s store opened up locally – it’s called Take Care Apothecary. Follow her on Instagram or Facebook! She’s an Ayurvedic wellness practitioner and her shop carries organic body care lines, Ayurvedic supplements, incense, books, and my personal favorite… tarot and oracle cards. I picked up a new deck and have been playing with it – it’s interesting that no matter how many times I use it, the same “message” comes through. I also got an amazing lunar astrology day planner that I LOVE. Which reminds me…. Tomorrow is a new moon!

New moons are regarded as a time to press the “reset” button. You get another chance to course-correct the things you’ve been working towards that may have gone astray. I especially like to consider this a time look over things like my eating habits, my workout habits, my sleeping habits, friends I need to pick back up with… I can look at any part of my life and start to work towards improving that. This particular moon is now in Aries. What’s this mean? The official astrological calendar begins with Aries, so it may feel like the first part of 2019 went by in a flash, and you’re now just catching your breath. Aries is ruled by Mars, the planet of physical expression and ability, assertiveness, high impact, energy… so this feels like the fire is now lit under your tush, yes? So, what are you to do with all of this potential?

During a time like this, I like to make a mantra or intention for the next few weeks until the full moon… something I’ll write down and repeat so it can govern my actions in a positive way. I’m a Libra, so perhaps I’ll focus on the balance of things within my job, relationships and other aspects of my life, and use that to move myself forward. Your new moon is what you make of it!

In the meantime, you’ll need a snack with all of this planning. Get your protein in with some paleo-friendly beef and broccoli 🙂



Beef and Broccoli (Paleo, Keto-Friendly!)


Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 15 min



For the beef:

  • ~1 lb beef (skirt steak or sirloin is fine!)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed, divided in half
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • ghee, coconut oil, or your preferred cooking fat
  • 1/4 cup of coconut aminos
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp of tapioca starch
  • 1 large head of broccoli, broken/cut into fairly small florets (cut up the super large ones!)
  • For the finishing sauce:
    • 1/8 cup coconut aminos
    • dash of fish sauce, about 1 tsp
    • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
    • pinch of crushed red pepper (do you love these measurements? I do)
    • Sesame seeds, for garnish



    1. Slice your beef into thin strips, about 1/4 inch (definitely no more than 1/2 inch thick).  Mix together your 1/4 cup of coconut aminos, your 1.5 tbsp of sesame oil, tapioca starch and half of your garlic in a mixing bowl large enough to fit your beef. Add your beef, cover, and allow to marinade as you continue to prep, or up to 2 hours.
    1. Separately, add about 4 cups (or however much water you need to immerse your broccoli) of water to a pot — bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water, separately (this is relevant, I promise). Blanch your broccoli – allow to boil for 1.5-2 minutes until tender, yet still a bit crisp… it should still be bright green. with a slotted spoon, remove from the boiling water and add to your ice bath, to stop from further cooking at getting mushy. Once cooled, set aside on a plate.
    1. Now for the fun stuff. If you have a wok, go get it! Otherwise, a large frying pan will do. Heat your pan/wok with your preferred cooking fat over medium heat. Once brought to temperature, Add your remaining garlic and ginger. Stir until starting to cook, about 20-30 seconds.
    1. Now, turn the heat up a little, to medium-high. Add your marinated beef, spreading out in a single layer. Sauté until browned and starting to crisp, flipping pieces as necessary.
    1. Once the beef is cooked, add the ingredients for your sauce, allowing the beef to sauté in the sauce for about 1 to 1 1/2 min. Now add your broccoli, stirring and tossing to combine and coat in the sauce. Remove from heat.
    1. Serve immediately; garnish with sesame seeds.




    Red Wine Braised Short Ribs (Paleo!)

    February… this has been an eventful month so far, and it’s almost half over which is just frightening. As of last week, we entered the era of the Yang Earth Dog, which refers to our placement in the Solar Chinese Zodiac calendar, and a lot is changing — we’re on the start of a complete refresh of energy moving about ourselves and our environments. If this interests you to learn more about it, head to my friend’s blog here — she is a Feng Shui expert and knows all about it.

