Khao Soi (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I really like this soup. Something about thai flavors lately. Every week my grocery bag comes home with lemongrass, ginger, garlic and coconut milk. It feels like I'm eating takeout but it's all home cooked. The beauty of batch cooking, right? 

Recipe adapted from Lazy Cat Kitchen. I love that name. 

Makes about 6 servings. 

Khao Soi Soup

6 garlic cloves, peeled

2" ginger, peeled, roughly chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro (stems or leaves)

2 lemongrass stalks, tough leaves removed, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon madras curry powder

3 tablespoons water

1 butternut squash, peeled, diced

2 stalks broccoli, peeled, in bite sized pieces

1 1/2 cup chopped green beans

4 carrots, peeled, sliced

1 quart vegetable stock

1 14 oz tin full fat coconut milk

28 oz water

1 teaspoon szechuan peppercorns

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos

juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons maple syrup


cilantro, for garnish

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper. Toss squash with a splash of oil, arrange on one tray. Toss broccoli with splash of oil, arrange on the other tray. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper. Roast until softened and beginning to blacken, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. 

Combine garlic, ginger, cilantro, lemongrass, shallots, coriander, turmeric, curry powder and water in the bowl of a food processor. Puree to a paste. 

In a pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over a high flame. Add paste and cook until slightly browned, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, water, peppercorn sachet and carrots. Boil, reduce to a simmer. Add green beans. Skim off any foam from surface. Simmer until greenbeans and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Add roasted broccoli and squash. Stir in fish sauce, tamari, lime juice and maple syrup. Salt to taste. Serve with noodles, zoodles, rice or enjoy on it's own. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro leaves. 

Paleo Week 3 Grocery List + What I Cooked

This week the menu's all Paleo. I was not messing around. I wanted clean, healthy food that would give me energy and taste great. 

This is week three of my batch cooking posts. The first one has a more in depth on tips and tricks - here's a link! Again, some of my tips for grocery shopping and batch cooking are: pick a menu,  inventory the fridge/pantry and write a shopping list that is organized by departments in the grocery store.

Recipes will be posted this week and linked.  I prepared everything on Sunday evening.  Cameron helped and we listened to S Town podcast and music. 

The Menu:

Paleo Collard Wraps Chicken Burritos

Paleo Egg Squares + Sweet Potato Toast

Paleo Khao Soi Paste Soup

And my snacks: plantain chips, tigernuts, unsweetened dried fruit, green apples with cinnamon, baby carrots, grapes, veggie snacks, smoothies (Chocolate Cherry!), canned tuna, blanched broccoli, curry cauliflower, Anita's coconut yogurt, sliced deli meats, hummus, roasted peas and avocado with lime juice, s+p.  These things always get added to the list as needed and are not included in the main list below. 

The List:

1 bunch collard greens

2 leeks

1 bunch kale

8 oz mushrooms (brown, white or mini portobellos)

1 butternut squash

2 stalks broccoli

5 oz green beans

4 carrots

2 avocados

1 lime

1/2 head red or green cabbage 

1 bunch cilantro

1/2 head crispy lettuce (iceberg or romaine)

1/2 white onion

2 shallots

1 head garlic

2" ginger

2 lemongrass stalks

1.5 # boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 quart vegetable stock

1 14 oz tin full fat coconut milk

10 eggs

Pantry staples you will also need for these 3 recipes: coarse kosher salt, ground black pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, fenugreek leaves, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, ground coriander, madras curry powder, szechuan peppercorns, fish sauce, tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos, maple syrup, 

Lavender Chamomile Pillow Mist

I didn't think I was a pillow mist person but then I made this stuff and it pretty much follows me around the house. I definitely don't need it - I typically fall asleep around 10pm without fail because I'm old/boring and prefer to get up very early - but I like it. It smells good and is super calming. It's also non toxic, safe, natural and homemade. 

This pillow mist smells great. It's super calming thanks to chamomile and lavender. You can also use this as a face mist, which is what I've been doing. Throughout the evening, I'll give myself a little mist just because of the lovely scent. Ah, aromatherapy. So great. 

