Baked Acorn Squash with Red Chard Stuffing

 Autumn is totally in there air now and I'm feeling all the changes on a personal level for sure.  I started studying and training to become a certified holistic health coach at Institute for Integrative Nutrition this September and could not feel better about that decision.  I'm just in love with their concepts and philosophy.  I will try to write more about it as I delve deeper in.  For now, I'm soaking it all up and implementing small changes into my own daily life as I learn more.  I studied nutrition in college and it's probably no surprise to you that holistic health is nothing like it.  I learned science and nutrition but there is so much more to health and healing than the food we eat.  We put so much emphasis on it but neglect equally important or maybe more important aspects of our lives like relationships, self worth, mindfulness and our overall connection to the universe... life is so deep.  

On a lighter note, let's discuss this stuffed acorn squash.  All of these flavors combined create the perfect combination.  The stuffing is savory and does not taste too "green" but it is packed with an entire bunch of chard!  Any chard will do.  Feel free to modify this and sub any nut for pine nuts, sprinkle some Parmesan on top if you tolerate dairy, add some cranberries... you catch my drift.  

Without further ado... (I had to google that spelling) 

Baked Acorn Squash with Red Chard Stuffing 


1 medium-large acorn squash
1 bunch of chard (red, green, rainbow, any- even kale will do)
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 tsp ghee
2 tsp avocado oil (or olive)
3 cloves garlic, minced 
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning 
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Optional toppings:
Pomegranates Arils
Crispy sage
Parmesan cheese
Balsamic reduction or balsamic drizzle
More pine nuts


Preheat oven to 400F.

Slice acorn squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds. Make a small small slice on the outer skin so that when it's stuffed it sits even and isn't all rocky.  

Spray the squash with cooking spray or just run the inside with avocado oil.

Place the squash inside down and skin up on a baking sheet and bake for 20-35 mins, until the inside is fork tender.  Cooking time will vary based on size of squash.

While squash is baking, prepare your stuffing.

Add the ghee and oil to a heavy bottomed large pan.  Allow it to melt.  Add onions and garlic sautee a few minutes, until onions and translucent. 

Chop the chard while that's sautéing.  Remove the inner rib and chop it into 1/2 inch pieces.  Roll up the leaves and then slice to create ribbons.

Add the chard ribs first, sautee a little then add the ribbons in batches and cook about 8-10 mins until chard is soft and tender.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  

Transfer chard to a large mixing bowl.  

Add almond flour, pine nuts, and all seasonings.  Mix it all up good.  

When squash is cooked to fork tender, remove from oven to cool.  Flip them over and stuff wih the filling.  

Drizzle with olive oil and return to the oven for 15-20 mins, until the top crisps up a little and the inside is warmed. 


Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Maple Balsamic Glaze

Happy September, everyone!  This month is already flying by.  I (finally!) have 2 kids in school. Yay me! Although one is only age 3 and goes 9am-12pm; it's something!  She's made it sort of impossible to recipe test of late, but hopefully I'll be able to be getting more recipes up now that I have a few free hours!

This is my favorite way to make brussels.  I often make this recipe and eat the whole thing for lunch.  It's delicious.  Perfect combo of savory and sweet.  You can also easily make this roasted in the oven, takes a little longer but crisps up better and is delicious.  You can just toss with the oil then roast at 400F for 20 mins or so, until they are crispy and tender.  Then add the pine nuts and glaze.  

I know many of you are doing Whole30 and clean eating challenges in September, and this should fit right in.  For Whole30 just omit the balsamic glaze or try simply reducing some balsamic vinegar sans maple syrup.  

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Maple Balsamic Glaze


12 oz brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed and sliced lengthwise (about 4 cups sliced)
1 tbsp avocado or olive oil
1 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup pine nuts (pignolas)


Trim the hard bottoms off of your Brussels sprouts and slice them lengthwise.

Heat a 12 inch heavy bottom pan over medium heat.  

