The Beauty of Mexican Food!


Mexican-style food is a staple in my house. It’s easy and the flavors are so fresh and bright. At least one to two times a week we have tacos, Mexican bowls, or some variation. It’s something I find myself craving quite frequently. Here I will give you some tips and variations on the basics.

DIY Taco Seasoning (per 1lb ground meat)

– About 1 tsp. of the following: Sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin
– 1 TBSP Chili Powder
– Dash of cayenne pepper – more for more heat
– Black pepper optional

Choose Your Protein:

– 2lbs of 94% lean ground turkey
– A mixture of 1lb 85% lean grassfed beef + 1lb turkey
– Classic, 2lbs ground beef (try for grassfed)
– Shredded chicken (made previously in the slow-cooker)
– About 2 lbs white fish


Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
Avocados or guacamole
White Rice
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Fresh tomato
Pico de gallo (I buy Hannaford’s pre-made)
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

My favorite salsa!

My favorite salsa!

Putting it All Together:

I personally like everything mixed together in a bowl. It’s nice to have control over the amount of each ingredient you add in, especially if you are paying attention to your macronutrient ratios. If you need more carbs in your diet, you can wrap everything up in soft corn tortillas (gluten free) or add some extra rice. If you’re going to indulge in corn chips, make them organic and non-GMO.

It’s so much better when it’s homemade!



Deconstructed Cottage Pie for the Slow-cooker

My awesome Crock-Pot

My awesome Crock-Pot

Last weekend I ordered gluten-free Cottage Pie at The Common Man. That was where I found the inspiration for this article. It was really yummy, hearty, and warm. I wanted to try my own interpretation of it, but didn’t have a ton of time on my hands, so I thew all the ingredients in the crockpot. Voila! It was awesome.


2-3 lbs of ground meat. I used 2lbs 85% lean grass-fed beef + 1lb 94% lean ground turkey
6-8 small red potatoes, chopped into even, bite-size pieces
6+ carrots, sliced into rounds or chunks
6+ stalks celery, sliced into chunks
1 package baby bella mushrooms
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
1 cup beef or veggie stock (not absolutely necessary, but made for a nice broth at the bottom)
4 TBSP Kerry Gold garlic & herb butter
Pinch dried rosemary and thyme
1 tsp each garlic and onion powder
salt & pepper to taste


  1. Add all the veggies plus garlic to your crockpot first.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all meat with spices and salt and pepper and tomato paste. (This is optional. You can just throw it all into the crockpot if you want, but this way will lead to better-incorporated ingredients).
  3. Add a couple table spoons (slices) or butter into your veggies.
  4. Add meat on top of veggies.
  5. Add remaining butter to the top over your overflowing crockpot.
  6. Cook on high for about 5 hours or until veggies are soft.


  • Use a large crockpot. If you have a smaller one, cut back on the meat by 1 lb and use a few less potatoes
  • The meal was very rich. If you’re sensitive to a lot of fat, use leaner meats. Don’t omit the garlic and herb butter unless you absolutely have to because it adds a richness and depth of flavor.
  • I served this over rice for some added carbs.
  • Great for leftovers!

Autumn Cookies

These cookies are a yummy treat. With the holiday season just around the corner I have begun to think up some new recipes. This one was created with a brand new special little person in mind, born about a month ago, and coming into New Hampshire at such a beautiful time – autumn. They are gluten free and dairy free because I used no butter and the chocolate chips are Enjoy Life. Enjoy the cookies and the season!

I'm a decent baker, but I'm not that great at taking food pics.

I’m a decent baker, but I’m not that great at taking food pics.


2 c. gluten free baking mix
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
1/2 c. organic dried cranberries

1/2 c. coconut palm sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 c. coconut oil (melted)
2 eggs
1/2 c. canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a small bowl blend all dry ingredients
  3. In a larger mixing bowl thoroughly combine all wet ingredients with a whisk
  4. Stir dry into wet until well-incorporated
  5. Using a spoon, drop batter onto a non-stick baking sheet or use parchment paper
  6. Bake for 9 minutes
  7. Let cool and enjoy
Hoping a different angle would improve the situation. Not really.

