Dairy-Free Lemon Poppyseed Dressing

Our sunny, warm weather is finally here and for a consistent period of time too. I am so happy! And, with that said, I’m thinking even more about summery foods like salads and barbecue. This dressing is perfect to have on hand for those warmer days and I’ve actually been using it everyday on my salads for lunch. Speaking of that, there’s nothing I love more than a huge ass salad for lunch. I throw in whatever’s in my fridge — mixed greens, turkey burger, chicken or smoked salmon, sauerkraut, carrots, cucumber, fresh herbs, sunflower seeds, etc. —  it’s all fair game. Normally, I just use olive oil or guacamole as my dressing, but this lemon poppyseed dressing has been a nice and refreshing way to mix things up. It’s definitely lemony, but that’s kinda the point.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp homemade avocado oil mayo or a high-quality brand like this one
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2.5 Tbsp sweet onion, finely minced
  • 1.5 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp poppyseeds
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except the poppyseeds in a blender. Blend about 30-60 seconds, until frothy. Add the poppyseeds and blend for another 20-30 seconds.
  2. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  3. Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Eating Paleo in Iceland

This post has been a long time coming and after much chipping away, it’s finally done! Anyway, as many of you know, my husband and I traveled to Iceland this past March and had an amazing experience. We loved it all — the scenery, the food, the people, etc. It was incredible and we’d go back in a heartbeat. I imagine many of you wonder more about the food though and specifically, if it was easy to eat paleo there. The short answer is yes, it was easy and I had no problems with the food situation. Trust me…I ate very well!

Icelandic horses in field

I ate a lot of fresh Atlantic fish (Arctic char, ling, other cod varieties, salmon), pickled foods (beets, cucumbers, fish), root vegetables, potatoes, greens, tomatoes, and plain Skyr (traditional Icelandic yogurt). We ate a big breakfast every morning in our hotel, had a snack in the afternoon (generally macadamia nuts and/or an Epic Bar that we packed with us), and then went out somewhere for dinner. One night though, we had an awesome buffet dinner (followed by soaking & sauna) at the Laugarvatn Fontana, about an hour out of Reykjavik and afterward, went on a guided Northern Lights hunt (it was too cloudy to see them that night, but we did see them another night). There was fish, root veggies, salad, chicken, tomato basil soup, etc. It was delicious!

Jesse and me Iceland

You may or may not know this, but despite its cooler temperatures (it was mainly in the mid-to-upper 30s while we were there), Iceland actually grows a lot of its own produce in geothermal-heated greenhouses. Additionally, Iceland is self-sufficient in producing meat, eggs, and dairy products. Iceland’s food is centered around purity and sustainability. They do not use hormones or antibiotics, and the use of herbicides and pesticides is very restricted. They also have very low pollution, and the water is so pure and fresh (no need to buy bottled water here — get it straight from the tap). Iceland for the win!

Meanwhile, my breakfast included lemon water, black coffee, smoked fish or lox, hard-boiled eggs, pickled veggies (sometimes a bite of pickled fish too), fresh tomato slices, potatoes, and a bit of bacon. It’s not pictured below, but I usually ate half a banana and some plain Skyr as well. Oh, and a shot of Icelandic fish oil some mornings since they put the bottle and little shot glasses out each day. We looked forward to coming down to breakfast every morning in our hotel and having this traditional Icelandic spread. If you’re wondering, we stayed at Center Hotel Thingholdt in Reykjavik. It was a great hotel and fantastic location. Breakfast was included in the stay too.

Below are some of the places we ate in Reykjavik that I recommend. We had fantastic food and zero problems ordering!

Glo: we ate here multiple times because the food was so amazing. Most everything is gluten-free and while there are a lot of vegetarian items (some incredible vegetable sides!), a chicken dish is available as well. The food is SO good and fresh! And, don’t even get me started on their gluten/grain-free raw desserts. We tried many and all were incredible! The second photo below is their pecan pie (grain & dairy-free – it was an almond and egg white base) with fresh whipped cream. I think I could eat that pecan pie everyday. It was unbelievable. Their raw tiramisu (don’t have a picture) was my other favorite. The first photo below was our actual first dinner in Iceland. I don’t remember the exact details of what was on my plate, but there’s curried chicken, cold root veggies, mixed greens salad, cucumber salad, and cold potatoes with some sort of amazing raw sauce (I think it was either either almond or cashew-based and had coriander seeds in it). It’s definitely food that makes you feel good!