Super Calming Mist

2 oz witch hazel

1 chamomile tea bag

about 20 drops lavender essential oil

Add tea bag to witch hazel and let steep at room temperature of 24 hours. It should be very fragrant at this point. Discard teabag. Add lavender oil. Feel free to add more drops as needed - you want a nice balance of both chamomile and lavender. Pour into a mini spray bottle and spritz away. 

Lentil Soup (Vegan, GF, DF)

This is a very loving soup. It's comforting, healthy and very adaptable. I make it all the time and I think it's about the third time I've posted a lentil soup on here but it's been awhile. Each time I make lentil soup, I like to tweak it a little bit. Sometimes it's full of cumin, marmite, tamari & sesame or garam masala - like this one. 

It's hard to resist the warm spiced notes of garam masala - an Indian spice blend. I took things a bit further with a dash of sesame oil,squeeze of lemon and splash of apple cider vinegar, You'll know when the seasoning is right because all the flavors will pop and brighten. 

I strongly prefer chicken stock for my lentil soup but vegetable stock is great too if you're looking to keep things vegetarian. If you're in comfort food mode and you eat nightshades, a potato does something wonderful in here. Chop it up and add it with the lentils. 

Makes about 8 servings. 

Simple Lentil Soup

splash olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 carrots, peeled, chopped

4 stalks celery, chopped

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 quarts stock (chicken or vegetable)

1 1/2 cup french green lentils, rinsed

1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, chopped

s + p

lemon juice, to taste (about 1 lemon)

sesame oil, to taste (about 1.5 teaspoons)

apple cider vinegar, to taste (about 1 tablespoon)

In a pot, over medium low heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft and glossy, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, celery, mushrooms, bay, thyme, garam masala, stock and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Add collard greens. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, sesame oil and apple cider vinegar. 

Recipe Cards

I made you something! Printable recipe cards. I picked up a Polaroid Snap Touch camera a few months ago and have been using it to print out little business card photos from my phone. It connects with blue tooth and works like a portable, wireless mini photo printer. I love it. The backing of each photo peels off and becomes a sticker if you want. 

I want. I realized I could print food photos from my phone and stick them to recipe cards. I love recipe cards but didn't find any that had space of a photo so I designed these and thought I'd share. 

For printers, you do not need the Polaroid Snap - you could use a Fuji Film Instax Camera, HP Sprocket, Zink Happy Printer, Polaroid Zip, Kodak Mini Mobile or small photos printed from your printer. 

Click on the buttons below to download:

Egg Squares (Paleo, GF, DF)

Occasionally, I forget that I hate eggs and make these egg squares. There are just enough veggies in here to balance the eggs out. When it comes to eggs and me, it's all about a delicate ratio of cleverly disguised egg to other things like saluted vegetables, starch or meat. 

I ate these on sweet potato toast. It's not toast. I was fooled into this one by some very attractive images on pinterest with yummy comments. Sometimes, when you don't have a certain food for awhile, you are easily duped into accepting something like a roasted slice of sweet potato as toast. What am I talking about? I'll tell you: take a sweet potato, cut it into 1/4 inch thick slices lengthwise, put those slices in the toaster and use it as a stand in for bread. It's delicious but it's not toast. (That said, I will probably make it again.)

This recipe makes a big pan off egg squares, feel free to use a smaller pan and cut the recipe in half. 

Egg Squares

splash olive oil

2 leeks, white parts only, halved, thinly sliced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped

10 eggs

s + p

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or paper a 13 x 9 inch pan.

In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, warm oil. Add leeks, mushrooms and kale, cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Arrange evenly in prepared pan. 

In a bowl, whisk eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over cooked vegetables. Bake until egg set in the middle, about 25 minutes. Cut into squares. 

How to Drink More Water

Are you drinking enough water? If so, you deserve a medal or golden chalice. We are supposed to be drinking at least half an ounce of water for each pound we weigh. That's a lot. Personally, I hate drinking water and have come up with a handful of tricks to help get all those ounces in. 