    Another little something is coming up is Valentine’s Day! Some people really dislike this holiday, but I have to be honest… I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day. For lack of like, literally never having a Valentine, there’s something really unique about February 14th. The origins of this holiday stem from the Roman romance festival called Lupercalia, where they honored Juno and Pan, two Roman deities. It was based upon fertility, abundance and the dawn of Spring.. which is great, because it’s about this point in the year where everyone’s about to crawl out of their skin from the cold, dry weather, flu-people, and lack of sun tan. The date in which this was celebrated marks our calendars on February 15th – it was only linked in the last few centuries to February 14th, a date to remember Valentine’s persecution (along with Christians at large) during Claudius’ rule. He was jailed for his faith, and befriended a guard whose daughter was blind — Valentine prayed, and the girl regained her sight. As he was about to be executed, he wrote the girl a note that his answered prayers for her were not in vain — signed, her “Valentine”. The idea is that we celebrate Valentine’s selfless love for someone he really didn’t know, but  that it was still so pure and ideal… so nice.

    Interesting, right? But let’s talk about today’s interpretation of Valentine’s Day. We can get right to it — many people just can’t stand how “commercial” the holiday has become — the pressure to buy gifts, the need to express yourself to someone in a way that can be recognized to everyone around you… yeah, that stinks. But if you take the ancient concept, and mix it with what we can do in today’s world, you can actually have yourself a pretty good day this Wednesday. Starting with numero uno… you!

    I feel as though a lot of people are guilty of this — feeling the pressures of your friends, family, social media and world around you about being linked to someone. Have you ever seen a couple and thought, “gosh… they have each other, and I’m just all alone.” I find it rarely stops there… you’ll comb through everything you’ve ever done, down to your outfits, music preferences, where you hang out, just to see if there’s something  you may be doing wrong that’s causing you to be single. Sounds depressing, yes? So… why do we do that?

    A missing piece of the puzzle is called “self-love”. I’m not talking the corny, light-candles-around-the-tub, treat-yourself-to-chocolates type thing (though this is still fine). Self-love goes much deeper than just treating yourself the way you’re hoping someone will, someday. It’s a regular practice through your thoughts and words, that translates through your actions. There’s a time-old mantra that’s tirelessly repeated (yet very quickly forgotten) is this: in order to find love with someone else, you must first love yourself.

    WTF, right??? No. Hear me out.

    Your thoughts become words, which become actions, which is the equivalent of sending smoke signals out to the world around you. If you’re miserable with yourself, no matter how hard you try, you cannot hide that from people, and most don’t even understand that they pick up on it. They may not be able to put their finger on it, but when everyone’s vibes are swirling around and you’re basically calling yourself a piece of #$@* within your thoughts… if you wouldn’t tell those same things out loud, face to face with your 10 year old self, you probably shouldn’t do it now. Sometimes you need to fake it until you make it with your thoughts and words to yourself, until it becomes so habitual it feels true.

    Turn your negatives into positives (there’s always a way), and catch yourself the next time your thoughts don’t fully capture how great you are. It really does sound cheesy, and it is actually very Dr. Seuss-y, but there’s no one on this planet that’s you-er than you, so you should really take pride in that and love yourself. Starting now 🙂

    Whether you’re doing dinner  for one, dinner for two, or do what I do and can’t ever figure out how to cook for less than 10… try out this super gourmet (and PALEO! since all the alcohol burns out) red-wine braised short ribs inspired by our kitchen savior, Gordon Ramsay. They don’t look glamourous, but let me tell you. If you’re a meat eater, it is SO worth the wait.

    Red Wine Braised Short Ribs (Paleo!)

