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Chocolate Whoopie Pies (Paleo)

13 Mar

Whoopie Pies - 15I must admit, I never had a whoopie pie before I made these. It turns out I like them. They’re like an inverse cupcake, and they were fun and easy to make. They’re also a lot easier to frost than a cupcake, and they look pretty any way you do them. Next time I might pipe the frosting in to make them a bit neater, but just using a knife worked fine.

I had no idea how they’d turn out, since I made up the recipe using a few others for paleo cupcakes, hoping that it would all be alright in the end. Whew! They turned out really well, and I think most people would be hard pressed to realize that they were totally grain free if they weren’t told. Continue reading

Jamaican Patties (Paleo)

2 Mar

Jamaican Patties - 11It’s been a rainy, blustery weekend here in Santa Barbara, and we really did need it. Over 5.5 inches of rain in a few days won’t clear up the drought, but it certainly helps. There’s even been water in the creeks over the past few days, and I haven’t seen that since we moved here over a year ago.

But it does give me time to get back in the kitchen to cook and time to get a blog posted—without the beautiful weather we’ve come to expect this winter, it’s nice not to feel the pressure to be outside and active. Sorry, I realize that must sound terrible to people reading this who have had to put up with lots of storms, flooding and cold, but I guess we all have to deal with what we’ve been given! Continue reading

Paleo Banana Pancakes

19 Jan

Banana paleo pancakes - 13Well, it’s Day 18 of the Whole 30, and I haven’t had a drink. It feels annoyingly awesome, actually, and strangely I’m only really craving white wine, which I rarely drink. I thought that by now I’d be at the point of punching someone for a martini, but I’m surprisingly calm about the whole thing. Which is good, but I’m kind of worried about the fact that this healthy living sh*t works, you know? Clear thinking, more energy, clear skin, no allergies, losing weight…Sigh.

So, on to a delicious recipe that I’m not allowed to have until I’m off the Whole 30. And I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been craving these bad boys. Nothing like a nice stack of pancakes with a side of bacon, am I right? (Okay, vegetarians/vegans out there, you can sub tempeh bacon, and I hope you do.) Continue reading

Butternut, Parsnip and Apple Soup (Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegan)

12 Jan

Butternut parsnip apple soup - 5

Happy 2014, everyone! I hope yours is off to a good start. Weather notwithstanding, January has been much better than December for me. And that’s even with not drinking all month. And those of you who know me or read this blog regularly know that this is not normal for me. And I don’t miss the alcohol as much as something else…

I’ve been pining for winter. I shouldn’t complain, really, but while the rest of the United States is being frozen by the “polar vortex”, the same weather condition is making it hot and bothered here in California.

I’ve given up hoping that it will even rain. It’s going to be 80°F next week for three days. I’m worried that the entire city of Santa Barbara will spontaneously combust at any moment. And I’ll be honest—sunny days with cloudless skies do not make me feel in the Christmas spirit at all, which made my December a bit miserable. Continue reading

Virtual Vegan Potluck #4: Indian Beet Chutney

15 Nov

Chutney17 I’m so excited to be part of the fourth Virtual Vegan Potluck! It’s always so much fun reading through all of the creative recipes, but my favorite part is being included in this awesome group! Annie is just the coolest for setting all of this up.

I’m also very happy that she chose the beet as the special ingredient this VVP, because it reminded me of an unusual yet delicious recipe I’d tried once before. If you’re visiting my blog for the first time, you won’t know that I’m absolutely obsessed with Indian food. In fact, my first VVP dish was a curry, although a Caribbean one. (My second was a cottage pie, and third was these delicious homemade Snickers, in case you were wondering.)

If I wasn’t married, I’d probably cook Indian food for every other meal. Continue reading

Paleo Slow-Cooker Pork Belly with Vietnamese Salad

20 Sep

IMG_3325Yes, you can tell I’ve gone all Paleo again, with these meat-centered dishes. But without getting all evangelical on you about it (I passed that phase already), it’s just really working for me in a way that no other way of eating has. So it’s been fun to look up some new recipes and try some fun things out, like the plantain “buns” I made last night for some Cubano sandwich-style burgers. Yummy—but it was a lesson in FOLLOWING directions. Sometimes I make assumptions that just aren’t correct. I have to remember that people have researched these recipes….der.

