Monthly Archives: May 2013

Grilled Shrimp, Peach and Arugula Salad


On my Memorial Day weekend visit to Boston I found myself far off the Primal path. Surrounded by several days of rainy weather and wonderful friends, I indulged in all of my old favorites–Sunset‘s South of the Border Giant Fiesta nachos, great craft beers, brunch full of chicken and waffles, Lord Hobo’s mac n cheese, pizza…ugh! This dish was exactly what I needed to kickstart my detox and jump right back into my wonderfully healthy, sunny, Primal, fresh California lifestyle that I’ve come to cherish so much! As soon as I got home I set out for the hiking trail and followed it with this super clean meal. This dish is full of vibrant Summer flavors that will leave your taste buds and belly very happy. I was pleasantly surprised how sweet the peaches were so early in the season too, so if you’re in the southern California area, you’re in for a treat (as with any other day on this beautiful coast)!


Grilled Shrimp, Peach and Arugula Salad (Adapted from The Kitchy Kitchen) (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4)

  • 1 lb. wild caught jumbo shrimp (~12-16 large pieces) 
  • 2-3 organic yellow peaches, sliced thin
  • 1 small bulb organic fennel, sliced thin
  • 1/2 c. loose organic cilantro leaves
  • 1 7oz. bag organic arugula
  • 4 Tbsp. lime juice (from about 2 organic limes)
  • 1/2 c. organic extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Hungarian or smoked paprika
  • sriracha (optional)

Prepare the shrimp with salt, pepper, and Hungarian or smoked paprika. Heat a grill pan over medium-high and spray with natural cooking spray or brush with a little olive oil. Cook the shrimp on the grill pan, about 3-4 minutes on each side depending on size.


Assemble the arugula with peaches, fennel and cilantro. In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the grilled shrimp on the assembled salad and drizzle with the lime dressing. Add a few squirts of sriracha for some extra spice if desired.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes


My coworker has been asking me for months to bake him a Birthday treat so now that the day has finally come he requested strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. I wish I had the time this week to test and create a new Primal recipe for this occasion, but things were jam-packed so I had to stick with a recipe I knew would work the first time around. I have perfected my primal chocolate cupcakes, which I still need to share with all of you, and soon will set out on experimenting with a primal yellow cupcake. For now, you’ll have to settle for this flour-filled version, that I must say was quite tasty!


Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes (Adapted from Doughmesstic) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Makes a dozen cupcakes)

For the Cupcakes:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 c. organic sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, pods scraped out
  • 1 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. cake flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temp.
  • 1/2 c., plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk (I made my own non-dairy version by adding 1/2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar to organic coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 6 large organic strawberries, diced small

For the Frosting/Topping:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temp.
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temp.
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 large organic strawberries, quartered

Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 340 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Set aside.

Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl with the butter.  Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 2 more minutes.

Add the sugar to the butter mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Add the vanilla and beat for 1 additional minute.  In a separate bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another minute. Using a spatula fold the diced strawberries into the batter.

Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling around 3/4 full.  Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans.

Make the Frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Assemble the Cupcakes: Using a piping bag and tip, top each cupcake with a healthy amount of the cream cheese frosting.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small bowl in the microwave.  Add brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs and stir well,  Sprinkle the mixture onto the frosting. Place a quartered strawberry on top of each cupcake.

IMAG0312 IMAG0311 As you can see, my strawberry chunks settled to the bottom, so try to be strategic about spooning your batter in the pan with more strawberries at the top. You could also skip folding them into the batter and place them once you’ve already spooned the batter into the cupcake pan. Nonetheless they still tasted great!

Balsamic Mushroom Chicken


 I love this blog I stumbled upon-Peace Love and Low Carb– I mean really, what else is there in life? She also just came out with a cookbook that I’d be interested to flip through. This dish is amazingly simple and is something a little new. It reminds me of chicken marsala but the balsamic gives it a little more of an acidic flavor which is a nice change and balances well with the nutty parmesan. The original recipe also calls for onions which I did not have (surprisingly). I’m sure they would be a great addition, but I like the simplicity of the balsamic and mushroom flavors together. I probably don’t even have to mention this, but I ate it over cauliflower rice and topped with an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese–surprise!


Balsamic Mushroom Chicken (Adapted from Peace Love and Low Carb) (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4)

  • 1½ lb. organic free range boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb. organic mushrooms – sliced
  • ½ c. of organic low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. organic coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • paprika
  • crushed red pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat 1 Tbsp. of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan. Brown on both sides, remove from the pan and set aside (Note – they will not be all the way cooked at this stage).


Add remaining Tbsp. butter  and saute mushrooms until tender, about 7 minutes. De-glaze the pan with the chicken stock. Make sure you get all the chicken bits and butter off the pan. This helps to flavor your sauce. Add the balsamic vinegar, greek yogurt, and coconut milk and stir.


Add the chicken back to the pan, turn heat back up to medium and saute until the chicken is cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from the pan and plate. Add the Parmesan and crushed red pepper, if using, to the sauce and keep stirring until the cheese is completely melted in.


Cover the chicken with the sauce and serve.


Cucumber and Cabbage Salad


I really have a thing for Asian salads–cucumber salad, the salad typical of Japanese cuisine with the delicious carrot ginger dressing, seaweed salad– I could go.  So when I saw this recipe I just had to make it. It was a perfect accoutrement to my Shrimp Green Curry. It’s like if cole slaw and cucumber salad had a baby. Crisp, refreshing, and tasty! A warm weather must.


Cucumber and Cabbage Salad (Adapted from Healthy Seasonal Recipes) (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4-6)

  • 1 head organic Napa Cabbage, finely sliced
  • 6 seedless Persian cucumbers, julienne cut (4 cups)
  • ½ c. chopped roasted, salted peanuts (or blanched almonds to stay completely primal)
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh organic cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin organic coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • ¼ c. freshly squeezed organic lime juice
  • 2 tsp. raw honey
  • 2 tsp. coarse sea salt, or more to taste
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • Red chili flake to taste, optional

Combine cabbage, cucumbers, peanuts and cilantro in a large bowl. Whisk oil, lime juice, honey, salt, garlic and onion powder and red chili flake if using in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Chill at least 20 minutes before serving.

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Shrimp and Veggie Green Curry


Continuing on with my Thai kick, I made this deliciously simple shrimp and veggie curry. It is amazing how easy it is to make Thai food at home, and not just any Thai food, but food that tastes better than your favorite take out spot and is healthier!! I served this over my infamous Cauliflower Rice, and started with a refreshing Cucumber Cabbage Salad.


Shrimp and Veggie Green Curry (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4)

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 4 oz. green curry paste
  • 1 c. organic low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 organic red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 oz. organic snap peas
  • 8 oz. organic bok choy, quartered lengthwise
  • 3-4 sprigs organic Thai basil, with stems (or regular basil)
  • 1 serrano chile
  • zest of 1 organic lime
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup lightly salted peanuts, chopped

In a large wok or saucepan, bring the coconut milk and curry paste to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bell pepper, onion, basil, chile, lime zest, and sesame oil. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.

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Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Remove the lid from the curry and add the shrimp, snap peas and the bok choy. Simmer, uncovered, until the shrimp is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the basil sprigs and discard.


Ladle the curry into bowls. Garnish with the cilantro and peanuts.