    Prep time: 10 min

    Cook time: 4.5 hours

    Serves 6-8


    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 6-7 thick-cut beef short ribs, bone attached
    • 1 large head of garlic, sliced in half horizontally
    • 1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 750ml bottle dry red wine (nothing expensive!)
    • 1 quart low-sodium beef stock
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2-3 Fresh thyme sprigs
    • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, loosely chopped
    • Cheese cloth and tie, for the herbs


    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. season your ribs with salt and pepper, generously. If you’d prefer to remove any excess fat/gristle, do so now, making sure not to take off any of the good meat.
    2. Heat your olive oil in a deep baking dish or dutch oven. Sauté for 10–15 minutes to brown thoroughly well on all sides, including the edges.
    3. Add the bottom half of the garlic bulb, pressing around face down into the oil.  If you have bits from the top parts of the garlic, add to the pan.  Move the ribs aside and add the tomato paste to an open part of your dish… stir around with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes to bring out the flavors. Once you’ve let it sauté, pour in the wine, scraping up any bits at the bottom of the pan and stirring in. Bring the wine to a boil and let reduce by half, for about 10–15 minutes.
    4. Add your beef stock, enough so that it covers most of the ribs. Wrap your fresh herbs in a single layer of cheese cloth, and place into the liquid. Bring back to a boil and allow to simmer for another 3-4 minutes, basting the meat with the glaze every so often.
    5. Place your lid on (or cover the roasting dish with foil) and cook in the preheated oven for 3–4 hours, basting every so often.
    6. Once your ribs are finished, remove the herbs. Carefully squeeze the garlic out of the garlic bulb discarding the skin, and mash into the broth with a wooden spoon. Spoon the juices over the ribs, covering them all.
    7. Serve with some delicious Harissa-Glazed Sweet Potatoes, or some warm broccoli salad…. Perhaps some more recipes on the way? I think so 🙂


    Full Moons and Moussaka

    Remember how I said the weather turned, and I dug out all my sweaters? It was a fluke. It was 60 degrees yesterday, maybe warmer in the sun. I still wore a sweater, and it was the complete opposite of fun. It was un-fun. My building at work had the heat on, too. Because it’s November, right? It should be cold, right? No, because it’s 2017 and we are very much into global warming right now. Yet — today, I walked out of my house in a light shirt, only to find I need the same warm type of sweater now that I thought I needed yesterday.

    This weekend was also a full moon. Every time a full moon comes along, I have every intention of doing something special – doing yoga outside, doing some sort of special meditation, or cooking some earthy dish to complement a beautiful night with a bright, clear moon. I end up doing none of those things, but I do notice that without fail, stuff gets weird around a full moon.

    The logic in me says, “This is just confirmation bias! Nothing weird happens on a night with a full moon.” The logic needs to be quiet, because that’s no fun, whatsoever. While crazy stuff can happen all the time, I have always found that people act particularly strange and noticeably different during this moon phase.
    Since full and new moons happen when the sun, earth and moon are all in alignment, this impacts the tides more than normal, making them stronger and in turn, falling higher and lower. While we don’t notice it on land, don’t you think it’d be a little silly to not consider what impact it has on us if it can move trillions of gallons of water in a cyclical motion? We are more aware and in tune with the vibrations going on around us during a full moon, which, quite literally, is able to illuminate things more than usual.

    November is already a powerful month with the vibration of the number 11, so it’s not surprising that people are getting quirky when the entire moon is exposed. As a double digit of the same number, 11 is thought of as a “master number” — so anything occurring during this time is magnified.. both good and bad, because with a double number like this, there’s also balance. This particular full moon could’ve potentially been very confusing — a full moon is the end of a revolving cycle — yet the number 1 has a common understanding of beginnings.  Truthfully, you can take from it what you want. Moon phases are consistent and cyclical, and people tend to see the moon as feminine because of this. At this point in time, the entire moon is exposed, bright and clear – which could be symbolic of moving energy, unearthing problems, concerns, chores or tasks, and approaching them with full clarity.

    Whatever the case may be, it is truly beautiful. You can see the little craters, and just thinking how there are footsteps that remain untouched since the landing on the moon is really surreal. Something so still, quiet, and distant can have such an impact on the world around us, to the point where people’s moods change.. it is really cool, is it not? A little floating sky rock moves water next to us from hundreds of thousands of miles away.