Add oil and butter.

Add garlic.  Sautee 1-2 mins, until fragrant.  

Add brussels. Cook for 10-12 mins, stirring frequently, until brussels are tender and browned around the edges.  

While brussels are cooking, prepare your maple balsamic glaze (below).  This takes about 10 mins to prepare.

Once brussels are cooked, add the pine nuts and mix them into the pan, just to combine. 

Remove from pan and place in serving dish.  Top with maple balsamic glaze and serve immediately. 

Maple balsamic glaze


1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup


Place ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer and reduce by about half . This will take 7-10 minutes.  It should be thick, slightly syrupy. 

Creamy Low Carb Chicken and Mushrooms

This post scares me a little's my first non-paleo recipe, ever!  So please don't throw cheese at me!  I am not going all keto on you or anything, though I have to admit that over the past few months I have been experimenting with a lower carb lifestyle. I actually love it, but find it sometimes challenging to stick to low carb and dairy free.  No one here tolerates dairy very well, so a recipe like this is like a treat meal for us.

 For anyone starting out with keto and/or low carb, this recipe is an excellent way to start out and feel like you're cheating!  This is my absolute favorite low carb chicken dish.  This is kind of like a base recipe because you can easily add flavor by throwing in garlic, different herbs at the end or adding seasoning like dried red pepper flakes.  Try throwing in some roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes or spinach.... endless possibilities really.  The best part is it's all made in one pan! It's also made with very few ingredients and takes only about 20 minutes start to finish to whip up, making it the perfect week night dinner.

Nutritional Info:

Servings: 4
Per Serving:
Calories: 354
Protein: 22 g
Fat: 29 g
Carbs (net): 1g

Creamy Low Carb Chicken and Mushrooms

Serves: 4 Prep time: 5 minutes Total time: 20 minutes


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite sized pieces
6 Tbsp butter, separated
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 oz cream cheese
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper
fresh herbs (basil, thyme, parlsey)


Heat up a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat.

Season your chicken with salt and pepper.

Add 2 Tbsp butter to cast iron.  Cook chicken until no longer pink inside and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside on a plate.  Drain the chicken juices and discard. 

Add the remaining 4 Tbsp butter to the same pan.  Cook the mushrooms until tender.  

Add the cream cheese to the pan and mix to melt and combine with mushrooms.  Add the heavy whipping cream, stirring continuously until the sauce is thick and creamy.  Add the chicken back in and mix together.  Add any fresh herbs now.  Enjoy!

Rootz Nutrition - Paleo Superfood

I'm really really not a smoothie/protein shake type of girl... I'd rather just eat my food. So for me to be promoting a protein powder means it's really something special! I've tried a billion different types of powders; plant based, whey based; you name it. I've never been able to find one that meets all of my requirements - great tasting, low carb, clean (non-gmo, grass fed) ingredients, not loaded with phytic acid gut irritants like pea/oat/grain protein. Any protein powder which lists whey protein isolate an ingredient without a claim for organic, non-gmo, or grassfed... is probably cheap whey...sourced from commercial, non-grass fed, non-organic animals.

So recently tried out Rootz nutrition post-workout paleo protein-superfood and their pre-workout paleo energizing-superfood. Admittedly, my expectations were not high. I checked the ingredients first like always and they were impressive... so impressive that I knew the stuff would taste like sand and hemp dust. It also comes in at only 1 net carb! I like to keep my carbs low, not necessarily ketogenic low but this would fit right into a ketogenic diet. So we're talking all clean superfood packed ingredients, 15g protein, 1 net carb and the real kicker is that the stuff tastes great!

I love the post-workout paleo protein superfood. I use it after my workout to avoid eating everything in sight.  I don't know about you but I am ravenous when I get home from the gym.  It tastes great and is so versatile. It says it's chocolate banana nut but really goes with anything. I've thrown berries, almond butter, even spinach in and both myself and the kids love it. Did I mention my kids love it? When the picky-as-f 6 year old loves something, it means it's pretty damn good. He likes it just blended with ice and unsweetened almond milk, which is how I usually drink it post-workout.

