Paleo Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

I’m super excited about fall flavors. The pumpkin,  cinnamon, apples, spices- they are everywhere and I love them all. The temptations to dive into sugary, gluten filled treats is everywhere. So, to tame my cravings for everything pumpkin flavored, I made this Paleo Pumpkin Spice Coffee creamer. It uses hazelnut milk as a base, but you can really use any acceptable nut milk. I made my own & the process is super easy. Here’s a link if you want to try it out. Also, until recently I never used a real vanilla bean for anything. This tutorial from Chow helped me to figure out how to scrape a vanilla bean.  This is the method I used to make the coffee creamer.

3 dates, pitted, soaked for a few minutes then drained
1/3 cup pumpkin purée
1 vanilla bean scraped
1.5 cups hazelnut milk or milk of choice (I bet coconut milk would be good too)
1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice – I used one from Trader Joes

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until well combined. Store in the fridge for 2-3 days. Mix well before adding to coffee.

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

Although I say that this is a coffee creamer, this recipe is adaptable into other goodies. Some suggestions are to make a Pumpkin Spice smoothie. Blend a banana and a few ice cubes in a blender with the creamer as the base then sprinkle it with some cinnamon. Or how about making a chia seed pudding? I made one by simply mixing a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds into the creamer and letting the seeds do their thickening magic for about 20 minutes before topping with whipped coconut cream and some cinnamon.

Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding

Making your own Hazelnut milk

Soaking hazelnutsHazelnut Milk

I’ve played around with making almond milk, but just recently started branching out. A couple of days ago I made hazelnut milk and it is crazy good! I especially love it in my coffee. It has the richness of cream and the flavors of fall. There are many different methods to making your own nut milk. Just do a Google search and you could come up with endless amounts of recipes. Here is the method I followed.

1 cup raw hazelnuts
3 cups water – for soaking
2 cups of cold water – for blending
A pinch of sea salt
A nut milk bag, or fine mesh strainer, or fine cheese cloth

Soak the hazelnuts in 3 cups of water for 12 hours. Drain the nuts and rinse well. Place the nuts into the blender with 2 cups cold water. Pulverize the contents well. Strain the nut milk using the nut milk bag. Squeeze well to get out as much liquid as possible. Add a pinch of salt to the milk and stir well. Store the hazelnut milk in the fridge for 2-3 days. The milk will settle and may separate, just give it a mix before serving.

I like my milk creamy and thick like half and half. If you desire you can add more water to the blender when you get to the blending step. Also, you can play around with adding some vanilla bean to make it flavored. I don’t use vanilla extract because even when I am not doing strict whole 30, I still adhere to most of the rules. But if you are paleo and don’t mind using vanilla extract than you can

Also, you can follow this basic recipe using other nuts such as almonds or cashews.

I also made a paleo pumpkin spice coffee creamer that you can use your newly made hazelnut milk to make. Check it out here!

Olive Tapenade


Let’s talk tapenade. I’ve had it served a couple of ways- on bread or crackers as an appetizer or on a Muffuletta. Maybe others have eaten it in different ways- if you have clue me in. Either way, I really like olives thus enjoy tapenade. I made this recipe based on looking at several different versions. I like mine chunky, so that’s how this one is. It’s super quick to put together too.

Here is what you need:
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1 1/2 teaspoons capers- drained
3-4 sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil- chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic- roughly chopped
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Simply place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until you get a chunky spread. If you want a smoother paste just keep pulsing until you get the consistency you want. Serve it as a dip with veggies or crackers (whatever kind you think is acceptable). Also, I shared my Grilled Paleo Muffuletta Sliders recipe that it goes great on.


Chimichurri is an amazing fresh green sauce that is delicious slathered on grilled meats and fish. I have seen it served with steak most often but it is incredible on veggie kebabs, talipa, or burgers. It’s a great condiment to have on hand for your next barbecue.




A nice handful of flat Italian parsley- chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 small shallot minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Blender or food processor

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.

2. Pulse until the sauce is well chopped but not pureed.

Herbed Potato Salad

Herbed Potato Salad

Herbed Potato Salad

2 pounds of small golden potatoes
2/3 cup of mayonnaise
1/3 cup each of chopped herbs: Italian parsley, basil, cilantro, and green onions
1 medium shallot in a small mince
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Begin by scrubbing the potatoes. Place them in a large pot and fill with enough water to just cover. Add a sprinkle of salt and heat over medium-high heat. You want to leave the skins in tact. Let the pan simmer, covered for about 20-25 minutes. You will know that the potatoes are done when you can pierce the flesh of the potatoes with a knife with minimal resistance.

2. Gently, pour the potatoes in the colander in the sink, and lightly rinse them with cold water. Let the potatoes cool completely.