    We tried to  come up with something we’ve never made this weekend — we landed on Greek cuisine. Fitting for a full moon, as some of the greatest discoveries in astronomy and moon phases happened in ancient Greek culture… things like Ptolemy, Hipparchus, Aristarchus… all the things you learned about but forgot how brilliant these minds were. Greek culture is so rich, so our tribute to that for the full moon was the heartiest and most flavorful dish we could think of — Moussaka! While I know it’s not made by your family Yia Yia, I think Greek grandmas everywhere might say we did pretty well.

    Make a note to keep an eye out for everything around you on the next full moon – you might be surprised with what you notice. In the meantime, as it gets colder (and hopefully stays colder), enjoy this delicious dinner 🙂



    note: this picture was taken from, which reserves all rights to the photo. Unfortunately, the kitchen was dark and people ravaged the moussaka before I could get a good picture of it. Mine did resemble this image almost identically (in person), and I promise it looks this delicious when you make it.

    Prep time: 40 min

    Cook time: 30 min

    Serves 8-10


    Eggplant and Lamb

    • 8 garlic cloves, finely grated, divided
    • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 tbsp chopped mint
    • 3 tbsp chopped oregano
    • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
    • 3 medium eggplants (about 3½ pounds total), sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
    • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
    • 2 lb ground lamb
    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
    • 1 tbsp cinnamon
    • 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed)
    • 1 tbsp paprika
    • 1 tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes


    • 3/4 stick of unsalted butter (if using salted butter, add a pinch less of salt once mixed)
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • 2½ cups whole milk
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 8 oz of farmer’s cheese, crumbled
    • 4 oz grated Pecorino, grated
    • 3 large egg yolks


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Whisk half of the garlic, ½ cup oil, 1 tbsp mint and 1 tbsp oregano in a small bowl.
    2. Thoroughly coat the eggplant rounds with the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Transfer eggplant to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast until tender and browned, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°.
    3. Meanwhile, add about 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Cook lamb and ground beef, breaking up with a spoon, until browned and liquid starts to evaporate, about 12–16 minutes. Drain fat from the meat and transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    4. In the same pan, add another tsp of oil and allow to heat. Add onion, garlic, ~2½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 8–10 minutes. Add jalapeño and cinnamon and continue to cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until onion has browned, about 3-4 minutes.
    5. Add paprika, cinnamon and tomato paste and allow to cook for about 1 minute.
    6. Add wine, stirring to mix thoroughly, until reduced and alcohol burns off — about 3 minutes.
    7. Add tomatoes and all of the juice. Carefully break up the tomatoes with a spoon or spatula into smaller pieces… as they heat, they will pop, so be aware.
    8. Add lamb and remainder of mint and oregano and stir to combine. Allow to cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, and remove from heat.



    1. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium until completely melted and starting to froth. Add flour and cook, whisking quickly and constantly, until combined, about 1 minute.
    2. Whisk in milk, slowly and a little at a time, and continue to heat, allowing to bubble. Whisk often, until mixture becomes very thick (like pudding), about 3-4 minutes.
    3. Stir in salt. Remove from heat and whisk in farmer cheese and half of the Pecorino. Let sit 10 minutes for cheese to melt, then add egg yolks and vigorously whisk until combined and béchamel is golden yellow.
    4. Brush a 13×9″ baking pan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Layer half of eggplant pieces in the pan, covering the bottom entirely. Spread half of lamb/beef mixture over eggplant in an even layer. Repeat with remaining eggplant and lamb/beef to make another layer of each.
    5. Top with béchamel and smooth surface; sprinkle with remaining Pecorino cheese.
    6. Bake moussaka until bubbling and béchamel topping starts to brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.



    Garlic Thyme Meatballs with Gravy (Paleo)

    Fall has slowly been creeping up, which has been giving me the autumn decorating/baking/recipe itch. You’ll be proud to know I already have pumpkins, mums and gourds on my front porch… and have since this weekend. Don’t ever let anyone shame you, Autumn is a great thing to celebrate!

