Meal Round Up, Week of June 11th


I have some professions to declare… Monday musings, as you will. It is raining here in Kentucky for the second day in a row, and while my garden is soaking it up, I’m wishing for a sunny day ahead. With little to do outside but play in the rain, I am left with a lot of time to think.

  • I don’t understand how people do not like exercise. I will be the first to admit that I do not look forward to my workout every single day. Still, I am mostly motivated to get my blood flowing and get my muscles moving because I know just how good it feels (and the carryover benefits = glowy skin, good sleep, metabolism boost, kickass booty).
  • My dogs are my best friends. I’m sorry if this offends you but I like them more than most humans. And the three of us have been together through so much. Over EIGHT YEARS. Hands down, the longest relationship I have ever had. The biggest commitment I have made and kept #noragrets … I love those girls.<BR>
  • Humidity sucks. The rain my city is experiencing is a short reprieve from the hot and humid weather, but once the clouds dry up then it will be back to it. The only benefit to the humidity is that it will keep the wrinkles at bay for longer. Now for my hair, that is another story. Sigh.

Here is a look at what I was busy cooking up (and scarfing down) most recently.


Tahini Sea Salt Brownies

My heart is made of fudgy brownies. I am convinced. Brownies warm my soul and after observation that it is my favorite dessert because my mind drifts to these guys whenever I think I want something sweet. Last week I whipped up two batches of the TBB’s choco-tahini brownies. This time I mixed up these tahini and coconut flour based brownies. It blows my mind every time I use tahini in a dessert recipe that they come out delicious. Tahini, you tricky devil, you. Recipe coming soon!

Homemade Bone Broth

Homemade Bone Broth

I’ve been making bone broth for going on a year and a half now. I was intrigued by all the health benefits (gut + skin health, primarily) and how easy it was to make! I now keep bones and veggie scraps in the freezer until I have enough to fill my crockpot. Add water and crushed garlic, and cook until all your house smells like broth (or 24ish hours).

I have found so many uses for my homemade broth! Not to mention, making your own broth saves money. I seldom purchase broth or stock from the grocery because I always have it on hand in the fridge or freezer. It cost zero dollars (only energy to power the crock!) to make because it uses scraps that would have otherwise been tossed. It also fights food waste by repurposing food to get two uses, honoring the animal and plant from which it originated and keeping landfills below capacity.


Strawberries + Cream Gluten Free Crepes

I bought 2 pounds of fresh strawberries on Wednesday and have spent the past week brainstorming all the delicious ways I can devour these little red beauties. My first thought was French crepes filled with fresh cream and sunkissed berries, drizzled with chocolate. Since I am not in France, nor do I know how to bake French food, I immediately lowered my expectations to a thinned out gluten free packet straight from my kitchen, with 2% greek yogurt and sliced strawbs. I have a while to go before I perfect this recipe for my homemade, healthy version of this European streetfare but I am on a mission to get it right! You will be the first to know 😉


Leftover Vegan Bowl + Bean Salad

A.k.a. my lunch three days in a row. This combo is that tasty.

All the goods:
Steamed sweet potato and cinnamon
Roasted broccoli
Marinated red onions (recipe from the 21 DSD Daily Guide)
3-Bean Salad (from Tone It Up Nutrition Plan) with diced red pepper

I originally whipped the bean salad with the intention of serving it over some homegrown kale, but I decided that the pair alone would likely not very satisfying. So I cut back on the serving of beans and threw in all the veggies! Don’t worry, I am not going vegan or vegetarian! I still like to include fish and meat into my diet but mixing it up keeps things interesting.


… and lastly, more PaleOMG’s Almost 5-Ingredient Spaghetti (Squash) Pizza Pie casserole. The same as last week, except I used a yellow bell pepper (instead of red) with extra tomatoes, hold the pepperonis.

That’s a wrap for this week. Thanks for keeping up with my semi-regular weekly updates. See you next time!


