Salted Sunbutter Cups with Raw Chocolate {Paleo}

Sunbutter Cups Bite
Joy comes in a new, creamy, salty, sweet form.

Friends.  I’ve done the unthinkable.

I’ve given up refined Sugar for the summer.

No Salt & Straw.

No Petunia’s.

No sweet treats from Cascadia Bakery.

Because I have a problem.  Sugar means too much to me.  I can’t resist it right now.  I need to give it up for a while until I can use it responsibly.

Which might be never.  But I’m giving it until September, just to be sure. Because I don’t want the diabeetus.

One of my favorite treats is chocolate and peanut butter, but because of FPIES, we can’t keep peanuts in the house.  I love sunflower seed butter (aka sunbutter) as a substitute for peanut butter.  It’s safe for peanut and tree nut allergy peeps, and gives a comparable, creamy taste.  I don’t miss it peanut butter at all.  In fact, you can pretty much always find me with a spoonful of sunbutter in my hand when I get too busy and forget to feed myself.

I’m also pretty committed to using raw cacao nibs when possible.  Raw cacao is full of antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and can help fight heart disease and lift your mood naturally.  With a little bit of coconut oil for good measure, these treats aren’t just freaking delicious, they’re also super healthy for you.

Sign me up.  Twice.

I shared these with some of my best friends who are also trying to leave that jerk, Sugar, behind.  The consensus? We can no longer live without them.

Sunbutter Mini Cups

Ingredients for Chocolate Layer:

  • 1/2 cup ground cacao nibs (I use my nutribullet, but a coffee grinder would work, too.)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey, or erythritol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for Sunbutter Fudge Filling:

  • 3/4 cup sunbutter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey or erythritol
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for Chocolate Layer:

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients until fully incorporated.
  2. Pour into lined cupcake or mini-cupcake molds, filling about 1/3 of the way.
  3. Pop in freezer for 15 minutes until solid.

Directions for Sunbutter Fudge:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together.
  2. Pour mixture on top of frozen chocolate.
  3. Freeze or refrigerate until firm.
  4. Remove from refrigerator or freezer for 3 minutes, add flake salt on top, and devour.

These stay good forever in the freezer, and several weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  But good luck.  The sunbutter cups haven’t survived 24 hours in my house.  Maybe ever.

Open your heart and let the sunbutter in,


Boston Cream Pie {Grain Free, Low Glycemic}

A few years ago, I went to Boston for the very first time.

Well, that’s not entirely true. The first-first time I went to Boston, I was 20 years old and drove a 15 passenger van with a U-Haul trailer through downtown during a baseball game.

It was harrowing.

I was running on four fitful hours of up-right van sleep, and had about zero experience with big city traffic.  Did I mention that the van was full of a bunch of kids my age?  Because it was.  Who thought that was a good idea?  And WHO put me in the driver’s seat and deemed me qualified to navigate through downtown Boston during a Red Sox game while transporting 14 other human lives?  Holy moly, sometimes I’m amazed that I’m alive and haven’t killed anyone.  Anyway, I don’t really count that trip since we didn’t actually stop in the city and I spent most of my time there in a cursing, white-knuckled terror trying my hardest not to explode the world.

So, the second-first time I went to Boston I was about 10 years older, well-rested, traveling solo, and intent on eating  Boston Cream Pie at Bread & Chocolate Bakery.  My delightful New England-y friends, Gwyn and Becky, promised to show me the best Boston had to offer.  Unsurprisingly, we got distracted by other food, namely fresh lobster rolls and a cannoli taste-off between Mike’s and Modern.  (Mike’s won.)  I never got my Boston Cream Pie, but that’s okay.  People make me happy, happier than food.  Most of the time.  And I was also in a sugar-induced coma from the 5 cannoli I ate, so I wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway.  Much.

I still get a craving for it, though.  It’s also my husband’s very favorite dessert of all time. In fact, while I was gone in Boston, he ate almost an entire Boston Cream Pie by himself over the course of three days.  Because apparently, his sad, missing-me feelings tasted like cake and cream and chocolate.

I’ve adapted the dish for easy-making and consumption.  Dangerous, I know.  Spongy vanilla cake atop a creamy layer of sweet cream cheese, swimming in rich, dark chocolate.  Who needs Boston?  Or a complicated layered dessert?  Or a 15 passenger van?