Hoping a different angle would improve the situation. Not really.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Thighs with Coconut Milk and Veggies

With the chilly fall weather upon us the slow-cooker has been making its way back onto the counter quite frequently. For my birthday I received a brand new Crock-pot that is

My awesome Crock-Pot

My awesome Crock-Pot

literally like the Cadillac of slow-cookers. Thank you, 9am ladies! I had a bunch of ingredients that I needed to use, so I thought I would just throw them all in to make a spicy-chicken-butternut-curry type dish. As I type this blog post I am eating a bowl and it is hitting the spot for sure. The texture is awesome. It’s almost like a creamy chicken stew with some heat, but it’s still very sweet from the coconut milk, carrots, and butternut. Sometimes experiments are the best meals. Enjoy!


Family-size package of boneless chicken thighs, ~10 thighs
1 butternut squash (I am lazy and buy the halves that are already peeled)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
5-6 Carrots
1 Lime
Salt & Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Ground Ginger

Optional Spices to add some HEAT:
Red pepper flakes
Cayenne pepper


  1. Process chicken thighs, trimming off excess fat. I take the big hunks off. Place in slow cooker.
  2. Pour coconut milk over chicken.
  3. Add spices: 1 tsp each of salt, garlic powder, onion powder. Black pepper to taste. Dash of ground ginger.
  4. If you want spicy…sprinkle of red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper.
  5. Add the juice of one lime.
  6. Add about 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or whole leaves. They wilt down well.
  7. Chop butternut into uniform sized pieces and toss in the pot.
  8. Peel and slice carrots and add those.
  9. Turn your slow-cooker on high for about 4 hours, or on low for 6+ hours. Mix everything up a couple of times throughout if able. Chicken should shred and some of the butternut should melt into the coconut milk to form a creamy broth.

Paleo-Friendly Chicken Parm

I think it’s really important to learn how to cook. We should all know how to prepare basic meals that can feed us and the ones we love. I good recipe will provide you with the instruction you need to put something yummy on the table. Many people ask me where I find my recipes. Most of the time I don’t have a good answer because I don’t really use recipes. I mostly use Google, Pinterest, or the few cookbooks I own to gain inspiration for something I am wanting to eat.

This week I was in the mood for comfort food. Chicken parm! I knew that this dish would be more labor intensive than others, so I must warn you about that. I had a good 2 hours on my hands, which is rare, but was plenty of time to prepare this meal. The ingredients aren’t complicated, it’s really just the chicken that takes time. I usually do not document the ingredients or process, but I did it this time. The finished product was too damn good to not share. I apologize for the lack of photos. I was too busy eating. If you have questions, please ask!

          Recipe feeds 2 adults, with some leftovers
          A bit labor intensive, so plan accordingly. Perhaps do some prep ahead. Prepping the chicken cutlets and roasting the spaghetti squash ahead would save time.
2.      2 EGGS
5.      1 ½ TEASPOON SALT
9.      OLIVE OIL
Roast Spaghetti Squash
1.      Preheat oven to get your spaghetti squash roasting. 375 degrees.
2.      Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for ~30 minutes, flesh-side down on baking sheet.
Prepare Chicken Cutlets
3.      Begin heating a large sauté pan at medium heat. Add cooking oil of choice. I used olive oil.
4.      Trim chicken of visible fat and other undesirable parts.
5.      Cut into smaller pieces, pound them out with mallet. If you don’t have a mallet you can use a rolling pin, or you can butterfly the chicken. The idea is to have thin cutlets.
6.      Crack 2 eggs into a shallow dish and beat with a fork.
7.      Pour 2 cups of almond meal onto a plate, add about 1TBSP garlic powder and 1 ½ tsp salt. Mix.
8.      Make an “assembly line” next to the heated sauté pan: almond meal, egg, chicken cutlets. Grab another plate for cooked chicken.
Pan Fry the Chicken Cutlets
9.      Dip cutlets into the egg and let the excess drip off, coat both sides in the almond meals, place in pan. The cutlets should sizzle. If they don’t your pan is not hot enough.
10.  Saute the cutlets for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip.  Chicken should feel firm to the touch, not squishy – that’s how you know it’s cooked. You can also do the slice test.
11.  Once cooked, remove spaghetti squash from the oven. You should be able to pull the strands easily with a fork.
12.  Scrape out the spaghetti stands into a large casserole dish. Pour some of the jarred sauce over the squash.
13.  Place your chicken cutlets over the squash and scrape crispy almond meal from the sauté pan and add to dish. Pour remaining sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle dried (or fresh) parsley over top.