Caramelized Orange Parsnips

I wrote this as I am wrapping up my 30-something-th episode of the Jane the Virgin on Netflix. That’s right, I’ve been binging but not in a hands covered with potato chip crumbs and chocolate smeared on my face kind of binging. But if I was binging on chocolate covered potato chips, would it be wrong? Those things are so yummy! Admittedly, the inner teenage girl in me fantasizes about romance (will Jane ever realize she wants to be with Rafael?? He’s such a hunk!) and relates to the trials and turmoil of early 20-something life (sorry, I still think Michael’s hiding something). Trust me, I’d rather watch it on TV than be living out baby-daddy-mamma drama (but can you even BELIEVE Petra did that??) so don’t judge me. Any fellow Jane watchers, I want to hear from you – but no spoiler alerts, please! I have two more seasons to watch.

When I thought about what recipe I wanted to share most this week, I thought about my favorite thing to make right now. Orange-glazed parsnips. This is what first came to mind. If you have tried my Orange-Roasted hens then this recipe is very similar, except you I’ve adjusted the ingredients and baking time to making the parsnips as their own dinner side dish. Or lunch. Or breakfast. I will eat roasted vegetables with all meals, especially when they taste freaking delicious.


When I was at the grocery store picking up ingredients for this recipe, the guy at the checkout eyed a mysterious looking bag of produce. Turns out, he did not know what in heck these white vegetable-things were. He tossed the bag aside and said I could have them for free. Sucks for him (dude, you are missing out!), but yay for me. I recommended that he give them a try. “Tastes like a sour carrot,” is how I always describe them. However, showering them with carmelized orange takes out the sour. Instead, it creates a sweet, citrusy glaze that will make you wonder why you waited so long to give parsnips a chance. They will appreciate you for it. I will appreciate you for it. They deserve some loving.


If you’re like the kid at the checkout and are a parsnip-virgin, let this recipe be your first (of many) parsnip experience.


Already a parsnip fan? I hope this encourages you to reach for something in the produce section that is  new!


As always, Don’t forget to leave me a comment below and share your feedback if you try this recipe.


Caramelized Orange Parsnips





About 1 pound of fresh parsnips, washed
1 orange, quartered
1 TB garlic powder
Sea salt, to taste
Avocado oil
Optional: fresh thyme




Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a sharp knife, slice the ends off parsnips and set aside for composting or for bone broth. You can optionally peel the parsnips but I prefer to leave the skin on. Quarter each so that pieces are close to the same size. This is important to make sure all of the veggies roast evenly. Place all parsnips pieces onto baking sheet or oven-safe glass container. Coat liberally with avocado oil. Season with garlic powder and sea salt to taste. Place the quarters of orange on the pan, cut side up and slide into the oven!


Set a time for 15 minutes. At this point, I like to use tongs to carefully squeeze 1 – 2 of the orange quarters over the parsnips and give them a gentle stir. Check on the parsnips again in 10-15 minutes. Let them cool on the counter for 5 minutes before trying to squeeze the last of the orange over the parsnips and stirring once more to cover all pieces with the juice, as this is what will caramelize them.


Meal Round Up, Week of June 3rd

Today I’m bringing you a new kind of post today. I love to share what kind of dishes and treats I am cooking up in the kitchen, so I figured I would share it right here on the blog. How does that sound? I thought so! Let’s get to it.



Let me preface this first Meal Round Up. In case you missed my last post, I am back at home after spending 10 days travelling and camping across Utah and southern Idaho. I had an amazing time and it always feels good to take a step back from the everyday to get a fresh perspective. I look forward to sharing my tips for camp meals and eating healthy on the road!


Admittedly, spending a week and a half living out a van (more on that later) allowed me to truly appreciate my kitchen upon my return home. I was ready to cook my socks off! Needless to say, I had to do a bunch of restocking because the only two items in the pantry were sweet potatoes and a bag of lemons in the fridge. To save some time planning out a week of meals, I stuck with tried and true recipes and easy to make dishes. Here’s a peak into what I ate this week.