Most important thing to remember - You need it! How are you supposed to be your best self if you're brain and body are struggling for something it needs?  The more hydrated you are, the better you will feel: less frequent headaches, a stronger immune system (less colds!), a strong sense of mental clarity, less weight gain, energized body, less wrinkles, and happy bladder, kidneys and colon. All important things, right? Right.

1. H20-lympics! When I was a bartender we would make things a little competitive by each filling up pitchers of water and try to make progress through out the shift. It's silly but there's no better way to get that determination going than with a little competition. 

2. Buy a quart sized container and fill it up with water twice throughout the day. Something with a nice, big mouth is better than a sports cap since you can take giant, satisfying gulps and chugs. Yum. I've found this to be the best, most reliable method. I drink one quart water at work and then another when I get home. 

3. Flavor your water! Add some fruit, mint, cucumber, citrus slices to those water containers you're filling up. It tastes better and adds health benefits. Just keep in mind that drinking lemon water throughout the day is not great for your tooth enamel because of the acid so mix it up. 

4. Drink out of an eight ounce cup so you can count your cups consumed each day. You'll need to drink about 8 of them. I do this all the time at home and Cameron thinks its funny but it works! I keep an actual measuring cup by the sink just for this - accuracy is important to me - just don't lose count.  

5. Set reminders on your phone. There are apps for this or simply set a few reminders on your phone to pop up throughout the day. 

6. Consider starting a health journal  with a water log. This way you will be able to see how wonderful you feel as a more hydrated person - or if you forget, how tired and icky you feel. 

Here are some safe, non toxic, bpa free water bottles - each holds 32 ounces and features a different size top.

32oz glass water bottle at Nordstrom, $45

32oz glass water bottle at Nordstrom, $45

32oz stainless steel bottle at Bed Bath & Beyond, $32

32oz stainless steel bottle at Bed Bath & Beyond, $32

32oz stainless steel, insulated water bottle at REI, $40

32oz stainless steel, insulated water bottle at REI, $40

Now, who's thirsty? 

AIP Turkey Tacos

I love taco night but it's pretty much impossible on AIP. Or is it? It's not impossible, it's just a bit of work. As someone who does not enjoy lettuce wraps for mexican dishes, I have to make my own tortillas. So far I've tested a few different plantain tortilla recipes but am still not 100% pleased with the texture of any. The flavor is always great but they just fall apart. How terrible is it to bit into your first taco and have it's entire, artfully assembled fillings fall out. Very sad. As a solution, I make a lettuce taco and then wrap that in the plantain tortilla. 

If anyone has any tips on AIP approved plantain tortillas that don't fall apart - please post it in the comments. I'd love to hear. 

AIP Turkey Taco Filling

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin, optional but great if you're ok with seeds

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cooking oil of choice

1 lb ground turkey breast

tortillas of your choosing

garnishes: lime wedges, diced onion, chopped cilantro, zucchini salsa, lettuce

Combine salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, fenugreek, oregano, cinnamon and the optional cumin with water. Set aside. 

In a small pot over medium high heat, warm oil. When hot, add turkey. Stir occasionally, getting a nice brown on the meat, break into small pieces with spoon. When cooked through, about 10 minutes, add seasoning mixture. Stir until coated and liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. 

Spoon onto shells and/or lettuce wraps and add toppings. 

Almost Mac + Cheese (GF, DF, Vegan)

I've been dying for mac n cheese but just couldn't bring myself to cheat. After coming across a forgotten jar of nutritional yeast and box of Banza pasta in the way back of the cupboard, I decided I could make my own vegan, gluten free version. 

Banza is one of my new favorite things. It's a gluten free, grain free pasta made from chickpea flour and tapioca starch. As a former lover of all things pasta, I love it. So far, it's my favorite alternative pasta. (This post is not sponsored  - I just like to share good things when I find them.)

Makes 2 large servings. 

