Zoodles with Cashew Cream Sauce

Monday, June 30, 2014 Alanna Figueira 3 Comments

So I obviously have a love affair with cashew butter! I'm so obsessed and use it for everything! Why? I love the flavor and it is so smooth and creamy, making it excellent for sauces and baking.  It's a lot like peanut butter, the closest nut butter to PB, in my opinion.  This sauce is just like a peanut sauce.  I used to make this sauce all the time as a quick one pan lunch for myself.  I would just sautée some zoodles with ghee and add a huge scoop of cashew butter, spices, red pepper flakes, and a little water or coconut milk to thin it out and boom.  Amazing flavor!  You may have seen a rough draft kinda recipe on whole30 recipes a couple months back.  I've played around with it for a long time, thinning it out with water, coconut milk, ghee and rice wine vinegar.  Well, I finally measured stuff!  

This recipe is real versatile, super easy and you can omit or substitute lots of things! I find the best "sauce" comes from a 1:1 ratio of cashew butter and thinner.  Water is the easiest thinner!  It works great and the sauce is still creamy and packed with flavor.  Coconut milk is good too, just make sure to use both the liquid and fat combined, you may need to blend the can before you measure it.  Skipping the vinegar will result fine.  The sesame oil is not necessary, I just love the extra layer of flavor that it adds.  Add your favorite veggies or some protein.  The only things I ask that you not omit are the cashew butter (duh), cilantro, and red pepper flakes.  There's nothin'like fresh cilantro!  If you don't like things too spicy, start with 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes and add more if you want.  

Let's talk about zoodles.  I use a spirooli.  I love it!  I love to brag about how I thrifted it for under $2.00, unopened in it's box!  Best day ever.  There are lots of tools out there now to spirilize veggies with.  A mandolin works great and even a veggie peeler (what you would peel potatoes, carrots and beets with) makes awesome "linguine" style noodles.  You can spirilize, or linguine-ify (what?!) zuchinni, yellow summer squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, yams... Pretty much any root veggie!  Another alternative for "noodles" is spaghetti squash.  Once you've spirilized your zuchinni, you want to cook it just a little bit to take the bite out.  At my house, one of us (me) likes them "el dente" so I sautée them just a few minutes in ghee.  Someone else like them overdone to soft (not a fan).   So I guess it depends on your personal preference!  Another option is to blanch them, or just drop them in boiling water for a minute or 2.  

The sauce in the recipe serves 4 as a side dish and about 2 as a main dish.  1 cup of zoodles or spirilized veggie is great with 1-2 tbsp sauce.  You can make a big batch of sauce and reheat as needed.  It's thick in the fridge but will thin out when re-heated.  The whole batch of sauce will coat about 8 cups of raw zoodles, which seems like a lot but it's really not!  Once cooked, they shrink down.  We usually eat a zuchinni each person, about 2 cups.  This is getting confusing! I encourage you to make the full portion of this sauce listed, then dip random stuff in it as needed.  I've been guilty of eating it off a finger.  
Ok, done talking! Here is the recipe!

*serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main

8 cups raw zoodles (spirilized zuchinni) 
6 green onions (scallions), chopped into rounds 
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/2 cup water or coconut milk (full fat unsweetened and canned)
2 tbsp coconut sugar *omit for whole30 
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh torn Cilantro, plus extra to garnish 
1/4 cup cashews, crushed.  Plus extra to garnish. 
2 tbsp Ghee (to sautée zoodles in)
1 tbsp sesame oil (to drizzle)


1.  Combine cashew butter, water, coconut sugar, rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, granulated garlic and salt in a small sauce pan and heat on low to combine and make a sauce. 

2.  While that is warming, sautée your zoodles and green onions in ghee.  

3.  Add cilantro and chopped cashews to zoodles and sautée for 1-2 minutes.

4.  When zoodles are cooked, add sauce to the pan and mix to combine OR portion individually, and dollop sauce on zoodles.  

