grain-free tabbouleh

I’ve made this Grain-free Tabbouleh recipe from Melissa Joulwan’s The Clothes Make the Girl for several potlucks now and it’s always been a huge hit. The cauliflower substitution for bulgur wheat is a really good touch.

Chris is part Lebanese and I’m a sucker for ethnic food so we jump on the tabbouleh-train whenever possible. We’re lucky we don’t have actually gluten intolerances so we indulge in the occasional traditional tabbouleh but this recipe makes it a real meal instead of a cheat meal.Paleo Tabbouleh

The salad:
1 head raw cauliflower
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 seedless cucumbers
4 ripe tomatoes
4 cups curly parsley leaves (about 2 bunches)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
6 scallions

The dressing:
1/3 cup lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. After washing your cauliflower and separating the florets, use your food processor to rice it. Use the pulse mechanism until the cauliflower begins to resemble rice. You may have to do it in batches if necessary. Melt the coconut oil and in a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the coconut oil.

2. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and coat the sheets with the riced cauliflower in a thin layer (as thin as possible). Place in the oven. Check on it at 10 minutes, then again at 15 minutes, and once more at 20 minutes. You don’t want it to burn but you don’t want it to be soggy – you want crispy.

3. Clean the cucumbers and tomatoes and begin dicing them into small pieces. As you go, place them in a colander over the sink and sprinkle with sea salt, allowing the vegetables to sweat out the moisture.

4. With your best knife, begin to mince the washed herbs. This might take some effort but I like the pieces small so they spread evenly within the dish. Place the herbs in a large bowl.

5. Take your scallions and begin to finely slice them. Side note: when you’re done with the roots, don’t throw them away! Place them in a small cup with about 1/3 cup of water, they will regrow (I know! It’s magic!).

6. If the cauliflower is done, allow it to cool. Meanwhile, drain your the tomatoes and cucumbers. Then combine all the veggies with the herbs!

7. In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Slowly drizzle the olive oil while whisking everything with a fork. With a rubber spatula, meld the dressing into the large bowl, allowing everything to be coated. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

tzatziki sauce

Seriously – easiest recipe ever. Works great with dill, too! My local grocer just happened to have parsley on sale.

Tzatziki blog


  • 1 medium-sized cucumber
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp parsley, finely minced
  • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice from 1 lime
  • sea salt & pepper

1. Clean, peel, and dice the cucumber. Place in a bowl and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Allow the cucumber to sweat the excess water out. Drain and put it aside.

2. Combine all ingredients and season to taste. Done!

beef kidney in red wine sauce

Many people don’t have much experience with offal. Eating animal organs has become uncommon and that’s a bit of a shame. Our ancestors ate organs for two main reason: organs are nutritional powerhouses and there’s no sense in wasting precious food.

If you took part in our most recent cow-share or are looking to expand your culinary expertise, I urge you to try them out! Your best bet for optimal nutrition are organs from pasture-raised animals. Find farmers near you here:

Beef Kidney 7


  • 1 lb beef kidney
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp grass-fed butter (Kerrygold is a favorite)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/8 tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

1. Rinse and dry the kidney. Using a paring knife, cut the membrane and remove the fat and tubes from each cube. Place the cubes in a medium-sized bowl and cover with cold water and the two vinegars. Allow to soak for at least 30 minutes. This helps remove the beefy odor.

2. During the soaking time, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Throw in the kidney cubes and allow them to brown, tossing them every now and then.

4. Remove the kidney from the pan and set aside.

5. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan and allow them to cook. Allow the onions to become translucent. Add your seasoning.

6. At this time, include the red wine and allow to cook for a minute.

7. Add the kidney cubes and stir around. Allow the flavors to meld together.

8. Serve on a plate with cauliflower rice, zucchini noodles, or spaghetti squash!

Recipe inspired by and adapted from Mark’s Daily Apple. We get our grass-fed beef from Wolf Creek Farm.

dairy-free, easy peasy pesto

Something I always tell people about eating healthy is to have fun with it! It shouldn’t be some a punishment or horrible chore that you have to do. Eating clean is not easy but it doesn’t have to be miserable. That’s when you can start getting creative. Homemade condiments and sauces are one way to get unnecessary ingredients out of your diet and connect with your food!