But this is a dish I’ve put together using a few different recipes, and it’s starting to be my go-to dish for when company comes over, even though there’s a lot of slicing and dicing involved. But the best thing is that you can scale that part down, and throwing the pork in the slow cooker is just so easy. Continue reading

Fruits of the Garden: Gazpacho

2 Sep

Gazpacho12Don’t be shocked. Another blog so close on the heels of the last one? I know. I’ve even shocked myself.

Another thing that has distracted me from my blog recently is my garden. Man, it’s been great growing all sorts of produce! My favorite part has been going to the farmers market and saying to myself: “Oh, I don’t need that….that….or that. Got it at home.”

A little smug, maybe, but there’s nothing like pulling some fresh lettuce for a salad, kale for a smoothie or tomatoes for gazpacho. I’m pretty sure the second-best place to eat gazpacho is in California, as we’ve so many similarities to Spain. And, if I look out from my backyard and squint as the sun is setting, Santa Barbara’s downtown does look a lot like a Spanish town on a picturesque hillside. (Have I mentioned lately how much I freaking love this place?) Continue reading

Paleo Pumpkin Lasagne

29 Apr
Who doesn't love a good lasagne?

Who doesn’t love a good lasagne?

I’ve been wanting to post this blog for some time. Not just because I love writing my blog, which I do, but it also turned out so delicious!

But man, I tell you, I love my new house too. I’ve been doing a bunch of cooking, but now that I don’t live in a 650-sq.ft. house with a tiny yard, I’m going crazy. I’ve got all sorts of things happening in the garden, from kale and radishes to squash and peas. Even turnips! Anyone know when it’s time to pick turnips? I’m guessing not quite yet, since I started them from seed a few months ago.

Hey, who else is shocked that it’s May next month? That’s also what’s freaking me out. We moved to our new place officially in December, and almost five months have blown by? I guess that shows how seriously romanced I’ve been by this city and our home. Between the two, sitting at my computer for more than what’s necessary for work is hard to do. Continue reading

Kashmiri Kofte: Lamb Meatballs in Spicy Sauce

8 Apr

KashmiriKofte4We’re seven inches behind on rain here in Santa Barbara. Not that I’m complaining…okay, I am a little bit. I love being safe and dry inside while the rain comes down outside, with the house being warmed with the heat from the oven. We had some lovely rain on Easter Sunday morning, but it was gone by afternoon. So the mornings have been a bit grey here, then it clears up around noon to glorious sunshine, I had to give up. Damn it, I’m making a curry anyway.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’ve got a serious curry addiction. And although there seem to be many Indian people in Santa Barbara, the few Indian restaurants seem to have changed their food to make it more to American tastes. Boo! But let’s be honest—I love cooking it at home whether or not there’s a good curry house down the road. Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash Chorizo Bake

12 Mar
Yes, this was just my first serving...

Yes, this was just my first serving…

Well, it has been hard finding time for this blog since I moved into the new house. I have to admit it’s because we’ve been so wonderfully spoiled with our new home! First of all, we’ve got the landlord to beat all landlords, a ridiculously big lot perfect for planting a garden and letting the dog run like crazy, a spare room for guests, plenty of storage space for bikes and a spare freezer…oh, the list goes on. Sorry to go on about it, but after living in what now feels like a cave for five years, I’m more than a little excited about what I’ve got now!

And between having our lovely friends drop in for visits, digging and planting the garden, training for a half-marathon and actually working, it’s been hard to sit down and get some of the recipes on to the blog. This is one that I conjured up with stuff out of the fridge a few weeks ago when The Husband was back down in Laguna on business and I was all on my lonesome.

I put it down for breakfast, lunch and dinner categories because I actually ate it for all three meals. That’s how good it was! I made it with my favorite sausage—Mulay’s all the way—but if my vegan friends wanted to sub Soyrizo and use some vegan cheeze, you’d have a mighty tasty meal. Seriously. This was hard to share with The Husband when he got home. Actually, he’s lucky there was any left!

This is a great thing to make with spaghetti squash, especially if you need a cold-weather dish of comfort food. And a tip I learned recently—stop trying to cut the squash in half! If you’ve got the time, bake it whole. Stab it a few times (carefully) with a knife, then stick the whole thing in the oven on a baking tray for 40 minutes at 350°F. At that point, cut the stem end off, then slice in half. See if it’s fully cooked; if not, roast it open faced for about 10 more minutes.

Also, I only cooked the squash al dente, as this gets cooked a little more at the end. Enjoy! Continue reading