Then there's the pre-workout paleo energizing-superfood powder and this stuff is crack. All you have to do is mix it in some water and it's like taking a 5hour energy shot but without the actual heart attack. It's made with all superfoods and plant based caffeine so it's more gentle and won't leave you jittery but will give you hours of real energy. It's really perfect to fuel a workout. I've not worked out without it since trying it.

There are really very few products I promote on my blog so I want you all to know that any product I promote on my blog my kids and I personally use and love.

You can get these products at

Special Promotion for PLG followers - use discount code "PLGVIP" for 10% off..


Recently I'm standing in my kitchen and all of a sudden hear that godawful-nails scratching down a chalkboard-eyes rolling so far back in my head- dish rag thrown across the counter melody.... you know ... the ice cream man. Because now that it's barely 50F out the children must be pumped with sugar and chemical, right? Just before dinner time. Perfect timing dude. But this momma is prepared. I have my handy ice pop molds and whipped up some protein pops to keep on hand for when that pest decides to pass through my block.. which happens to be every goddamn day around 5pm just as I'm serving dinner. Anyway. I made these with nothing other than unsweetened almond milk, Rootz paleo protein-superfood, berries, spinach, and some ice. My kids are not used to refined sugar so the sweetness really comes from the berries and is enough for them. They loved them.

 Here's a quick recipe:

For 3 pops:

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp protein powder
1 handful berries or spinach
Handful of ice

Blend, pour, freeze, enjoy

Products i use:

Here's some more info on Rootz.


Rootz Nutrition is a recently launched company that offers a Paleo-approved energizing powder and a complete protein+superfood+greens powder made from real, wholesome foods. All of our products are free of artificial ingredients, GMO's, coloring, gluten, dairy, soy, and are organic. We strongly believe that what is left out of a product is just as important as what goes in.

WHY ROOTZ? (from the founder)

The inspiration for Rootz came when I had taken up the Paleo diet in 2011, and was left with virtually no options for energy or protein supplementation. I began to realize that most of the products on the market were loaded with chemicals and artificial ingredients, often times dangerous, and almost always doing more harm to a person's body than good.

I wanted something that was made from real food ingredients that I could actually pronounce, but would still give me results. To my frustration, every product I had tried left me disappointed. The energizing powders were too weak, and the protein powders either didn't taste good, or didn't have the well-rounded nutritional profile that I was looking for.... So I went out and made my own products that I could feel good about putting in my body.


It doesn't matter if you are a professional athlete who trains for hours every day or a soccer mom who is looking for convenient, healthy on the go food options-- If you are looking to eat healthier and have more energy, I think you will love Rootz. 

Gingerbread Cookies

Tis the season!  This holiday season is already blowing by, I just want to stop time and slow down the days.  The parties, the street shopping, the lights... I just want it to last forever.  This holiday season had an entirely new feel in our house, as the kids are getting older and really enjoying all the little things.  Their little faces lighting up every night as the neighborhood houses light up and each morning springing out of bed to find that awful little elf. My son watched The Polar Express for the first time this year and I was so happy we was able to understand it in his ripe old age of 6.  I just want to bottle up all of these moments and hope they always feel the genuine joy that I can see in their eyes each day.

As they get older I find it more important to build traditions and of course baking is one of them.  Last year we made tons of sugar cookies and pies and this year I tackled the gingerbread cookie which I was able to get perfect on one try!  I based it off of my sugar cookie recipe.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to compile my recipes and have a place where my kids can find the recipes they grew up on.  Also a place for me to find my recipes, of course!