Almost Mac + Cheese

1 stalk broccoli, peeled, chopped

6oz banza pasta 

1 cup cashew milk

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

pinch nutmeg

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

s + p 

dash of Worcestershire, optional (not vegan or vegetarian)

Boil a pot of water. Add broccoli. Blanche for 2 minutes. Drain. Set aside. 

Boil a pot of water and cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

In a  pot, whisk cashew milk, yeast flakes, arrowroot, mustard powder and nutmeg over medium high heat. Add pasta and broccoli, stirring until thickened and hot. Add vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Worcestershire if using. 



DIY Ombre Watercolor Dry Erase Board


I love making lists. I'm visual and need to write things out and have a list or notes to revisit when I need. It's so satisfying to accomplish tasks or goals and cross them off. So great. I have about 10 lists in the notes app of my phone that I'm currently using.

I also keep a big dry erase board in the kitchen. I made it from a huge, cheap white frame found at Ikea. I painted the board backing with white acrylic paint, let it dry and assembled the frame as usual but instead of displaying art, Cameron and I use it to note groceries, things we are out of, things we might want to cook, our to do lists...anything. We just write on the plexi with a thin dry erase marker and wipe it off with a towel or hand when done. It's great on Sundays when we're cooking and have 3 different dishes to make. Just scribble down what needs to be done and start cooking. (I'm a bit of a control freak, if you couldn't tell.)

The best part is that it's temporary. whatever I write down can just be wiped off. 

I thought I'd show how to make a pretty one with a simple monochromatic ombre watercolor background. You can use any color you like, just consider what color dry erase ink you will be using. There will need to be enough contrast to keep the writing legible. 

I used command strips to hang this. Have you used these things?  If you follow the directions exactly, they are great. I prefer to use these to nails or tacks - no holes in the wall! 


a large frame with glass or plexi - 16" x 20" or 18" x 24" are good sizes

watercolor paper that matches frame size

watercolor paint - color of your choice

large watercolor brush 

rag or sponge brush (to wet the paper)

cup of water

dry erase marker

command strips or hooks to hang your completed project


Wet entire surface of paper with a sponge brush. It needs to be wet so the watercolor paint can blend and flow when applied. Once wet, stir a few drops of water directly into your watercolor paint using the watercolor brush. Saturate the brush with paint. Start at the top of your paper, painting with long, horizontal strokes, side to side. Add more paint to your brush as needed. Keep painting until the top quarter of your paper is saturated to your liking with paint. 

Do the same to the next quarter section, just mix a lighter saturation of paint - more water to pigment than you used before. Wash the color on as before, dabbing more water or paint as needed. Watercolor is very forgiving and mistakes can be corrected easily with more paint (darken)  or water (lighten). 

Complete the remainder of the piece as the other sections. Adjust as needed with more paint or water. The last quarter might now need any paint. 

Let dry completely - it will be dry to the touch and will not feel cold. Frame and hang!

Pesto Portobello Salads (GF, DF, Vegetarian, Vegan)

I'm obsessed with Sweetgreen. First, it was the Wild Child Salad, now it's this Pesto Portobello Bowl. It's a warm bowl with quinoa, chickpeas, arugula, mushrooms, roasted broccoli tossed in a basil vinaigrette. I've done my best to replicate it. I hope you enjoy this copycat version. 

Grains and beans?  Are you wondering where the hell my Paleo and AIP recipes have gone? Don't worry, they're still my primary ways of eating. My functional doctor said small amounts of organic quinoa is ok and I have successfully added beans back into my diet. 

This is a great one to take to work. It gives you lots of clean energy to get you through the day. It's a complete protein with the quinoa and chickpeas - no meat needed here! This is good cold or warm but I prefer it warm. Here's a tip to how to pack this thing if you agree: in a quart sized container/jar, start with dressing at the bottom. Then mushrooms, broccoli, chickpeas, quinoa. In a separate container, pack your arugula. When you're ready to eat: heat everything but your greens. Toss everything together in a nice big bowl. 

This salad is all about the different components. All these components get prepared separately so to make things easier, I've broken it down into what you need to make. 