14.  Return entire casserole dish to a 200 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Fall Drink | Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s getting to be that time of year. As much as I love summer and all the fun times it brings, it feels good to bust out the boots, jeans, and sweaters. If I had a dollar for every time I heard about pumpkin-this or pumpkin-spice-that this week, I would be able to afford some new Lulu! It seems that pumpkin spice is the hashtag of the week…#pumpkinspice. Fall is certainly in the air; the leaves are tired; and I am cold in the morning.

I found a recipe for a pumpkin spice latte on Pinterest and adapted it based on ingredients I had. You could always buy one of these treats from Starbucks or Dunkins, but I assure you, if you eat clean/Paleo you will not feel good after you drink one of those dairy/sugar bombs. This recipe is actually fairly nutritious and gives you the caffeine that you crave (if you’re like me). It will also keep your bank account full.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
1. Approx. 1 cup of strong coffee of espresso.
2. 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie filling)
3. 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5. 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
6. 1/2 cup coconut milk or almond milk (I’m a fan of unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
7. Sweetener of choice (optional). (I like 1 tsp. maple syrup)

1. Brew coffee. I double brew so it’s strong. 
2. Heat coconut or almond milk in the microwave so it doesn’t cool the coffee too much.
3. Add both liquids into blender or Ninja.
4. Add all other ingredients.
5. Blend and serve. 

Thursday Night Dinner

How long does it take you to cook dinner? An hour; half hour; 2 hours; all day? Is cooking a barrier to eating healthy food? When I host nutrition talks one theme that always emerges is the amount of time it takes to eat healthy. Additionally, it seems that being prepared and having healthy foods on hand is one of the keys to success. So how do we prepare ourselves, cook quick meals, but still stay on track? 

Thursday Night Fish and Veggies
Fish is super easy to prepare, tastes delicious, and is a great source of protein. I don’t know why more people don’t eat fish more often. It literally takes 12 minutes or less to cook. On Thursday nights Jameson and I make dinner together. It’s usually fish. We don’t usually get out of the gym until about 7:30, sometimes 8, so spending an hour cooking after that doesn’t seem like much fun. One night we were talking about how the meal we were eating was so quick and easy to make, but still so delicious and “paleo-approved”. 

Here’s what was on the menu last week:
During the day I had some time to prepare a quick mango avocado salsa and brought it with me. Jameson picked up some fresh wild-caught swordfish steaks, some zucchini and summer squash.

I chopped the zucchini and squash, tossed it all in a big saute pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Sauteed the veggies until they were cooked, but still a bit crunchy, probably about 10 minutes.

While that was happening the fish was on the grill pan. The “grillmaster” concluded that 3-3-2-2 would be the perfect amount of cooking time for the 1.5 inch steaks. Flip after 3 minutes, cook the other side for 3 minutes, then flip again for another 2 minutes of cooking per side. Perfect grill marks and all! If you don’t have a grill pan or a grill, swordfish cooks up easily in the oven; 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

By the time the fish is cooked through, the veggies should be done. Top the fish with mango avocado salsa and serve the veggies on the side.