Breakfast: Two-Ways Open-Faced Breakfast Sandwich, made with Paleo Cashew Bread, Venison bacon and Eggs, or Egg salad
My version of the ultimate open-faced breakfast sandwich. I made a loaf of paleo cashew bread, baked up some venison bacon and hardboiled a half-dozen eggs. For the “bread” I usually use a recipe I found on IG a couple years ago, and since it’s not my recipe (nor do I know who it belongs to) I don’t feel right sharing it. I recommend you google “paleo cashew bread” and something similar should come up! I ended up making my sandwich lightly toasted with eggs-over-easy on the mornings I was home and with my infamous egg salad on mornings I reported to the office. Trust me, everyone in the office just loves the smell of egg salad first thing in the morning. Usually  serve with a side of sautéed kale and mushrooms and steamed asparagus. Oh and my favorite toppings, pickled jalapenos and marinated onions (from the 21 DSD Daily Guide). So good!


Dinner: PaleOMG’s Almost 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie

This casserole has quickly become a favorite in my home. The recipe sets the base for a meal that can be customized using whatever your favorite “pizza” toppings are, or more simply, what vegetables and meats you have in the fridge! Because it requires some amount of prep (cooking and shredding the squash) and baking for about one hour, I usually double the recipe. The base is spaghetti squash, eggs, pizza sauce, and ground meat and veggies of choice – I like to add nutritional yeast, ground sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers and top with Applegate nitrate-free pepperonis. This dish is so frigging delicious and 100% paleo, which I love. I like to indulge and eat great tasting food but not at the risk of feeling crummy the next day, you feel me?


GF 3 Meat Pizza

Dinner: Gluten Free 3 Meat Pizza

We love live for gluten free pizza night! It is my go-to on night’s when the fridge is looking a little bleh, like the night we whipped this delicious slice of yummyness up for dinner. Prepared mixes make it super easy to throw a homemade and health conscious meal together in under an hour. I used a box of Chebe gluten free pizza crust mix that calls for an egg, oil and an optional cup of sharp cheese, for which I mainly substituted nutritional yeast. For the toppings: leftover shredded chicken, venison bacon, parmesan cheese, diced green peppers, mushrooms and pepperonis. The crust turns out a big on the chewy side and with a really great taste because of the nutritional yeast. While I love my Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pizza mix I do recommend trying this if you like chewy crust! You can purchase the mix on Amazon or Vitacost (like I did).


Snacks: The Balanced Blonde’s SOS Choco-Tahini Brownies
TBB is not lying when she says these are the healthiest and fudgiest brownies you’ll ever find. Better yet, these *brownies* are to die for. If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried what seems like hundreds of “healthy” dessert recipes and one of two things are usually the outcome. It either calls for some crazy ingredients you can’t find, or it tastes like crap and you still end up wanting to dive headfirst into a plate of Hershey’s chocolate fudge cake. But these brownies, Healthy √ Delicious √ . And, I’m not going to lie… I have been snacking on these for breakfast and after-dinner dessert. That’s right, a two-a-day kick. Why? Because the recipe is super clean and I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen. The best part? They’re just the right amount of *sweet* for me to be satisfying but not send me on a craze to eat the rest of the pan. If you can’t tell, I HIGHLY recommend checking out this recipe and modifying for your dietary needs!


Drink: Morning ACV Mocktail
This drink has became my new morning routine! Cinnamon, cayenne pepper, Celtic sea salt, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. I like to combine everything in a big mason jar, squeeze my fresh lemon and top with cold, filtered water. Not only does it start the day on a healthy note but it tastes so refreshing, like sunshine. Too cheesy? Sorry, I only speak the truth!


Thanks for reading this week’s version of Meal Round Up! Have any comments to share or requests for more information/specific recipes? Drop me a line below!!


Disclosure: By making purchases through any of the links provided on this page I may receive a small kickback. Never worry, all thoughts, recommendations and opinions shared with you are my own and I will never recommend a product I don’t stand behind.