Makes about 5 salads. 

Pesto Portobello Salad Bowls



Make Pesto Vinaigrette: Blend 1 bunch basil leaves, 1/3 cup oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 clove garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt until very smooth.  


Cook the Quinoa. In a small saucepan add 1 cup dry red or white quinoa and 2 cups water. Cover. Boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes or until soft. 


Cook Broccoli and Mushrooms: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop and peel 3 stalks broccoli. Toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Arrange on half sheet tray. Roast 30 minutes. 

Toss 10 oz sliced mini portobello mushrooms with 2 grated cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Roast 15 minutes. 


The Chickpeas: Stir together 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric. Add 1 14oz tin chickpeas(drained and rinsed), stir to coat. Cook in microwave or on stovetop until warm. 


Assemble salad bowls. Toss spoonfuls of cooked quinoa, roasted broccoli, mushrooms, warm chickpeas with a bit of pesto dressing and a large handful of arugula

Cameron's Daikon + Mushroom Soup (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF, Vegan)

I love when Cameron gets a cooking idea like a soup or a salad  - whatever it is will always be delicious, healthy and well made. This soup is no different. Savory, brothy and full of daikon. I secretly think he was trying to make a fish free, Mea-friendly version of this Oden he used to get in the winter at a place near his old work but he might not agree. (We'll see.) 

Daikon + Mushroom Soup

to make the stock:

2 leeks, halved

fennel tops

2 inches ginger root, peeled, sliced

4 garlic cloves, smashed

4 dried shitakes

1 bay leaf

1 kafir lime leaf

1 teaspoon peppercorns (black and pink)

Place everything in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Strain and discard solids. 

for the soup

splash olive oil

1 celeriac, peeled and diced

1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced

2 daikon, peeled and chopped

6 oz chopped mini portobello mushrooms

2 cups baby bok choy, sliced in half

juice of 1 lime

Saute celeriac and fennel until, softened and glossy, about 5 minutes. Add stock and daikon. Bring to a boil, add mushrooms and simmer. Cook about 40 minutes until all vegetables are soft. Add bokchoy. Season with lime juice and salt. 

Thai Lemongrass Beef + Root Vegetables (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

This is the slow cooker, crockpot, AIP version of the recipe I made a couple years ago. I love a good beef braise. This one is less labor intensive - just put everything in the slow cooker and let the magic begin. The kitchen's going to smell great thanks to the cinnamon, anise and lemongrass. 

My favorite part of making this dish is getting out my meat mallet and giving the ginger and lemongrass pieces a good hit. Bruising helps release the flavor. 

I'm going to sauté thinly sliced cabbage zoodles to serve with this. 

Serves 6. 

AIP Thai Lemongrass Beef + Root Vegetables

2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 yellow onion, chopped

4-5 carrots, peeled, chopped

2 daikon, peeled, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2" ginger root, peeled, smashed

3 lemongrass stalks, cut into thirds, smashed, tied into a bundle

2 kafir lime leaves, fresh or dried

2 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

several turns of szechwan peppercorns

1 quart beef stock

s + p, to taste

lime juice, to taste

Place beef, onion, carrot, daikon, garlic, ginger, lemongrass bundle, kafir leaves, star anise, cinnamon, fresh crushed szechwan pepper and beef stock into a slow cooker. Cook on high until beef is spoon tender, about 6 hours. Skim off any foam. Remove lemongrass bundle. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice. 

Healthy Week 2 Grocery List + What I Cooked

So this one isn't AIP or even totally Paleo because of the quinoa and beans but it's healthy and delicious! It's going to be a good week - we made a lot of food and I can't wait to eat it. 

I posted the first one of these types of posts - here's a link! Again, some of my tips for grocery shopping and batch cooking are: pick a menu (I like salad for lunch and stew/soup for dinner with a midweek stir fry or taco night), inventory the fridge/pantry and write a shopping list that is organized by departments in the grocery store.