Here’s an easy quick recipe for pesto that can go on top of anything! Eggs, veggies, meats, even by itself if the moments calls for it :)


  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic (if you’re not a huge fan of garlic, take it down to 2 cloves)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups basil (about 2 small bunches or 1 large bunch)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. In your food processor, grind walnuts and garlic together until it has a rice-like consistency.
  2. Add in basil, olive oil, and salt & pepper.
  3. Blend until everything is well-mixed and super green! The viscosity should be hardy and not runny.
  4. Add to whatever you’re craving at the moment!


Seen here on top of some ground beef egg muffins :)

If you want to be adventurous, try adding mint, parsley or other fresh herbs to the mix. Play around with ingredients and see what you can come up with. ¡Buen provecho!

stuffed roasted squash

Who loves fall? This girl. I love everything about it: the beautiful saturated colors of the leaves, the crisp air in the mornings that make you want to stay in bed, the smell of cider and pumpkin – I don’t even mind having to carry layers of clothes around because it’s cold in the morning and toasty during the day! But what I love most about fall is the food (duh).

Eating seasonally is pretty important to me and I make every effort to buy most of my produce from local farmers around the Central Virginia area. And what yummy produce is in abundance in the fall? Squash! Roasted, baked, sautéed – any which way you cook squash it will be nutritious and delicious!

Here’s a super easy idea that allows you to get creative and use whatever you have on hand! The only important part is preparing the squash.

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash squash of your choice (I like acorn) and grab your best & sharpest knife. Cut horizontally across the top and a little bit off the bottom to stabilize it. Scoop out the seeds. (If you want to get really resourceful, you can save the seeds to toast them and have an handy-dandy snack for later!) Line up on a baking sheet and pop into the oven for about 45-60mins.
2. Grab your skillet and get going on a good stir-fry! Good ingredients to mix-and-match are: ground meat, onions, peppers, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, and bok choy. Some of my favorite spices for stir-fries are: paprika, chili powders, cayenne pepper, ginger, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and all-spice. Add salt & pepper to taste. Go crazy! Get creative! Have fun!
3. Once your squash is squishy (that’s a technical term) but still holding its shape, start scooping the stir-fry in. If you’re doing dairy, top them off with some aged gouda or a really good parmesan.
4. Turn your broiler on as you stick the squash back into the oven and let them go for 5-10mins. Let the flavors and textures blend together but don’t let it burn!
5. Take the squash out. Let them cool. Devour as necessary!
I didn’t include measurements or numbers because it will depend on the type of squash you use and how big your batch of stir-fry will be. Whatever you don’t use up = leftovers! You can’t lose, really. 

fall is here!

Something changed in the wind overnight. We woke up this morning and could feel the crispness in the air. Our original goal was to go hike Humpback Rock at sunrise, but who were we kidding? We hit that snooze button faster than you can say, “where’s my coffee?” Around 8 o’clock we stirred and got our butts out of bed.

For the those unfamiliar with the Central Virginia region, we’ve got a pretty incredible backdrop here. The Blue Ridge Mountains sit quietly until they take your breath away when you’re finally near. This little hike is only one mile, but it’s a straight shot uphill. Your heart rate goes up right from the beginning. This time we focused on appreciating the nature around us and breathing in the fresh air. Here are some snapshots from our morning.

Here’s one angle of our view from the top. Marvelous :)

places I love: New Jersey

Typically when I say “I love New Jersey” people assume I’m talking about the shore. While I have nothing against the Jersey Shore, I’m referring to the other side of the state. Just this past week I was able to spend some time around Frenchtown, where Chris’s family resides, where things are green, beautiful, and peaceful.

We spent a relaxing morning walking around Frenchtown, and I played around with my camera and snapped some photos. I love the little quirky stuff around the town, including the knitted wraps around trees, poles, benches, and ornaments. If you ever get a chance to stop by, please do – I promise you won’t regret it!

ps. I found this link about guerilla knitting. I’m telling you, this place is awesome!

Sunday Inspiration: umbrellas

I saw these images a few days ago and they stuck with me so I wanted to share them with you. What I love about them is that although  umbrellas are typically used during dark and stormy weather, this installation in Portugal is a playful contrast. Apparently they were part of an exhibit for an art festival called Agitagueda. I love the beautiful colors and how quaint that town looks. Certainly scratches the itch to travel abroad!

ImagePhotos by Patrícia Almeida (via My Modern Met)