5.  Garnish with chopped cashews and fresh cilantro.

6.  Drizzle with sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired,  Enjoy!


Creamy S'Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Monday, June 23, 2014 Alanna Figueira 6 Comments

So, I have a 3 year old, and all of a sudden he has to dress himself like a hobo, has a HUGE opinion and demands crap he sees people eating like cereal, and of late, Mac'n cheese.  It was so much easier when he couldn't talk!  JK. I am definitely not as strict with my kids eating as I am with myself, but I'm not making him Kraft Mac'n cheese.  I keep him dairy free, because he reacts to dairy and gluten free almost always.  On occasion, I'll make him rice or quinoa noodles.  He is all of a sudden not down with the spaghetti squash noodles, he somehow knows they are not noodles at all. Boo.  But this sauce, this sauce he will eat.  It's really creamy and actually looks like a Mac'n cheese sauce.  He even dipped his broccoli in it.  This is not velveeta or Kraft people, but it is good and if you are used to a paleo or whole30 lifestyle, it's the closest thing to Mac'n cheese!  It's great over a baked sweet potato, over veggies or grilled chicken or um, hello Cheese Dog!  The nutritional yeast really cheeses it up, but it's not necessary. Whole30 friends- please note that while all ingredients listed are compliant, using nutritional yeast to make cheese sauce is discouraged, and seen as missing the point of the program.  You can skip the nutritional yeast in this recipe.  Using mayo to make a cream sauce is ok.  

The sauce is really easy to make.  The sweet potato makes it that Mac'n cheese cheesy yellow color.  You can use leftover sweet potatoes or even mashed sweet potatoes.  Butternut squash also works well.  I just peeled and chopped a potato and steamed it.  See here for how to roast a spaghetti squash. 

The exact texture and color may vary based on how much sweet potato and the color of the sweet potato.  A white sweet potato will make a very light colored sauce and a very orange one will make it look like Kraft!  A starchier yam will make the texture thicker and less smooth and creamy.  I have found a regular orange sweet potato is best for this sauce.  If your emulsion fails, this will not be a thick sauce like it is intended.  Check out my videos under #plgmayo on Instagram for really easy instructions how to emulsify mayo. Sometimes mayo comes out thicker than other times, so if your sauce comes out too thick, add coconut milk to thin 1 tbsp at a time. 

2/3 cup avocado oil or light olive oil
1 pastured egg
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup orange sweet potato, peeled and cooked
1/4 cup full fat unsweetened coconut milk 
3 cups Spaghetti Squash, cooked
3 cups Broccoli Florets, cooked


1.  Make sauce like mayo.  Add egg, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder to the food processor or blender.  Pulse.  Slowly drizzle 2/3 cup oil in while constantly pulsing.  

2.  Once emulsified, add cooked sweet potato, coconut milk and nutritional yeast to food processor or blender.  Blend it in until smooth creamy sauce. *if sauce is too thick, add coconut milk 1 tbsp at a time 

3.  Serve sauce over spaghetti squash and mix in broccoli.  Enjoy! 


Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 Alanna Figueira 8 Comments

Okay I really am not a muffin person, but I 
love love love a blueberry muffin PACKED with blueberries with a sweet crumbly topping.  I don't know why that is, but I need it that way.  I'm not going to lie, these muffins took me quite a few tries to get right.  They kept coming out too moist and I can't be making muffins every day so I would just leave the recipe aside for weeks and then re-visit it from time to time.  Finally, I am satisfied with these muffins.  Beyond satisfied actually.  They are moist, but not too moist and definitely flavorful.  The crumb topping is seriously out of this world insane delicious so please please do not skip it!  The ingredients are simple, only substitute a granulated sugar because honey or maple syrup will make them way too moist.  

*makes 9 muffins

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
3 eggs
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut milk (unsweetened, full fat canned, blended then measured to emulsify fat and liquid)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

For the crumb topping

1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup coconut butter (NOT oil), melted
1 tsp cinnamon
*Mix it all up in a small bowl until it is a crumble consistency


1.  Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with 9 papers.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients- coconut flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

3.  In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with vanilla.

4.  Add eggs to the dry ingredients.

5.  Add coconut milk and melted butter to dry ingredients.  Mix to combine.

6.  Fold in blueberries last.

7.  Divide batter evenly into 9 muffin papers, filling each about 3/4 of the way.

8.  Top evenly with crumble topping.

9.  Bake at 350F on center rack for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.

10.  Allow to cool before eating.  If you open them when they are still piping hot the blueberries will explode and it will be very moist.