Recipes will be posted this week and linked.  I prepared the slow cooker beef braise, salad components and pesto vinaigrette on Sunday evening.  Cameron made the soup on Sunday, too. It took about 2-3 hours. It's a nice, relaxing time: we listened to Here's the Thing and This American Life podcasts while we cooked and chatted. 

The Menu:

daikon soup.jpg

AIP Thai Lemongrass Beef + Root Vegetables in a slow cooker (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

Cameron's Daikon + Mushroom Soup (AIP, Paleo, Gf, DF, Vegan)

Copycat Sweetgreen Pesto Portobello Salad Bowl (Vegan, DF, GF) + Pesto Vinaigrette

AIP Turkey Tacos + Plantain Tortillas

And my snacks: plantain chips, tigernuts, unsweetened dried fruit, green apples with cinnamon, baby carrots, grapes, veggie snacks, smoothies (Chocolate Cherry!), canned tuna, blanched broccoli, curry cauliflower, Anita's coconut yogurt, sliced deli meats, hummus, roasted peas and avocado with lime juice, s+p.  These things always get added to the list as needed and are not included in the main list below. 

The grocery list: 

 3 lemongrass stalks

1 bunch basil

1 yellow onion

1 head garlic

4" ginger

4 daikon

1 celery root

1 fennel bulb

2 leeks

5 carrots

2 limes

2 bunches broccoli

2 plantains

16 oz cremini mushrooms (or mini portobellos)

about 2 cups baby bok choy

1 bin arugula

1 head iceberg lettuce (optional, for tacos)

1/2 head cabbage (optional, to serve with thai beef)

1 bunch cilantro (optional for beef braise and tacos)

2 lbs grass fed stew beef

1 lb ground turkey

1 quart beef stock

1 tin chickpeas

4 dried shitakes

Additional Staples for These Recipes: red wine vinegar, olive oil, avocado oil, kosher salt, ground black pepper, dried thyme, cumin, turmeric, quinoa, fish sauce, bay leaf, dried kafir lime leaves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, szchuan peppercorns, 


DIY Beauty Mask

How's your skin doing? Mine has been crazy lately - bumpy forehead, dry parts, oily forehead. What's going on? I think it's the weather.

I knew a mask was just what I needed. I waited until Cameron left the house and raided the fridge and pantry for a quick DIY homemade face mask to help get my skin back in order. 

This one is a winning combination. It has an egg white, honey and rose hip oil. Simple! The egg white  will make your pores happy and tighten your skin. Honey is a natural humectant and has antibacterial properties and is full of antioxidants. It's great for acne prone skin, too.

Rose hip oil gets it's own paragraph because it is my new favorite thing. I bought this one because it's pure, organic and not treated on animals. It has really changed my skin. Each day, once I know I'm home for the night, I wash my face and rub about 5 drops for rose hip oil into my skin. It's helped my forehead be less oily and bumpy. I think it's also helping with any old pimple scars - generally my skin seems very happy since I've been using it. Rose hip oil is bright orange but it will absorb into your skin and does not stain. It's full of fatty acids and a natural anti aging product. 

Makes enough for two masks. 

DIY Beauty Mask

1 egg white

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon rose hip oil

Whisk egg white, honey and oil together. Apply to face, avoiding eyes, nostril and mouth. After about 5 minutes, when it begins to dry, apply a second coat. Get comfortable and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Wash off with mild cleanser and water. Pat dry and moisturize. 

AIP Tom Khaa Gai (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

I love a coconut tom kha soup. So exotic and flavorful. I just don't use enough lemongrass in my everyday cooking. This one is full of veggies and healthy fat from the coconut milk. It makes a lot of soup so you could consider halving the recipe or freezing some. Just be sure to cool it down all the way before it goes into the freezer. 

To make the lemongrass easy to remove, cut it lengthwise but leave an inch at the top so it stays together. Roll it 180 degrees and cut again the same way. It should look like a little lemongrass tassel, Take a minute to bask in all the lovely lemongrass aromatics. 

AIP Tom Khaa Gai

serves 8. 