Messinn: We had our favorite meal of our whole trip here, and that says a lot because everything we ate was amazing. I had Arctic char that was served with honey, almonds, cherry tomatoes, lemon, and butter. It came in a big cast iron skillet with baby potatoes and a generous pile of arugula on top. Jesse ordered their cod, which had different elements, but was served in the same manner. He thoroughly enjoyed it as well. We went back on our last night (I planned to get the same thing again because it was that good), but they had to close for dinner that night due to some sort of unforeseen situation or emergency. We were so bummed!

messinn arctic char

Bergon Mathus: this was a meal for two that we shared, which was not only delicious, but a really good deal too. It was whole cod with roasted vegetables, and also came with two small sides of our choice. We went with a sweet potato mash and cucumber/tomato salad. The restaurant itself was adorable and had a lot of character.

fish aftermath Iceland

Helisuhusid: this is a great little health food store right next to Glo. We had packed a lot of our own travel snacks, but it was handy to have a spot to re-up our supply, as needed.

Photo credit : foursquare.com

Saeta Svinid Gastropub: we ate here one night for dinner and I had a lovely meal of ling with mashed potatoes, caper flowers, and Dijon-butter sauce. We were in close quarters with the table next to us and couldn’t help but strike up conversation with each other. We ended up having not only an enjoyable meal, but a great evening with an English couple. They were a hoot and our interacting with them is why I did not take a photo of my meal. Oh, and Jesse had a bun-less burger here, which he greatly enjoyed.

Kryddlegin Hjortu: the soup and salad bar here is where it’s at, and this place is extremely gluten-free friendly. In fact, the majority of their menu is gluten-free or can be made gluten-free. And, all four soups on their soup bar are gluten-free too. The very fresh salad bar was almost all gluten-free, except for the homemade spelt bread and a couscous salad. But, these things were clearly labeled and obvious. We ate here two different nights and I got the soup and salad bar both nights. My favorite soups (which rotate, except for a homemade mushroom soup that they always have) included a vegan coconut curry soup and a spicy Indian chicken soup. The salad bar was loaded with fresh veggies, herb-infused oils, fish, fresh fruit, etc. Unfortunately, I never got any photos here, so you’ll have to use your imagination!

Joylato: Three words: nitrogen ice cream! Pick whether you want an organic cow’s milk or coconut milk base, choose your flavor, and any mix-ins. They add the milk base to a mixer bowl with the necessary flavoring and turn it into ice cream in an instant with liquid nitrogen. Then, they mix in the topping(s) of your choice and serve it up with a homemade piece of gluten-free waffle cone. I had coconut milk chocolate ice cream with almonds and Jesse had coconut milk vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce. It was SO good and fun to watch the process. This place was busy though and took a while to get our ice cream. They have a line-up of 4-5 mixers, but can only make it so fast. When we were there, one person was taking orders and one person was making all the ice cream.

joylato iceland

nitrogen ice cream

joylato

Reykjavik Roasters: homemade coffee Skyr yogurt with maple syrup and almonds. I got this twice while visiting – once on our first day as an afternoon snack and another time after soaking at one of the local thermal pools. Their coffee was also excellent!

Booja Booja: this is an incredible England-made, non-dairy ice cream we found at the health food store above and also at a convenience/mini grocery store in Reykjavik. Most flavors are sweetened with agave, but the one below was sweetened with coconut syrup. These are a cashew base with 5 simple ingredients and no gums, preservatives, or weird stuff. It was so divine and creamy! It tasted very much like a rich, classic chocolate ice cream and the smooth texture was all there.