So the real question...Soft and chewy or hard? Well, I personally like a nice hard frosted G man like the glutinous, delicious Trader Joe ones but I also like a soft and chewy cookie.  Luckily this easy recipe can be made either way just by rolling the dough a little thicker for soft and thinner for hard.  I like to make half the batch soft and half hard... Perfect for dunking in coffee!  This dough is exactly like traditional gingerbread dough if you're familiar with that "needs to be rock hard or sticks to all the things" dough.  It must be chilled to harden, freezing will expedite this. It must also be used in about 4 batches, as it very quickly softens.
For the icing, you can use a traditional royal icing made from confectionary sugar, egg white and water or if you're avoidingrefined sugars, try coconut butter melted and sweetened with a tad of honey, it makes a nice icing.  To be honest, I don't need the icing and I like to just "decorate" them with a toothpick before going in the oven by drawing on their faces.  The kids were equally impressed with this.

On to the recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do and please tag me Instagram when you make them.  I love seeing your creations!  And for the record, I am the worlds worst cookie decorator.  I usually pass off the plate at a party with the forewarning "the kids decorated" so that no one will know I was involved, hahahah.  Not joking though.

Gingerbread Cookies

Servings: 16-20 medium sized gingerbread cut outs
Time:  2 hours 15 mins *2 hours chilling time


1 cup Ottos Casava Flour, packed then leveled off with a knife (164g)
2 tbsp coconut flour
tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp butter (1 stick), softened to room temp
3/4 cup coconut sugar


In a medium mixing bowl add cassava flour, coconut flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.

 a small mixing bowl, whisk together molasses, egg and vanilla extract.

In a large mixing bowl, hand mix on low the butter and coconut sugar until creamed into a mass or a creamy ball.

Add the egg/molasses mixture to the creamed sugar and hand mix on low until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the large bowl in 2 parts, mixing to combine into a smooth batter.

The batter will be sticky and soft.  Use a spatula to push it all he the center into somewhat of a ball.

Chill for 2 hours or until hardened.

Once dough is hard, preheat oven to 375F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Don't take dough out of the fridge until you are all set up and ready to roll!

Take out 2 pieces of parchment paper to use to roll out the dough.  Add a generous amount of cassava flour to the parchment paper and take out about 1/4 of the hard dough.  Sprinkle a little flour on top a droll between the 2 sheets of paper.  Cut out your cookies.  The fatter the softer and the thinner the harder.  If the scraps get too soft and sticky, return to he fridge to harden.

Transfer cookies to parchment lined baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked to a golden brown.

Allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooking before icing, if icing.


Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets with Easy Dairy-free Ranch

These nuggets are the closet thing to frozen nuggets I've gotten and the kids love them!  They reheat well too.  Paprika is a bit spicy so you may want to cut it in half for picky kids but these are not too spicy for my kids.  I've been enjoying them over salads with my favorite ranch dressing.  Feel free to make the ranch the original way obviously, but this is an easy way to make with from mayo since these days there are excellent clean mayo choices like Sir Kensington's   Their latest mayo is avocado oil based and tastes amazing.  This way, no emulsions or oils are necessary!  This is plenty ranch for dipping the chicken, but I like to double the recipe to have some on hand for salads.  Please let me know what you think of these nuggets by tagging me on Instagram! 

Oven Fried Chicken Nuggets with Easy Dairy-free Ranch


1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into nugget sized pieces 


1 large egg
2 tbsp mayo 


1/2 heaping cup cassava flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder 
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried turmeric
Cooking spray (I use avocado oil in misto bottle)


Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and top with a baking rack.  Spray baking rack with cooking spray.  

Whisk egg and mayonnaise together in a medium mixing bowl.  Add chicken and mix to coat. 

Add all breading ingredients to a gallon sized ziplock bag.  Add chicken and shake until each piece is evenly coated with batter. 

Place each piece of chicken on baking rack, not touching one another.  Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray.  

Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 mins, or until cooked through, flipping each piece halfway through cooking.  