Coconut Butter Melts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 Alanna Figueira 1 Comments

So I'm finally getting these coconut butter melts up on my blog!  If you follow me on Instagram, you know I'm obsessed with coconut butter and I melt and mold it into pretty silicone molds.  


3 Day Whole Body Reset

Monday, June 16, 2014 Alanna Figueira 9 Comments

I just got back from a week long vacation in Mexico. It was awesome! I drank too much, ate way too much mystery food, and spent a week relaxing with my family.  I got sick on day 2, I'll spare you the details but lets just say I spent the 2 following days eating rice and bananas.  My 3 year old has diarrhea and my 8 month old is constipated because I was too scared to let her eat anything but bananas and avocados! But it's all good, we are back and I will get everyone regular starting now. I do all of the things that I will list below, and I will be doing all of these things from Monday-Wednesday if you want to watch along on my Instagram. See ya carb flu. 

If you do these things I am about to list for 3 days you will feel better, kill cravings and be at a good place to start fresh with good eating habits.  Think of it like a clean slate.  The recommendations I'm about to list will nourish your gut and detox your whole body.  It may seem like a lot or restrictive, but remember this is just a 3 day plan to sort of power wash your insides!  This is great for that 1 slice of pizza turned entire week of crap eating or to bounce back after a vacation.  I've been there- a weekend away from home and come Monday you feel like crap but don't even know where to begin to get yourself back on track because you wake up with the worst "hunger" pains of your life.  Unfortunately, it's not hunger friends, it's cravings! 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a registered dietitian, and I'm not here to dole out advice, this is just what works for me.  First I will list why you can do and how you can supplement to aid detox and healing, then I will list exactly what to include in your diet.  There will also be a summary at the bottom.
1.  Drink water
Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of pure or infused water.  So, if you weigh 120lbs, drink a minimum of 60ounces of water a day.  I drink my entire body weight a day when I'm feeling lousy or trying to detox.  I use quart sized mason jars to drink out of and refill it all day long.  1 quart = 32 ounces and I drink about 4 in a day and that is a little more than what I weigh.  

2.  Lemon 

Drink the juice of at least one lemon, but preferably more like 3, a day.  I infuse my water every day and my favorite detox water infusion is the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 a sliced cucumber and a handful of fresh mint leaves in a 1 quart mason jar.  It's so refreshing and makes you drink more.  Lemon is great for digestion and provides bioavailable vitamin C. 

3.  Apple Cider Vinegar
Start and end each day with 1 tbsp ACV in a glass of warm lemon water. This is great for digestion and has endless health benefits.  ACV is great for detox and can help balance your entire inner body. 

4.  Bone broth

Bone broth is literally medicine and one of the most healing foods you can possibly ingest.  Make some.  Don't be intimidated. It's so simple.  Try to drink a quart a day, but drink 8oz at minimum. Here's how to make it:

Simple Chicken Bone Broth

Save your organic pastured chicken bones in the freezer whenever you cook chicken.  When you have about an entire carcass or the equivalent in bones, you are ready to dart a batch.  Necks and backs are great for broth always include them!  

  • Bones of a whole chicken 
  • Veggie scraps- this is just to taste so you don't even need to do this step but here are the perfect things to add- 1 onion, a head of garlic, 3 bay leaves, 3 celery stalks, 3 carrots
  • Enough filtered water to cover chicken bones
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.  This acid is necessary to extract the minerals from the bone so don't skip this! You can use any vinegar.

1.  Place all bones, veggies and apple cider vinegar in a stock pot and cover with filtered water.

2.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to simmer on very low.  The kind of simmer where you see a bubble every couple minutes.  Simmer for 6-24 hours, the longer the better.  If your water evaporates, add more throughout the process.  