    Back to the weather. It’s been getting quite chilly at night, and I couldn’t overcome the urge to make some good old fashioned comfort food. On my quest to make things bread/guilt free, I decided to pursue dairy free as well. This was prompted by some indulgence in fried queso fresco last week and the after-effects that I’d like to not re-live. But maybe once more… that cheese was really good.

    Well, cue the children running, angels singing, and grandma smiling in her kitchen, because I came just about as close as I think is possible to an enjoyable, indulgent-without-the-guilt big family dinner without the loads of butter, cream and flour. You can even sneak a few more veggies in, if you’re a sly little chef whose constituents dare not eat leafy greens… knowingly, at least.

    This meal came at a great time – this past weekend was the Mushroom Festival, and super busy in general. I haven’t been sleeping well, and that all came back to bite me when I went into work on Friday and let a short 3 hours later due to heartburn and general exhaustion. I drank a few swigs of Apple Cider Vinegar (lifesaving technique, by the way), sent some emails, and wrapped my day up with a nap.

    It’s not really like me to leave work or to slow down while doing anything, actually. I can’t sit still, I am very routine/schedule oriented, and I haven’t sat through a full episode of literally anything on TV in probably years. Because of my penchant for running around, this all came to a screeching halt on Friday, and I realize this was the only thing that would really stop me in my tracks. I wasn’t listening to myself, and it came back to bite me.

    Perhaps you’ve thought about fate, or destiny, or really any semantics used to describe something bigger than you laying your path down for you. This could be as small as turning a corner and running into that friend you were thinking of, meeting the love of your life at an event brought on by tragedy, catching a cold only to miss a rained-out event, or potential car accident that only amounted to a near-miss. Everything happens for a reason, and I think that was the universe telling me that I needed to slow down and take a nap.

    At some point, if you’re moving so quickly that you can’t see alerts and signs to what you’re looking for, it will stop you in your tracks if that’s what it takes. Take the time to care for yourself, mentally, physically and spiritually… it’s a fine balance that, if thrown out of order, will correct itself. Save yourself the trouble — be self-aware!

    With that, I decided I needed this delicious recipe. Gluten free, and dairy free! Load this dinner up with herbs and spices and surprisingly, almond milk! Serve over some…. what’s that, you ask? Paleo mashed potatoes? Recipe for that later this week 🙂

    Paleo Garlic Thyme Meatballs with Gravy


    For the Meatballs:

    • 1 ½ lbs grass-fed beef, 90/10% fat
    • 1 egg
    • 1/3 cup almond flour
    • 2 tbsp ghee, melted
    • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
    • ½ tsp black pepper
    • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
    • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 medium yellow onion, minced


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. In a medium sized frying pan, add 1 tbsp of ghee along with the onion and stir, cooking for 7-8 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and mushroom, continuing to stir for another 4-5 minutes, or until onions start to brown. Set aside and let cool.
    3. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients thoroughly.
    4. Roll into 1 to 1 ½ inch balls and place on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, leaving 2 inches between each meatball.
    5. Bake for 20 minutes, until meatballs start to brown. If the meatballs produce a lot of juice, be sure to remove them and set aside immediately after baking, or into the gravy.

    While the meatballs are baking, we make the sauce…. J

    For the Gravy:

    • 4 cups high quality beef stock
    • 1 ½ cups almond milk
    • Salt/Pepper to taste
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 large yellow onion, finely minced
    • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 ½ tbsp tapioca starch, plus more if needed


    1. In medium sized skillet (I use a cast iron), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and stir, cooking for 7-8 minutes, until translucent.
    2. Add garlic, mushroom and a pinch of salt and pepper, continuing to stir for another 4-5 minutes, or until onions start to brown. Add thyme and parsley, and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until aromatic.
    3. Add beef stock, and bring mixture to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce heat to low to allow to simmer. Add in tapioca starch 1 tbsp at a time, and whisk simultaneously to prevent clumps, ensuring you’re stirring vigorously. Once mixed, add almond milk, one cup at a time, continuing to stir.
    4. Allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, and taste to see if additional salt or pepper is needed. If gravy consistency is not at desired thickness, add more beef stock to thin, or a pinch of more tapioca starch at a time to thicken.