Cacao + Greens Post Sweat Smoothie

Hello readers, I’m back from vacation and I’m bringing you a delicious, refreshing smoothie recipe to celebrate my return! Back from the mountains and so happy to be returning to the KITCHEN (and my dogs and normal, convenient showers), hopefully this chocolatey smoothie will make up for my absence.

The other afternoon I was looking for a chocolate-y treat to get me through the afternoon slump, but I had just worked out so I did not want to get sugar-crazy. My savior? Amazing Grass Chocolate Greens!
I have to admit that the first time I tried mixing this green powder I had trouble masking the taste of the greens and enhancing the chocolate flavor I love so much. With some experimenting, I found a decadent combination. I can’t wait for you to try it.

Ahhh, Green Powders – a love/hate relationship. I don’t always rely on green powders for my smoothies. Truthfully, I like having control over what greens/veggies go into my smoothie and the powders don’t always taste great. Still, they offer a lot of convenient if I’m low on produce, I’m in a hurry or like today, when I want CHOCOLATE FLAVORED GREENS! Because chocolate is the best. Duh

Cacao + Greens Post-Sweat Smoothie

1 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate Greens Powder (on Amazon)
1-2 scoops Further Food Collagen (on Amazon)
1 TB cacao nibs (I like this brand)
1/2 cup coconut milk (I like this one)
1.5 cups filtered water
1/4 frozen banana
1 cup ice
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until consistently mixed. Smoothie should be a frosty texture, if not just add 1/2 cup ice or extra frozen banana to get a thicker smoothie.

Easy 4-Ingredient Honey-Glazed Carrots

This week I’m giving some major face time to a vegetable that’s most known for sitting it out in the sidelines. In the band, but never the star of the show. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. If you haven’t guessed (as if the name doesn’t give it away), I am referring to carrots! We always have carrots in our house. I like to toss them into my mixed green salads, chop them up for dipping, or even throw them into my egg casseroles and soups. This time, though, I made them their very own side dish.

As simple as it seems, I have tried many times to perfect glazed carrots and they never seemed to come out how I wanted. They were either too dry, too greasy, or too tough despite cooking for 30+ minutes. After some experimenting, I finally have the right combination of sweetness, not too greasy or “wet” and the perfect amount of cooked through without being mushy! Just a side note, the latter will always depend on how evenly you quarter the carrots and the overall thickness of the carrots.


Here’s my secret to the BEST tasting carrots – choose organic. There are so many other reasons to choose organic (over conventionally-farmed) produce but in the case of these guys, the natural sugars are much more distinguishable and pleasing on the palate. You can taste this difference the most when they’re raw of course, but I’m convinced this translates to cooked carrots also.


My motto in the kitchen is dirty up as little as possible while being as efficient as possible. Therefore, for recipes like this one that are pretty simple I do not always measure exact teaspoons each time. Every 3rd or 4th time I cook (NOT bake) for myself I will test my “eyeballing” skills and they’re usually spot on. If you’re not comfortable with eyeballing our your measurements for items such as olive oil and honey yet then no sweat. Simply place your carrots in a large bowl and measure out oil and honey, stirring for an even coat before placing onto nonstick baking surface.
Now, let’s get cooking!
What You Need
Whole, organic carrots
Organic Extra virgin olive oil (I like this brand!)

Easy 4-Ingredient Honey-Glazed Carrots


  • 1 pound carrots, rinsed and quartered
  • 2 TB EVOO
  • 1 TB honey
  • Pinch sea salt


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prep carrots by giving them a good rinse, using a vegetable brush if you have one. No peeling necessary! Chop the tops off and quarter into even slices the best you can. Place slices in a pile on your cookie sheet or baking dish.
3. Pour olive oil over top of carrot pile and very carefully mix them together. Use your hands to get carrots evenly coated, which will ensure they glaze up perfectly. Spread carrots in a single layer across cooking surface.
4. Drizzle honey in a sweeping motion across carrots. Use a spoon to stir carrots, if necessary.
5. Place carrots in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. Check at halftime and stir/flip carrots if it looks like some are roasting at a faster rate than others.
6. Serve warm with your favorite entree. Enjoy.
Ideas for Leftovers: These go surprisingly well with breakfast the next day.