3.  Strain, jar and drink fresh for up to 2 weeks or freeze.

You can also use a slow cooker.
Do not add salt to the broth until you consume it, it will interfere with mineral extraction.
You don't have to clean your bones, just throw them in with skin and meat hanging off, its fine.
Don't use commercial chicken, ever. 
Save veggie scraps throughout the week- onion ends, carrot ends, etc are all great for broth!

 5.  Garlic

Add it to everything.  Roast a head and add it to mashed cauliflower or homemade mayo. Add a few cloves of sliced garlic to your sautée pan.  Pop it raw in "pill" form (cut a clove into 4 pieces and swallow whole) if you can't find a way to incorporate it.  Garlic is great for your immune system and has many health promoting benefits. 

6.  Vitamin D

Most people have no idea how important this vitamin is! It regulates everything in the body and is especially important in times of stress on the body.  If me or my kids are beginning to get the slightest bit "off",  I always supplement our D.  I even double our D during times if illness.  I follow these recommendations http://drtenpenny.com/vitamin-d-and-you/ and supplement especially in the winter months, but also in the summer if I am detoxing or feeling crappy.  As a nursing mother I supplement about 8000IU as recommended by my chiropractor and I use this brand http://www.amazon.com/Carlson-Laboratories-Super-4000IU-Supplement/dp/B0090QNC8M/ref=sr_1_2?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1402931230&sr=1-2&keywords=carlson+vit+d+drops+amazon
Guidelines for Vitamin D supplementation 
in healthy persons
Ideal  Range**
Normal Daily Dose
Birth to 6 months
6 months to 5year
1,000*IU per each 20lbs/day
5 year to 12 year          >60ng/mL
3-4000 IU/day
12 year to adult          >60ng/mL
5000 IU/day
6,000 IU/day
Dark skinned adults
5-6,000 IU/day

7.  Omega 3 fatty acids
Supplement with high quality cod liver oil like green pastures fermented CLO http://www.greenpasture.org/public/Home/index.cfm or eat wild fish. Wild salmon is the best whole food source.
8.  No eating after dinner.  
After you've had your last meal, do not eat again.  Try to eat your last meal by 7pm
9.  Be asleep by 10pm.  
This is so important.  The most important, deepest and most regenerative sleep goes on between 10pm and 2am.  Sleeping during these hours will leave you feeling more rested.  This is especially important during detox. 
What to eat:

  • High quality protein

Pastured eggs
Pastured organic unprocessed meats
Wild unprocessed fish 

  • Veggies

Eat them! Preferably organic, local and seasonal.  
Sweet potato and squash are fine to include.  Beets, greens (spinach, kale, dandelion, collards, watercress are all excellent), artichoke, asparagus, broccoli and cabbage are some of my favorite detoxifying vegetables. 

  • An avocado a day

Avocado is a great source of healthy fat, antioxidants and nutrients.  It will help with satiety, promotes blood sugar regulation and is an anti-inflammatory whole food. If you really don't like it plain, try making guacamole or adding some spices to liven it up. 

  • Probiotic Foods

Include them at every meal.  Naturally fermented veggies- if you don't want to make them, buy them.  I love Bubbies brand pickles and sauerkraut. Your local health food store should carry some kind of fermented veggies- cabbage, beets, kimchee, sauerkraut and pickles are all pretty easily accessible.  Shoot for at least 2 tbsp of fermented veggies per meal.  Another way to incorporate is adding 1 tsp of the juice of a fermented veggie to your bone broth.  Just be sure not to add it to piping hot broth, add it after broth has cooled to maintain the integrity of the bacteria.  Kombucha is also a great option. 