    Leftover gravy can be stored in an airtight jar for up to 5 days.



    I wanna taco ’bout Mexican Food… Paleo Beef Enchiladas

    Hola muchachos y muchachas! How are y’all livin? There’s something about Tuesdays that really makes me love Mexican food…. I just can’t quite put my finger on why I would love, say… a taco, on a Tuesday.

    My hometown is so rich with Latino culture, it’s amazing. I feel like a lot of people take it for granted. From living here I was able to learn fluent Spanish, bust out some mean pico de gallo salsa, and appreciate some good ol’ Reggaeton music. The mushroom industry is huge here and it employs a lot of the Mexican population, and they are some of the hardest working people who are so loyal to their family and their faith. Let me tell you, there’s nothing that beats their FOOD, though. Mexican restaurants are always within walking distance, and their homemade tortillas, sauces and spices… just so good.

    One interesting thing about Mexican culture is how transparent they are in fusing their faith in their daily lives. To be religious is pretty casual but still very important; they hold their faith in high regard. While they aren’t common here around my hometown, there are curanderos in Mexico, or spiritual healers, who serve vital roles in people’s spiritual and medical lives.

    The practice of curandurismo, or holistic healing, combines, psychic healing, prayer and herbal remedies as modalities to cure illness. They can incorporate Catholic elements into their healing, such as holy water of pictures of Saints, but most remedies involve natural elements, or even adding herbs to your food to help nourish yourself or cure any ailments.

    This is why Cumin became such an important staple to Latino cuisine, and shares roots with other deeply spiritual cultures in the Middle East. It has been known to be used in a poultice, a diuretic and can even help settle your stomach. I love the delicious spicy smell to it – which is why I had to make an amazing paleo alternative to one of my favorite dishes at my favorite Mexican restaurant….I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂


    Paleo Beef Enchiladas


    Prep time: 30 min

    Cook time: 30 min 


    • 1 lb lean ground beef. If you feel fancy, you can use a nicer cut of beef and chop it.
    • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
    • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, minced
    • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes with green chiles
    • 1 can of no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 6 brown rice tortillas
    • 1 8oz can of Refried beans
    • 2 tsp taco seasoning, more to taste
    • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
    • 1 tsp pepper


    Enchilada sauce*:

    • 3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
    • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
    • 3 tbsp chili powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp onion powder
    • 1 8 oz can of  tomato paste
    • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

    *Note: leftover enchilada sauce can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    2. In a saucepan, melt the ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Add tomato paste and chicken stock and whisk until combined, allowing mixture to bubble. Continue to whisk, adding chili pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, onion powder.
    3. Cook for approximately 5-6 minutes, and then turn to low heat. Add arrowroot powder, and whisk to ensure the right consistency. Once mixed, set aside on low/simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent it from cooling down and getting too thick.
    4. In a larger frying pan, add ground beef and minced onion. No need for any oil – the beef should have enough fat to keep the pan contents from sticking. Stir occasionally, ensuring beef is thoroughly cooked and browned.
    5. Once cooked, add beans, mushroom, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to stir and cook on medium high heat for another 4-5 minutes until the mushroom is cooked and remove from heat.
    6. Using a clean workspace, spread refried bean mixture across top of tortilla, covering the entire thing. Add scoop of beef mixture, and tightly roll the enchilada up. You want to work quickly, as the rice tortillas can dry out more so than a corn or flour one.
    7. Add a large spoonful of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a greased baking dish. Arrange the enchiladas side by side. My baking dish fit 4 across and 2 perpendicular next to them, so you can get creative with how you arrange them if they come out bigger than expected.
    8. Add enchilada sauce, using enough to cover all of the tortillas and bottom of the pan. Drizzle over edges of enchiladas to prevent them from burning. Cover with foil and bake for 15 min, removing foil for last 5 min until edges are golden. It’s alright if the tortillas don’t remain intact — they’re still tasty 🙂

    Best served with a nice side of rice, or a side salad.