As you can see, it is easy to eat well in Iceland! I was always satisfied and did not eat a bad meal anywhere. Ordering was simple and I was always well understood when asking about things like gluten. I actually didn’t have to do any complicated ordering or even substitutions when dining out. Again, Iceland for the win!

Smoky Sweet Potato, Kale & Pineapple Salad

This salad is a mix of sweet, smoky and spicy, and just the thing to share at an upcoming Memorial Day barbecue or other gathering this summer. I recommend making it ahead of time, so that it can sit in the fridge for a few hours before eating. The salad becomes much more flavorful, although it’s still good if you don’t have time for that…or aren’t patient. I really enjoy this side dish with chicken, but think it would pair well with nearly any protein.

Meanwhile, you can catch me making this recipe on KATU Afternoon Live on Friday, May 26! Watch the replay of my segment HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium orange sweet potato (I used a jewel), peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt-free mesquite seasoning blend, separated (I used this one, which is unsweetened)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups loosely packed curly green kale leaves, de-stemmed & chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Spread sweet potatoes onto a large baking sheet and drizzle with melted coconut oil. Mix in the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp of the mesquite seasoning, and sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  3. Place in preheated oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once done, set aside to cool completely.
  4. Add the kale to a large bowl and generously season with sea salt. Massage the sea salt into the kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes (this helps the kale soften and makes it more flavorful). Then, add the olive oil, red onion, pineapple, and remaining 1 tsp of mesquite seasoning. Stir well.
  5. Once sweet potatoes have cooled, add to the kale mixture and gently stir. Taste and add more mesquite seasoning, sea salt, black pepper or olive oil, if desired.
  6. If possible, allow flavors to marinate in the fridge for at least a couple hours before serving. When ready to serve, I recommend sprinkling on a dash more mesquite seasoning, but this is optional.

Grain-Free Strawberry Upside-Down Cake

strawberry cake

Mother’s Day is upon us and this strawberry upside-down cake is perfect for a celebratory brunch or dinner. It’s not too sweet, incredibly moist, and full of flavor. It’s got that rustic, yet pretty thing going on too.

Traditional upside-down cakes have a lot of sugar, especially in the “top” glaze layer, but I scaled it way back (no refined sugar either) without sacrificing any of the flavor. The strawberries are a nice change-of-pace and pair so well with the cardamom too. This cake can be served warm, room temperature, or cold (keep leftovers in the fridge). I recommend serving it with a generous dollop of  homemade coconut milk whipped cream or if tolerated, dairy-based whipped cream.

Hope you enjoy it. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 8 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp melted grass-fed butter, separated
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • About 1 cup strawberries, hulled (if need be) and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pour 2 Tbsp of melted butter into a 9-inch cake pan, coating the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the coconut sugar on top of the butter. Then, arrange the strawberry slices on top of the coconut sugar in an even layer.
  3. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the remaining 8 Tbsp melted butter with the raw honey, vanilla, eggs, coconut milk, and lemon juice. Mix until fully blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cardamom.
  5. Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix again, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  6. Spread batter evenly over the strawberry layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, run a knife around the edge of the pan and place a serving dish on top. Invert the cake onto the serving dish and let sit for a few minutes before fully removing the cake pan.
  8. If desired, serve with homemade coconut milk whipped cream or if tolerated, dairy-based whipped cream. Store any leftover cake in the refrigerator.

Yields: 6-8 servings

 

Dairy-Free Tropical Turmeric Ice Cream

tropical ice cream 4

We finally had a break in the crummy weather here in Portland, and were blessed with not one, but two 80-degree days in a row! It’s been a rough spring (and winter) here with record amounts of precipitation and we’ve all been starving for the sun. Kinda weird to feel 80-degrees though when we haven’t even hit 70 yet this year, and have been consistently experiencing weather in the 40s and 50s. But man, it feels good and I’m actually sitting outside as I work on this post!

Anyway, I think the sun inspired me to whip up this tropical treat (that, and fresh champagne mangos were on special at New Seasons). It even seems like you’re eating sunshine with this one, and that makes me feel happy. I added turmeric for a dose of antioxidants and grass-fed collagen for some gut-boosting nutrients. This recipe would also be lovely with frozen pineapple (as an addition or instead of the mango).