Not swordfish, but salmon, from another Thursday night. 
About 15 minutes to prepare.

Quick Sweet Potatoes
CrossFitters need sweet potatoes. My day is not complete without them. Do yourself a favor and always have them ready. But if you need them in a pinch here’s the easiest way. Peel them and slice them into rounds. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and toss those bad boys on there with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake them for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. They will be soft. You can eat them that way or mash them up. Add some cinnamon for a delicious twist.

If he can do it, so can you. Have your sweet potatoes ready to go!

I guess the main point of this post is to give you hope. Cooking awesome, healthy, nutritious meals can be done with limited time. It does require some planning and a trip or two to the grocery store. Make a list each week of the things you enjoy eating and need. Once you get in the routine you should be all set. Commit to your health and eating well, you know what you need to do. 

Please be on the lookout for a Crock-pot recipe coming soon!

"Breaded" Chicken Cutlets

I can vividly remember huge pasta dinners. My Mom would make her famous sauce and let it simmer on the stove all day. We’d have pasta and meatballs and sometimes breaded chicken cutlets. I loved the chicken with the pasta and sauce and cheese all over it. “Loved” is the key word here. Since going Paleo I don’t eat most of the above-listed items, but have worked to recreate this home-cooked comfort food to align with the way I eat now. I must admit, I really don’t miss the old way.

“Breaded” Chicken Cutlets
What you’ll need:
  • About 1 cup of almond meal, depending upon how much chicken you’re planning to cook up
  • 1 cup plain, unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk 
  • Chicken breast pounded into thin cutlets, or bought as thin cutlets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • Coconut oil and olive oil

What to do:

  1. Put coconut milk or almond milk into a shallow bowl
  2. Mix almond meal, garlic powder, S&P on a plate to make “breading”
  3. Heat up your frying pan and cooking fat on medium heat. I like to use a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil.
  4. Dip the cutlets in the liquid and then lightly coat both sides with almond meal mixture
  5. Place in hot pan
  6. Cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness of chicken. They should have a golden-brown crust.

I like to eat these plain with veggies on the side, but you could also enjoy them with sauce and spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. Another fun variation is to cover them with Frank’s Original Buffalo Sauce. Wrap them up with a little homemade Paleo mayo in some lettuce wraps. YUM!

Let me know how it goes. Post comments/questions here or on Facebook!

My Favorite Carbs

Carbohydrates (carbs) are always a great subject to talk about. They have been a hot-button word in the diet/health/fitness industry for quite a while now. No carb? Low carb? Tons-O-Carb? What to do, what to do? As human being we need them for energy. Especially those of us who are very active. Paleo lifestyle proponents agree that we all need carbs, just in different doses. For instance, because of my high activity level and my performance goals in the gym, 40-60% of what I eat daily is carbohydrate. I have learned that I am not a happy camper when I eat too few carbs. Conversely  a person who has a seated desk job and is physically inactive needs way less carbs than I do. In this post I would like to introduce you to my favorite carb sources and how I prepare them. And no, I will not be discussing bread and pasta (barf). Paleo peeps get their carbs from vegetables and fruit, and we feel damn good about it!

Carb Source #1 | Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is super cheap. I bought three today at Hannaford for 2.48 or $0.79/lb. I eat one medium sized SP every day, so that roughly $0.83 per day. These little babies are packed with nutrition: vitamins A, C, E, and B6, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and iron. For one cup of mashed sweet potato I get 58 grams or dense starchy carbs to fill my muscles after a tough WOD, keep my belly feeling good, and to keep my energy humming throughout the day. Sometimes I eat the whole sweet potato after my WOD, or I eat most of it then and save the rest for the next morning to eat with my two eggs before my WOD.