  • Fat 

Include these fats in your daily diet
Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Pastured animal fats for cooking
Evoo (uncooked, always)

  • Other great detoxifying foods, spices and herbs


  • What to Avoid:

Sugar- natural or not avoid ALL
Processed Foods including meats, sweet potato chips, anything bagged/packaged or processed 
White potatoes
Nuts/seeds- yes, they are paleo and whole30 but they can also be inflammatory, avoid while detoxing. Avoid milks, nut butters, bars, ALL forms.
Fruits- yes, they are paleo and whole30 and the sugar is natural but avoid for these 3 days of detox  
Caffeine/Coffee- limit to 1 a day or avoid entirely

  • Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day
  • Add the juice of 1-3 whole lemons to your water each day
  • Drink 8 oz- 1 quart of bone broth each day
  • Begin and end your day with 1 tbsp ACV in 1 cup warm water
  • Eat garlic each day- at least 3 cooked cloves or 1 clove raw
  • Take vitamin D
  • Take fish oil
  • No eating after dinner
  • Go to sleep by 10pm
  • What to eat: 
High quality protein, organic seasonal vegetables, healthy fats, an avocado a day, probiotic foods, spices and herbs. 
  • What to avoid:
Processed foods
White potatoes
ALL fruit except lemon juice
ALL sugar

During these days try to prepare all of your own foods, especially meats.  It is so hard to be sure how they were prepared and processed.  Try to eat as simply and whole as possible.  


Coconut Chicken Tenders with Sweet and Spicy Mango Dip

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 Alanna Figueira 2 Comments

Here's another breaded chicken recipe that is so great for kids, my son loves them.  They are also a great party/appetizer food.  My go-to chicken finger recipe is here. But these are different, and have great coconut flavor.  I always scoop a little dip out for my son before adding the red pepper flakes because he can't take the heat!  But I love it! 


Homemade Maple Sausage Patties

Wednesday, June 04, 2014 Alanna Figueira 0 Comments

Here is an easy breakfast sausage recipe that will make you wonder why you are still spending $8 on Applegate sausages.  Or maybe that was just me.  These are easy, cheap, fresh and you know exactly what went in.  You can skip the maple syrup for whole30.  You can separate with parchment paper and freeze them too!


1 b ground chicken, turkey or pork (pictured is turkey)
2 tbsp grade B maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground sage
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp fennel or anise seed
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp fat (I use ghee) to fry in


1.  Heat a skillet on medium.

2.  Mix everything (except fat) together in a large mixing bowl.

3.  Heat your fat.

4.  Form flat patties out of meat mixture.

5.  Place patties in hot fat to cook, flipping halfway and cooking until cooked through.

6.  Makes 8-10 patties, depending on how large you make them.



Paleo Pancakes

Tuesday, June 03, 2014 Alanna Figueira 6 Comments

I'm over-blogging a little here, but I have so many recipes to share and I will not be posting next week.  I have a little surprise in store!  

These have been on my blog for awhile, but with my whipped cream, so I wanted to make a place for them to be more easily accessed and I made the recipe here a little larger of a batch.  I love these pancakes, and we are pancake freaks in my house.  I make pancakes at least once a week, and I always have cold pancakes in the fridge for snacks for my son.  These are super easy, just dump everything in the blender, blend til smooth and pan fry in fat.   Ghee, butter or coconut oil are all good fats to cook in.  They are nice and fluffy and even a little chewy because of the tapioca, which I love! You can substitute arrowroot, but I do like tapioca better. 


1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 large eggs
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk, blended then measured if fat has separated from liquid
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt


1.  Heat your skillet to medium-low.

2.  Dump eggs in the blender.

3.  Dump everything else in the blender and blend until smooth.

3.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes, allowing the baking powder to do it's thing. 

4.  Pan fry in butter, ghee or coconut oil.  Makes about 9 medium sized (1-2tbsp batter per cake) pancakes. Enjoy!


Banana Blondies

Monday, June 02, 2014 Alanna Figueira 4 Comments

Here is a yummy and guilt free treat.  I make these for my 3 year old and I love that they are sweetened only with banana, dates and raw local honey.    I usually skip the chocolate chips, but obviously they are delicious with them! I use enjoylife dairy/gluten/soy free mini chips when I do include them.  Many of you have asked for egg free desserts and here you have one!  They are really chewy and naturally sweetened.  Use any nut butter, I just love cashew because it's smooth and the flavor is my favorite of the nut butters so I bake with it often.