Cheers and enjoy!

tropical ice cream bite

Ingredients:

  • 2 fresh mangos, peeled, chopped and frozen for at least 24 hours (or buy already frozen)
  • 1 medium just-ripe banana, peeled, sliced and frozen for at least 24 hours
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I like this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed collagen powder (I used this brand, but like this one too)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp ground turmeric (I liked it with 3/4 tsp, but use 1/2 if you’re not sure)
  • 3-4 Tbsp sliced almonds

Directions:

  1. Add frozen fruit to the food processor with the coconut milk and vanilla. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides and re-blending, as needed.
  2. Next, add the sea salt, collagen, and turmeric. Blend until well mixed.
  3. Scoop mixture into a large bowl and mix in the sliced almonds. Freeze for a couple hours if you want it to firm up a bit more or enjoy right away

Yields: 2-3 servings

Dairy-Free Creamy Mexican Dip

We’re only a few days away from May and I am so hoping it brings some consistent sun here in Portland. We’ve had a record number of rainy days and the sun has been few-and-far between. April showers bring May flowers though, right?

Anyway, with the approach of May is also Cinco de Mayo and this healthy dip is a great way to celebrate! It’s creamy, spicy and festive! I enjoyed it with veggie slices, plantain chips, and mixed into a taco bowl too (ground meat of choice with taco spices, veggies of choice, and this dip mixed in). There is no dairy in the dip, but the creamy aspect comes from pureed white sweet potato, olive oil, and avocado. It’s wonderful served warm, room temperature or cold. This recipe yields a lot too!

Also, I’ll be making this dip on KATU Afternoon Live next Wednesday, May 3. I’ll be sure to share the replay of the segment once it’s available. UPDATE: watch the replay of my segment HERE!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-large white sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 large avocado, sliced into quarters
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz container fresh salsa (mild, medium or hot)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • Pinch of cayenne, optional

Directions:

  1. Cook sweet potato cubes in a steamer basket over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add the cooked sweet potato to a food processor with the garlic, avocado, lime juice, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed.
  3. Next, add the salsa and cilantro, and pulse several times to incorporate it into the sweet potato mixture. Taste and add pinch of cayenne (or more) if you want it a bit spicier.
  4. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold with sliced veggies, plantain chips, grain-free tortillas (this variation is also gum-free), or grain-free tortilla chips. It also makes for a tasty topping on tacos, salads, etc.

Ham, Carrot & Asparagus Egg Bake

We didn’t do anything for Easter this year, nor did I make anything special (granted, we did eat plenty of my dill pickle deviled eggs leading up to it), but I did pick up some ham since it was on sale. Okay, and I did gift Jesse with a special dark chocolate bar from The Meadow, but that’s the extend of it. We didn’t even eat the ham on Easter, as it was a leftovers kind of night. Up until Saturday afternoon, we actually thought we were getting together with friends on Easter Sunday (not for Easter, but just to get together for dinner), but that ended up falling through.

Meanwhile, if you have any leftover Easter ham or picked some up because it was on sale, this recipe is a great way to use it. There’s asparagus, carrot, and dill in the mix too, which yields a lot of spring flavor. It’s a great recipe to save for Mother’s Day brunch or any spring occasion.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces (remove woody ends)
  • 1 large carrot, cut in half and peeled into strips
  • 2 cups good-quality ham, diced into cubes
  • 12 eggs, preferably pasture-raised
  • 1/4 cup good-quality chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (I used this brand, which has no gums)
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Steam asparagus pieces over medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes. Remove steamer basket from pot and set aside to cool a bit.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, broth, coconut milk, dried dill, sea salt, and black pepper.
  4. Add the steamed asparagus, carrot strips, and ham cubes to a 9×13 baking dish and distribute evenly (note: depending on the pan you use, you may need to grease it with a little butter or coconut oil first). Pour egg mixture on top.
  5. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until set.
  6. Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Yields: 6 servings