Ingredients for cake:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 1  cup coconut palm sugar or erythritol, divided (I prefer to powder mine in a coffee grinder first for easier break down while baking)
  • 1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (Take a knife tip and split the bean open. Using the dull side of the blade, scrape.)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 40 drops Vanilla Stevia liquid, or 1/2 cup coconut sugar or erythritol
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions for cake:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup erythritol, and baking powder and blend.
  2. Stir together 6 eggs, stevia, vanilla bean, butter, apple cider vinegar, and add to dry ingredients with an electric mixer.
  3. Spread batter into a greased 8×8 glass baking dish.
  4. Cream the remaining 2 eggs, cream cheese, 1/2 cup erythritol, vanilla extract and 20 drops stevia in a bowl.
  5. Pour mixture on top of batter.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Sauce:
Take 2.5 ounces of super-dark chocolate (80% or more), and melt with 2 Tbsp of butter or coconut oil over your make-shift double boiler.  Sweeten with stevia to taste, and add a Tbsp of heavy cream if you want a more liquid consistency.

Cut pieces of the cake and turn upside down so the cream cheese layer is on the bottom.  Drizzle the chocolate sauce over the top and serve slightly warm.

I never promised that this was low calorie or even healthy.  But in reasonable quantities, it will soothe your cravings and give you something really tasty.

Go Sox!

Basil Shallot Chimichurri Sauce {Vegan, Raw, Paleo}

Note: This recipe is so delicious that the Internet ate it. Twice.  It apparently didn’t want to share with you, so make sure you to make this soon.  Today. For dinner. Now.  Because the Internet will devour it  if you don’t!


It’s summer, which means you can find me behind the grill for approximately the next three months.  I don’t know if it’s my cavegirl instinct, but there is nothing more awesome than eating some flame-cooked meat. Fire! Food! Grunt! Poud chest!

Okay. I won’t pound my chest because OUCH.

But I might throw my husband over my shoulder and drag him back to the cave, like any self-respecting cavegirl would do.

Sign me up for the fire.  Twice. Because, holy moly, I LOVE TO GRILL.

I come by my love of fire honestly.  My oldest brother was obsessed with building bombs.  Although I didn’t inherit his love of bombs, I did inherit his love of fire and chemistry.  In fact, I owe much of my love for cooking, and therefore grilling, to him.  He bought me my first chemistry set, and showed me how to play (safely) with different elements to create a reaction. And because cooking is really just chemistry at it’s core, I was lucky enough to inherit his love of science, too.

Luckily, my parents channelled my oldest brother’s pyromaniac tendencies and showed him how to practice fire safety. They also bought him a computer to keep him out of trouble.  It was a good call on my parents’ part.  My brother is now a computery guy doing computery things and makes a legal, decent living in suburban America and living a relatively wonderful life.

Dear Zeus.  I’ve made my brother sound like the UniBomber.

You guys. He’s not.  HE IS TOTALLY NORMAL. And he still plays with fire, but he likes to cook food over it and share it with his friends and family.  Sometimes he sprays aerosol hairspray into a candle flame.  Safely.



I never grow weary of cooking over the fire, (or playing with fire), but I do like to shake things up.  I try different types of wood brickettes.  I put everything on the grill that I can think of.  (More on that later.) And I get really fancy and start making my own condiments.

My latest favorite homemade condiment for my grilled food is chimichurri sauce, hands down.  Except that I hate parsley.  I also prefer avocado oil over olive oil right now.  And I’m always looking for ways to add apple cider vinegar in my diet in tasty and sneaky ways.  So, I used my chemistry cooking knowledge to switch things up and create a different flavor profile while still staying true to the foundation of the sauce.

This is an absolute flavor explosion.  Hah!


  • 1 cup cilantro (stems are okay)
  • 1 handful of basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large shallot, quartered
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh cracked pepper and sea salt (minimum)


  1. Throw everything into the blender, food processor, NutriBullet and pulse until creamy but still a little chunky.
  2. Marinate your flank steak and chicken in the sauce, or top your grilled meat with it.
I ate all of this. Straight from the blender.

I might have pulled out the tortilla chips and used it as a dip, just like any reasonable cavegirl would do.  I might have slathered it on everything I could find.  And I definitely might have eaten all of the first batch before anyone else could taste it.

Chillin’ and Grillin’

Star Anise Shortbread {Paleo}

Sometimes, you do crazy things to get a job.

Several years ago, I was feeling slightly disillusioned with the non-profit sector (which I had worked in for over a decade at that point) and really wanted to try something new.  I had mad administrative skills but I wanted to be in an environment where my skills were appreciated without the pressure of saving the world.  Okay, maybe that’s a TAD melodramatic.  But just a tad.