2 shallots, minced

2" numb of ginger, peeled and minced

2 stalks lemon grass, bruised and cut like a tassel

6 fresh or dried kafir lime leaves

2 tins full fat coconut milk

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced

6 cups chicken stock

4 carrots, peeled, sliced

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 head cauliflower, chopped

8 oz green beans, chopped

lime juice, to taste


fresh cilantro, chopped

In a large pot, boil shallots, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves and coconut milk for a few minutes until fragrant. Stir in fish sauce, honey, chicken, stock, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower and green beans. Simmer until vegetables are soft. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper. Remove lemon grass stalks and lime leaves. Garnish with cilantro leaves. 

Beef Fajita Salad Bowls (AIP, Paleo, GF, DF)

This was a fun one to cook. I love fajitas and hadn't had them in so long since they are generally off limits on AIP. But not these! I got out my two burner cast iron griddle and huge spatula, turned the heat up to high and started blackening the steak, then worked cooking the veggies in two big batches. Little is more satisfying then turning huge piles of wilting, sauced veggies over on a searing flat top. Really, give it a try. 

serves 4-6. 

AIP Steak Fajita Salad Bowls

1 teaspoon kosher salt

juice of one lime

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil

high heat oil, as needed for cooking

1 lb grass fed sirloin steak, sliced 

1 zucchini, sliced into half moons

1 yellow zucchini, sliced into half moons

10 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 red onion, halved and sliced

fresh chopped cilantro

sliced avocado slices


In a small bowl, whisk salt, lime juice, oregano, turmeric, pepper, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Set aside. 

Set a large cast iron griddle on high heat. Brush with high heat oil. Once hot, blacken steak. Cook until desired level of doneness. Transfer to a large bowl. Cook zucchini, squash mushrooms and onion on griddle. Work in batches as needed, brushing griddle with oil in between batches. As veggies are softening, pour with a portion of prepared sauce. Transfer to bowl with steak and toss with any remaining sauce. 

Build bowls with steak anad veggies, over lettuce garnishing with cilantro and avocado. You can also make little tacos with lettuce leaves or coconut paleo wraps. 

AIP Week 1 Grocery List + What I Cooked

I don't know if this is helpful to anyone but I really have a good routine down of grocery shopping early Saturday morning and doing a big batch cooking Sunday late afternoon. There's a bit of research involved: I spend time deciding what I'm going to make for the week, make basic recipes and do a quick inventory of what I already have and make a list.  I write my menu on the grocery list and organize the list by department.  My dad taught me the last one and it really is genius.

Usually, I like to make either lunch or dinner meat free.  It is almost always a salad for lunch with homemade dressing and a soup or stewy one pot for dinner. Midweek I will also make a simple stir fry and at least one night we have dinner out or order in. I also like to make sure I'm mixing up the type of food I eat.

Recipes will be posted this week and linked.  I prepared the soup, fajita bowl and banana bread on Sunday evening. It took about 2-3 hours. I like cooking and Cameron helps. It's a nice, relaxing time: we listen to podcasts while we cook and talk. 

Here's the menu:

AIP Tom Kha Gai

AIP Beef Fajita Salad Bowls

AIP Ground Turkey + Cabbage Stir fry

AIP Banana Bread

For Snacks: plantain chips, tigernuts, unsweetened dried fruit, green apples with cinnamon, baby carrots, grapes, veggie snacks, smoothies (Chocolate Cherry!), canned tuna, blanched broccoli, curry cauliflower, Anita's coconut yogurt, sliced deli meats, hummus, roasted peas and avocado with lime juice, s+p.  These things always get added to the list as needed and are not included in the main list below. 

My Grocery List:

1 bunch fresh cilantro 

2" ginger root

lemongrass stalk

2 limes

20 oz cremini mushrooms

bag of carrots

green beans - a large handful

1 head cauliflower

2 bananas

3 avocados

1 red onion

1 yellow onion

1 head garlic

1 yellow squash

1 zucchini

1 bunch broccoli

1 large bin of baby spinach or lettuces

1 # chicken breast

1 # sirloin

1 tin full fat coconut milk

2 quarts chicken stock

Additional Staples for the above recipes: 

coconut oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, grass fed gelatin powder, maple syrup, ground clove, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking soda, coconut flour, turmeric, black pepper, ground ginger, dried kafir lime leaves, fish sauce, honey

I hope this post is helpful and makes your grocery shopping and batch cooking life easier!