Easy Ranch


1/2 cup mayo 
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp full fat unsweetened coconut cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Fresh dill


Add everything to a food processor and process until combined.  

Best Buffalo Wings

After you make these wings you will never order buffalo wings from anywhere again. Ever.  I'm big on buffalo wings, let's be honest they're the only good thing about football season, that and the free day drinking pass.  These are crispy and the super simple sauce is spicy and buttery and amazing.  I make them and leave them plain for the kids and they dip them in ranch.  Do NOT forget the ranch!  If you can't have blue cheese like me, make a batch of ranch, it's so necessary.

The procedure is very easy.  Just mix the breading mix up in a large gallon size ziploc bag, add the wings, shake shake shake until they're completely dusted.  They fry them in oil, remove from oil and transfer to a baking pan lined with a rack then bake them.  The baking step is not totally necessary, but it sort of dries them out, maximizing flavor by making them super crispy before tossing with the buttery hot sauce.

You can fry these guys in lard, ghee, coconut oil, even avocado oil or some combo of these.  I like to use half coconut oil and half something else.  If you use all coconut oil they will have that taste that some people can't stand.  Use a hot sauce you love!  I love Franks for this and the ingredients are clean.

Best Buffalo Wings


3 lb buffalo cut wings


1/2 cup cassava flour
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 cup frying oil (lard, ghee, coconut oil, or mixture of any of these)


2 tbsp butter or ghee
2/3 cup hot sauce


Preheat oven to 425F, take out a baking tray and place a wire rack on top of the tray.  You can use a cookie cooling rack for this.

Heat a large heavy bottom pan on medium heat.

Mix all breading ingredients in a large gallon sized ziploc bag by combining and giving a shake or 2.

Add wings to bag and shake until evenly coated.

Add half the oil to the heavy bottom pan.  Allow it to heat and then add wings.  Fry for 5 minutes on each side.  Oil should be bubbling and wings are done when golden and crispy on each side.  Transfer done wings to the wire rack using tongs. Wipe pan and use the other half of the oil for the next batch.

Place wings in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

While wings are in the oven, prepare the sauce.  Melt butter of ghee over low heat.  Add hot sauce to a large mixing bowl.  Add melted butter or ghee and mix to combine.

Remove wings and allow to cool for a few minutes before handling then add wings to the bowl of hot sauce and gently toss to coat with sauce.

Serve with celery sticks and ranch.  Enjoy!

Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin

I've been dying to create a paleo/dairy free potato au gratin because 1.  its delicious and 2.  I made a BOMBtatsic potato au gratin for Christmas with 9 lbs of cheese and heavy cream that was delicious but my face hates dairy so the aftermath was pizza face, or gratin face, or whatever.  Run on sentence anyone?  Anyway, I nailed this one in one try and it happens to be whole30 compliant too!  I'm not exactly doing a whole30 right now, but one of my goals for January is clean eating so I guess you could say I am on day 3 of a whole30, if I was doing a whole30.  I may be doing a whole30.  Anyway.  Here is the recipe.

Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin


5 cups thinly sliced russet potatoes (use a mandolin), about 3 large potatoes


1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp ghee
13.5 oz can full fat, unsweetened coconut milk 
1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped 


1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp paprika


Preheat oven to 350F and take out a large baking dish, I used a 9X13 pan.

Slice potatoes using and mandolin and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the ghee.  Add the nutritional yeast and mix to combine.  Add the coconut milk.  Mix until combined and creamy.

Add mayo, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and creamy sauce to a blender.  Pulse until combined.  Add parsley last and pulse once to mix it in.

Pour blender mixture over potatoes in large mixing bowl and mix to combine and fully coat potatoes.

Pour potatoes into baking dish.  Mix almond flour and paprika together in a small bowl.  Sprinkle with topping on and cover with foil.  Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.

Remove foil and bake another 20-30 mins, until browned on edges and bubbling.

Remove from oven and allow 10 minutes to cool before slicing in.