Paleo Salmon Cakes

This week I’m sharing with you a recipe that is a healthy spin on an old family classic. Gluten free and paleo-friendly, you probably have all the ingredients in your fridge right now for a last-minute dinner. The recipe also doubles well for a Meal Prep Sunday favorite!

On Sundays, I enjoy setting some time aside to plan out my meals. I always make my grocery list after I pick what dishes I’ll be cooking up along with some snack ideas so I have every ingredient on-hand throughout the week. This recipe for healthier salmon cakes is special in that it probably only requires 1 special ingredient to put on my grocery list à canned wild-caught salmon! Pantry-stable and more affordable than fresh salmon from the seafood counter, canned wild-caught salmon is a great protein option packed with healthy fats for a double-punch. This is a great main entrée to slide into meal plan rotation when you want to cut down on that weekly grocery expense without skimping on nutrition or taste.


Growing up, my mom would reach for that can of salmon for a quick and easy weeknight recipe. Warm and delicious, I still consider them one of my favorite meals of childhood especially with a side of green peas and lots of mustard. What a combination.

Luckily, it doesn’t take much to tweak a traditional salmon cake to a healthier version. First and foremost, you’ll want to get a high-quality fish which means that your fish should be sustainably sourced and wild-caught. Classic mayonnaise and breadcrumbs are substituted with an avocado-oil based mayo and ground flax to keep the recipe clean while providing creating a good base to keep the cakes together during cooking.

My favorite way to cook these up is to use my Lodge Cast Iron Skillet (linked at the bottom of the page). First, I like to sear the top, bottom and edges. Next, I will finish them up in the oven to cook them throughout. Don’t have a Lodge? No sweat! Use your favorite nonstick skillet. I have also tried cooking the cakes completely on the stovetop, but I have found it’s much less babysitting to just sear them and pop in the oven to finish out the cooking process while doing other things.

Have you ever used canned salmon before? If not, then you may be in for a surprise the first time you pop your can open! Most cans come with the bones and skin included with the salmon meat. No worries, the bones and skin are perfectly safe to consume and actually boost the nutritional intake (hello, calcium and Omega-3)! Most of the bones will “crumble” during the cooking process and the skin will be unrecognizable in the formed cakes so no need to remove them. You will want to first drain the excess liquid using the lid in order to get the best outcome of the recipe below. Enjoy and drop me a comment below if you cook these up!

Paleo-Friendly Salmon Cakes

Paleo Salmon Cakes


  • 1-15 ounce can Wild-caught (Atlantic) Salmon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 TB ground flax
  • 1 TB avocado oil mayo
  • 2 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup shredded or finely diced carrots
  • ½ TB chopped fresh parsley (omit if you don’t have any)
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Zest of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium-sized bowl, mix in first 5 ingredients as listed. Stir in the chopped onion, carrots, parsley, spices, herbs and lemon until well mixed. Separate the bowl into five parts and form cakes about 1” thick.  Bring burner to medium-heat and prep skillet with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, placing salmon cakes around the edge of the skillet. Flip after 6-8 minutes, or until bottom is adequately seared enough so that the cake will not fall apart upon flipping. Cook other side for 6-8 minutes. While searing, prep a 9” x 13” oven safe dish with nonstick spray. Carefully transfer cakes to dish and let cook for 15-20 minutes.

Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon. Best served warm once out of oven.

Reinvent your leftovers by serving warm or cold leftover salmon cakes on arugula or mixed salad greens with diced cucumber, grape tomatoes and fresh parsley, dressed with lemon vinaigrette – 2 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup) plus 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil. Store vinaigrette in an air-tight mason jar in the fridge, put on the counter about an hour or so before you want to make your salad. I like my dressing a bit on the tart side. If this is too tart for you then you can always add 1-2 teaspoons of honey to cut the lemon’s bite.