DIY Branch Jewelry Organizer

I made one of these years ago and always meant to post a tutorial. It's a simple organizer for jewelry or keys made from a found tree branch. I painted mine white but you could customize yours by painting it any color, leaving it natural or even dry brushing different colors. 


a dry branch, bark removed

1/2" or 3/4" brads (length and quantity depend on branch size)

white acrylic paint

paint brush

cotton kitchen string




1. wipe branch with cloth to remove any dust or dirt

2. Use hammer to add brads as you like. (Placing a folded towel between the branch and your work surface helps absorb some of the blow. 

3. Once all brads are nailed in, paint white. I used two coats. Let dry. 

4. Once dry, experiment with different hanging styles. I like a bit of string wrapped around each end and then each side it hung on the wall with it's own nail.  

Detox That Kitchen!

I read a lot about healing, healthy practices like green beauty, clean diets and detoxing our bodies but what about the kitchen?  The kitchen is where we prepare the food we are eating so it makes sense to have a clean, green, detoxed kitchen. I have good intentions and thought I was doing a great job but when I take a good, honest look at things - there's much room for improvement.  

Here's a few simple steps I'm taking to detox my kitchen:

1. Replace my plastic food storage containers with glass ones.  I say I don't reheat in plastic but sometimes life happens and I do. Sigh. We all know the horrors of cooking in plastic. Storing food in plastic isn't good for us either. Here are some sources for glass food storage containers:

2. Use green, environmentally friendly cleaning products that are safe for you and your pets. This includes your hand soap. One of my favorites is Common Good - they make lots of different types of green soap products and have these great refilling stations that you just bring your bottle to and fill up - so much less waste!  Other favs are below!

3. Switch our your sponges on the 1st and 15th of the month. Sponges get gross and need to be changed regularly. Creating mini schedules for simple tasks make it more likely you'll remember to do it. I use this 1st and 15th of the month trick for a few things around the house. It really helps. 

4. Use re-usable produce bags and shopping bags.  This isn't so much about our personal health but the environment's health. It will also help you declutter - I bet you have hundreds of pesky plastic bags crammed under your sink or between your fridge and the wall. Not a bad idea to carry a little portable bag with you so you're always prepared. Did you hear that NYC is now going to charge you for those plastic shopping bags - just another reason to bring your own.

5. Add a plant! Plants do a lot of great things.  Consider adding one that purifies the air like a spider plant, something with medicinal properties like aloe vera or simple fresh herbs for adding to your cooking. 

6. Clean your vents and filters regularly. There's a filter in your dishwasher that needs to be cleaned. It can collect mold which is not what you want all over your dishes. Here's a great way to naturally clean your whole dishwasher.  Don't forget the vents over your stove or any heating ducts - they need attention too. 

7. Remove your non stick, Teflon cookware. It's toxic. Consider ceramic, cast iron, copper or stainless steel pieces. Don't bother with a whole set - think about what you cooked in the last month and what pans your used. For us, a 10 inch skillet, a wok, 3 quart saucepan and a 6 quart stock pot are what we use almost all of the time. 

8. Use cotton towels instead of paper towels and napkins. Years ago, Cameron and I picked up about 25 cotton rags/teas towels and we still use them all the time for cleaning up spills or drying our hands - we have a handful that we use as napkins as well. Find some you like, pick up 20 of them and ditch your paper towels. The earth will thank you. 

9. Brew your coffee with a french press or pour over method because your basket or pod coffee maker is probably full of mold and bacteria. The chemex (a manual pour over style) is my favorite because I feel it makes the best tasting cup of coffee. Also, it's easy to clean and there's nowhere for mold to hide. 

What about you?  Any tips?