When an opportunity came for me to work for my favorite doctor, I jumped at the chance.  It was the single best professional decision I’ve ever made.  In this job, my confidence was restored, my skill set broadened, and my body healed right along with my heart.  It was the best kind of job.

When we decided to leave our city and have a new adventure in the Pacific North West, I was heart broken to leave my favorite job and my favorite doctor.  I had a glowing recommendation to carry with me along with my new skill set and healthy body.

After working in a job I wasn’t thrilled about for a few months, I began looking for other positions.  My friend and also my former boss connected me with a doctor who was looking for administrative help.  I was determined to woo him.

I went to his office.  I dropped off my resume with a batch of paleo shortbread cookies.

Three weeks later, I had a new job.  Coincidence?  I think not.

While I would love to think that I earned that job all on my own, I’m pretty sure these nifty little shortbread cookies had something to do with it.  Yep, I said NIFTY.  Because shortbread is classic and can handle words like “nifty” and “neato” and “groovy”.

I can’t guarantee your future employers will love these as much as I do. However, I can guarantee that, unless they have a nut or egg allergy, they will adore these treats.  And you probably will, too.

(If you are looking to cut back on sugar, you can substitute erythritol 1:1 in this recipe.)



  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar or erythritol
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp anise extract or 1 tsp finely ground star anise
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt


  1. Combine flour, erythritol, and baking powder (and ground star anise if you use it)
  2. Combine egg, coconut oil, extracts, and stevia
  3. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and form into a log shape
  4. Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least five hours (I chilled mine overnight and it was great)
  5. Once chilled, slice dough and place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle a TEENY bit of sea salt over the top.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-17 minutes, until just slightly browned around the edges.
  7. Allow to rest for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Have you ever done anything unorthodox to get a job?  What was it?  I want to know!

Your Favorite Paleo Cookie Monster,


Cauliflower Fried Rice {Grain Free}

CauliflowerRiceCornerI’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables.

You guys.  IT IS HARD.

While I don’t hate grains, (in fact, I adore them), I know my body doesn’t do well with a carbohydrate-heavy diet and I tend to feel uncomfortably full and bloated after eating them.  I also truly believe in a veggie-based diet, especially because I struggle with PCOS and endometriosis.  I have to keep my babymaker in good shape, and the best and first line of health for me is nutrition.  It’s part of an overall commitment to health and hormone balance.

When I can replace grains with veggies, I do. When I can replace grains and not miss them even a little bit, I absolutely do.

I’ve perused Pinterest and have seen the fried rice recipes with cauliflower.  I usually dismissed them because it’s typically so much prep work to get cauliflower to taste like something awesome. But with the fried cauliflower “rice”, it was a total breeze.

Are you ready for my secret weapon?


Yep, a cheese grater.

I’ve tried a food processor, blender, knife tricks, and dicing or mashing after steaming.  The cheese grater, though, was so easy to use (albeit messy).  I just plunked the grater in a deep bowl,  trimmed and quartered the head of cauliflower, then grated away.


The final result? A flavorful, slightly spicy dish that is wonderful as a standalone and completely filling and satisfying.  I didn’t miss the rice even a little.



  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and grated
  • 1 12 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies (I prefer the California Blend)
  • 1 12 oz bag of frozen cut green beans
  • 12 oz of cooked protein of your choice (optional, but leftover meat works great!)
  • 1 head of garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • Bragg’s Amino Acids, Tamrari, or organic soy sauce (I prefer Bragg’s)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Avocado oil, ghee, or another high smoking point oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. In a large skillet, add frozen veggies and a tablespoon (or more) of Bragg’s.  If you want some extra spice, add red pepper flakes. Cook on medium high, stirring every five minutes until they are steaming hot.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, sauté onion in a large skillet or wok in 2 tablespoons of oil until translucent.  Add garlic and ginger and cook until soft and slightly golden.
  3. Add grated cauliflower to the garlic, onion, and ginger.  Add remaining oil, two tablespoons of Bragg’s, and mix thoroughly. Allow cauliflower to cook until tender.
  4. Once cauliflower is tender, push it to the sides, creating a hole in the middle of the pan.  A three inch circle of the pan should be exposed.  Crack eggs into the exposed circle, scrambling with a fork or spatula continuously.  The egg will cook into the cauliflower, and that’s okay.
  5. Once your eggs are scrambled, add protein and veggies (minus any liquid), to the cauliflower and mix thoroughly.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

I’m eating this today for lunch as leftovers.  It tastes so good without heating, but reheats like a dream in a skillet on the stove top.

This veggie thing.  It’s not THAT hard.