Stock Your Pantry

Disclosure: By making purchases through any of the links provided on this page I may receive a small kickback. Never worry, all thoughts, recommendations and opinions shared with you are my own and I will never recommend a product I don’t stand behind.


Lemony Kale Cleansing Smoothie

What I love about this smoothie: the perfect color and texture. And most importantly, the taste. The taste of this smoothie alone will have you feeling cleansed and rejuvenated. Maybe it’ll even have you wanting to make healthier choices for the rest of the day. I call this the spa effect. You are doing something wonderful for that beautiful body of yours, and your skin, muscles and your gut are thanking you, telling you “We want more of this!” Because eating healthy, moving daily and doing other actions that involve taking care of YOU are acts of self love, self respect and self responsibility. Yes, responsibility, does that sound odd? You’ve probably heard the saying, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

As a woman, even though I don’t have children, at times I’ve become victim to taking care of everyone and everything but me. When I’m consumed with pleasing and caring for others, I have a habit of letting my workouts, healthy eating preferences and my self care  practices get overlooked and shifted to the bottom of the priority pile. Then for days I’m left feeling down and out because I’ve been logging time for everything except for what makes me feel great. When I take time to cook healthy food I like, exercise and set aside a couple hours one night for a face mask and a foot soak, I feel amazing and I’m better able to tend to others’ needs, too. 

Don’t ever feel guilty for taking care of numero uno! Here are my tried and true tips for sticking to your personal commitments and making time in your schedule for you.

Step one, wake up and set your intention for the day. When I’m going through a stressful time I say, Just breathe. When I’m having a hard time finding the best in people I remind myself to love and accept all. Intentions are so powerful when you give them meaning and hold onto them, reciting them to yourself throughout the day as needed. It is amazing just how much of a difference you can make when you act and speak with intention, an open mind and a full heart. 

Step two, set your objectives for the day. What is going to make you feel best? It could be one thing, it could be a few small tasks. For me, it’s usually having nutritious food come meal time, hitting my lunchtime workout and setting time aside at night to decompress. If I happen to go a day or two without sticking to these main things, I tend to go a little haywire. So, to combat said craziness, I’m very dedicated to my routine and I treat these 3 things as if they are an item on my schedule that I committed to a friend or a colleague.

Step three, do the thing. No excuses, no holding back. Make time for the thing and then do the thing. Need motivation? Try this kickass smoothie that is energizing, refreshing and packed with so much goodness to power you through your day!

Lemony Kale Ingredients
Power Smoothie Ingredients:
Lemon as a boost of Vitamin C antioxidants, to improve absorption of the greens and for it’s naturally cleansing properties.
Ginger to ease bloating and promote good digestion.
Spinach is a great inflammation-fighter packed with Vitamin C, calcium, iron and magnesium.
Cucumber for healthy skin and digestion, which comes from cucumber’s fiber, vitamins (A, C, magnesium, potassium and silica) and pure water content.
Coconut Water for hydration and electrolytes.
Cauliflower because I love adding it to my fruit-free smoothies for texture. Bonus, it also contains sulfur to promote phase-2 detoxification.

Cleansing Lemon Cucumber Smoothie

Lemony Kale Cleansing Smoothie

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1 TB ground flax
  • 1 TB MCT oil
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1-inch peeled and diced ginger
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber, skin on
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup frozen spinach, or 1 cup fresh
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • Optional Toppings: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon bee pollen, dash of cayenne pepper, sprinkle chia seeds


Mix all in a blender. If smoothie appears too thick, add a tablespoon of water at a time.

Stock Your Pantry With These Recommended Smoothie Ingredients


This recipe post is in no way a diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because I care about your health, I do recommend you consult a physician if you feel you have any serious or prolonged symptoms relating to what is presented here. Also note that by making purchases through any of the links provided I may receive a small kickback. Never worry, all thoughts, recommendations and opinions shared with you are my own and I will never recommend a product I don’t stand behind.