My favorite way to prepare SP is:
1. Peel them (always peel potatoes)
2. Slice them up with a mandolin food slicer
3. Place them in a single layer on a lined baking sheet
4. Coat them with olive oil
5. Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt
6. Bake for around 20 minutes at 400 degrees

Sweet Potato “Chips”. I always eat carbs with protein.

Carb Source #2 | Acorn Squash
I never ate a lot of squash before I went Paleo. I never ate any acorn squash (that I can remember) before last month. It is now my new favorite. Squash are also relatively cheap, especially this time of year. If you can find them at a roadside farm stand I’m sure you can get a better deal, but I bought one at the market today for $1.49. For one cup of cubed squash, I get 15 grams of dense carbs. So if you have a small acorn squash, that’s probably about half of the squash.

My favorite way to prepare Acorn Squash:
1. Chop the ends off (use a sharp chef’s knife, be careful)
2. Cut in half length-wise
3. Drizzle with olive oil
4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder
5. Bake cut-side down (skin-up) on lined baking sheet for ~45 min at 400 degrees

Baked Acorn Squash

Carb Source #3 | Cauliflower
It’s no wonder that cauliflower is a dieter’s dream food. You could eat an entire large head of the stuff for 210 calories, 45 grams of carbs, and 17 grams of protein. I am in no way saying that I am on a diet, but clearly I am conscious of what I use to fuel my body. Maybe I should have said “a paleo-lifestlye enthusiast’s dream food”. When cauliflower is cooked and becomes slightly caramelized it is sweet and delicious. I can easily eat the whole head all at once, but usually I portion it out so I don’t feel like a bloated stuffed turkey. For instance, if I prepare a head of cauliflower using the method below and I eat 1/4 of the dish, I can assume that I’ve eaten around 12 grams of carbs. Not a lot. But, for someone watching their carb intake, it’s a great food because it’s filling, nutritious, and tastes awesome.

My favorite way to prepare Cauliflower:
1. Chop if up in a food processor so it is the consistency of rice. I use the entire head.
2. Put in a large mixing bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup canned coconut milk, 1 egg, minced garlic, salt and pepper, 1/4 cup olive oil.
3. At this point you could bake it like this. Add to 9×9 inch greased baking dish.
4. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees until golden on top.
5. For more fun and flavor add 1) Sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley or 2) Lime juice, cilantro, cayenne pepper. Be creative – think up your own variations depending on what you’re serving and what you like!

Baked Cauliflower Mash with sun-dried tomatoes
Please ask questions and/or post comments here or on Facebook 🙂

Recipe: EPIC Mealtime

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite go-to recipes, as Kyle and I dubbed it, “Epic Mealtime”. It needed a name that accurately captured its amazing flavor and level of satisfaction I would feel after eating it. Hence, EPIC! It is ground pork, bacon, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt & pepper. It’s amazing and versatile; you can add raisins, walnuts, sweet potato; you can omit the bacon; whatever – go crazy! Any way you make it, it’s so yummy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

1 or 2 pounds of quality ground pork
1 package of quality bacon
1 apple for each pound of meat
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper
Optional: sweet potato, raisins, walnuts
1. Heat large skillet and add coconut oil.***
2. Dice 1 apple per pound of meat.
3. Add apple to hot skillet, sprinkle with cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, and pinch of salt. Mix.
4. Remove apple from the skillet when it begins to soften. Use personal preference on how long to cook the apples. The longer they cook, the sweeter they’ll be.
5. Add ground pork to skillet and let it brown. Break it up into small pieces and season the meat with cinnamon, salt and pepper.
6. When the pork is just about cooked all the way through, add apples, bacon, raisins, and other optional ingredients. Mix well. Let the flavors meld as the meat cooks all the way through.
7. Serve and enjoy.
***If adding bacon: cut bacon into small pieces and cook it until crispy in the skillet BEFORE cooking anything else. Let bacon drain on a paper towel. Pour excess bacon grease from skillet, leaving some in the pan to saute the apples and pork.