3. Once cooled, cut the potatoes into desired sized pieces.

4. In a large bowl toss the potatoes, mayonnaise and herbs together and season with a little salt and pepper to taste.

5. Cover and chill the salad in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.


I serve my potato salad as a side dish to barbecued meats, burgers, or any type of picnic foods.


Fennel and orange salad

Fennel and Orange Salad

Fennel and orange salad
1 smaller bulb of fennel
2-3 small to medium oranges
1/2 red onion
1 Tbs. grapeseed oil or olive oil
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Start by removing the stalks and fronds (the leafy bits on the top) off the bulb of the fennel. Set aside some of the fronds for garnish.
2. Julienne both the fennel and red onion and set in bowl.  Bon appétit has a great tutorial here if you need help with figuring out how to slice up the fennel.
3. Remove the peel of the oranges and slice into small chunks and add to the fennel and onion.
4. Combine the oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk together. Add the dressing to the other ingredients and toss to combine.
5. Garnish with some of the reserved fronds.
Eat this salad as a side to grilled fish or chicken. Or eat it as a meal by itself atop a pile of arugula or baby spinach.

Other additions to consider adding to this salad to spruce it up:
Dried cherries or cranberries
Slivered almonds
Fresh herbs like mint or cilantro

Thai Pineapple Cauliflower Rice

Thai Pineapple Fried Cauliflower Rice


Thai Pineapple Cauliflower Rice
1/2 head of cauliflower processed into rice sized pieces by grating or processing into a food processor
1/2 large red pepper thinly sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas cut in half on an angle
1 carrot cut into a small dice
1/2 yellow onion diced
2 small Thai chilies- thinly sliced (optional if you want it spicy)
1 1/2 cup of fresh pineapple chunks
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 large clove of minced garlic
2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
1 teaspoon Red boat fish sauce
4 scallions thinly sliced
5-6 Thai basil leaves cut into ribbons
1/3 cup cashews
Sesame oil- for drizzling

1. Heat wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt the coconut oil.

2. Once heated, add in the red pepper, carrot, sugar snap peas, onion, Thai chilies, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add in the riced cauliflower and stir-fry for 2 additional minutes.

4. Add in the pineapple, coconut aminos, fish sauce, Thai basil leaves, green onion and cashews and stir well.

5. Remove from the pan and drizzle with a little sesame oil.

This dish is great served on it’s own or as a side to Chicken Thighs with Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce.

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple salsa

2 cups fresh pineapple cut into small chunks
1/3 cup of sweet onion diced
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

1. Prepare all the ingredients as listed above.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

3. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

Serve the salsa in the same manner as you would any salsa- with chips, on top of grilled meat, with some grilled shrimp skewers, or grilled tilapia.


Grilled Artichokes

Grilled Artichokes with Roasted Garlic and Bacon Aioli



I absolutely love artichokes. In the past I’ve simply steamed the artichokes whole and then removed the undesired parts as I ate it. Since we are coming up on summer I wanted to play around with grilling artichokes.I didn’t want to grill them whole because I’m sure it would take forever.  I found this great video from Gourmet Magazine on how to trim artichokes.

Here is what you will need:
1/2 to 1 artichoke per person.
1 recipe of Roasted Garlic and Bacon Aioli
To make it vegetarian serve it with Roasted Garlic Aioli instead


1. Simply trim the artichokes as shown on the video (linked above) then cut them in half.

2. Steam the artichokes for 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process then pat them dry.

3. Drizzle the artichokes with olive oil, salt, & pepper.

4. Grill the artichokes on heated grill for 3-5 minutes each side to char slightly.

5. Serve them with aioli.


Roasting Garlic

Roasting garlic is simple and easy. I love roasting garlic because it makes it soft, creamy and it brings out the sweetness of the garlic. Once roasted it can be added to sauces, condiments, or it can be used as a spread all on its own. Some people will roast an entire bulb of garlic at a time but I find I never need that much so I only roast the number of cloves I need at a time. If you do roast the entire bulb then you can slice off the top 1/4 inch off the tops so the cloves are exposed then adjust the roasting time to a bit longer- about 50-60 minutes. Recently I made some delicious Roasted Garlic Aioli and Roasted Garlic and Bacon Aioli with some of these roasted cloves.

Garlic ClovesFoil PacketRoasted Garlic Cloves

Follow these simple steps to making some great roasted garlic:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place desired number of cloves of garlic (peels still on) onto a sheet of foil and drizzle them with a little olive oil and a small sprinkle of kosher salt and a grind or two of black pepper.

3. Fold the foil into a packet and place in the preheated oven.

4. Roast the garlic in the oven for approximately 35 minutes or until the garlic is soft and slightly browned.

5. Let the garlic cool for a little while before popping the cloves from the peels. Then you can smash or chop as desired to add to the recipe of choice.