Teriyaki Stackers from Frugal Paleo

If you thought that eating Paleo is expensive, think again! In Ciarra’s upcoming book, the Frugal Paleo Cookbook, she’ll show you that you can eat delicious and healthy meals without breaking the bank.

To give you a taste of the recipes in Frugal Paleo, make this sweet and savory Teriyaki Stackers today. I can guarantee it will transport your tastebuds to the tropics after that first bite. This meal took me no more than half an hour to prepare and cook so I give it 2 thumbs up! I used canned pineapples in lieu of fresh ones and cooked them on a cast iron pan instead of an outdoor grill. The different flavors worked well together my husband and I ate two patties each so there were no leftovers!


The Frugal Paleo Cookbook will be released on Dec 2, 2014 and if you pre-order, you get some awesome bonus materials such as:
1.) Ciarra’s 20 Frugal Finds at Costco
2.) 10 Paleo Diet Myth Busters
3.) 7 special offers to some of Ciarra’s favorite Paleo products, services and brands like Barefoot Provisions, Exo Protein Bars, Fat Face Skincare, TX Bar Organics grass-fed beef, PrimalPal online meal planner, Pure Indian Foods and WholeMe!

If you already pre-ordered, get your bonus material HERE.

Teriyaki Stackers from Frugal Paleo
Our family loves burgers! But just a single patty on a plate is boring. Let’s stack on the flavor—literally. Lightly grilled red onion and thick pineapple slices under a grass-fed burger packed with classic Asian ingredients with a quick and easy 3-ingredient Teriyaki sauce on the side for dipping, make each bite a mouthful of anything but boring.
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb (454 g) grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) seeded jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (5 g) cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp (4 g) sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 4 quarter-inch (6 mm) slices of red onion
  • 4 half-inch (1 cm) slices of fresh pineapple
  • ½ cup (118 mL) coconut aminos
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) raw honey
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) rice wine or coconut vinegar
  1. Mix together the burger patties and get them on the grill. By hand, combine the ground beef, finely diced jalapeño, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, salt, sesame seeds and onion powder. Grill to your desired doneness over medium-high heat alongside the fresh pineapple and red onion slices. I like to grill the pineapple and onion for just 2 to 3 minutes per side, just to get the char-marks but enough to change them much, texturally speaking.
  2. While the grill is going, mix up the quick teriyaki dipping sauce. This is meant to be super straight forward. Combine the coconut aminos and vinegar, then stream in and whisk the honey to emulsify. Portion the dipping sauce into equal amounts for the number of people eating and hold at room temperature.
  3. Grab the burgers, pineapple and onion off the grill. Stack them pineapple then onion then burger on your plate or serving tray and serve alongside the teriyaki dipping sauce. Eat these with a fork and knife making sure to get each layer in every bite!


Herbed Bacon Potatoes

This has been my go to side dish for the past month when I haven’t had much time to prepare dinner during busy weeknights. It can be enjoyed with any type of grilled, roasted or baked chicken, pork or beef. I usually make enough since it refrigerates really well and we can eat the leftovers for lunch.

I used my favorite Flavorgod Everything seasoning, a very small dollop of mayonnaise and a good amount of bacon to make this scrumptious and easy dish. Make sure not to overcook the potatoes so they are not mushy but still tender with a nice bite. For sure, this will make an appearance at my family and work potluck events this holidays season!


Herbed Bacon Potatoes
Prep time
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Total time
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
  1. Add potatoes to a pot. Add water until it covers the top of the potatoes about an inch. Bring it to a boil and reduce heat to simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.
  2. Remove pot from heat and drain off the water. Add cold water and ice to quickly cool the potatoes immediately. Let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a large colander to drain excess water and dry the potatoes.
  3. Quarter each potato and place them in a large bowl.
  4. And mayonnaise, seasoning, green onions and bacon. Stir gently until everything is fully incorporated. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge before serving.
* I highly recommend the Flavorgod seasonings for their great quality but any seasoning that you have available will work just as well.



Strawberry Coffee Cake from Mediterranean Paleo Cooking

Mediterranean cuisine is exotic, unique and packed with so much flavor. Aside from the usual kafta/kefta that i’ve made a couple of times, my husband and I opt to frequent a local restaurant whenever we have a craving for Mediterranean food. I’ve always been intimidated to make it at home due to the long list of (unknown) ingredients and I knew it would be time consuming and needed tweaks here and there to make a dish Paleo compliant.

The Mediterranean Paleo Cooking cookbook is like a dream come true for me. Finally, healthy Paleo recipes such as Fig and Ginger Chicken Tajine, Harissa-Spiced Chicken Wings, Baba Ghanoush, Falafel and Moussaka just to name a few. There’s a wide variety of tajine recipes in this book though the actual tajine pot is not required. The recipes can easily be cooked in a stockpot or dutch oven but I think getting my very own tajine pot would be a good addition to my kitchen!

The recipes in Mediterranean Paleo Cooking have modifications for Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), GAPS and SCD, Low Carb, Nut and Egg free so there is something for everyone.


I started off by making the Strawberry Coffee Cake last night because my husband and I wanted some dessert to enjoy after dinner. As a baking novice (and someone who avoids baking as much as possible) this was super easy to prepare and I managed not to botch it up!

I made some minor modifications based on what ingredients I had on hand and substituted grass-fed butter for the coconut oil, 15 drops of liquid stevia for the honey and lemon zest for the orange blossom water. I sprinkled 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar on top after I took it out of the oven to mimic that sugary crust found on regular coffee cakes. I also baked it in a loaf pan instead of an 8-by-8 baking dish and we loved how it tuned out even after all the modifications!

Strawberry Coffee Cake
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4-6
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-by-8 inch baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Sift the coconut flour and baking soda into a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and flax together and let sit for 2 minutes. Then add coconut oil, orange blossom water and honey, and mix until well combined.
  4. Slowly add the dry flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Gently fold the strawberries into the batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Chef's Tip:
This recipe also makes great muffins, which are especially easy to transport if you use paper muffin liners. For muffins, fill 10 lined muffin wells two-thirds full. Don't skip the sifting of the coconut flour - it makes for a fluffier texture. If you do not ave a flour sifter, you can use a wire-mesh strainer for the same effect.

Nutritionists Note:
Buy organic strawberries. Conventionally grown strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's annual list of most contaminated produce, also referred to as the "Dirty Dozen", because their thin skin easily absorbs toxic pesticides.


Mongolian Beef from Real Life Paleo

Its been years since I’ve enjoyed some good Mongolian beef and knowing there’s really no Paleo compliant Chinese restaurant out there, I was pretty excited when I saw this recipe from Paleo Parent’s latest book, Real Life Paleo. I knew I HAD to make it and boy, it didn’t disappoint! It was sweet, savory and rivals its gluten and soy laden counterpart. I added a hefty pinch of red pepper flakes for a little bit of kick and doubled up the green onions because we love that stuff at home. Yes we ate it with white rice and it was so worth it!

I’m happy to share this sneak peek recipe with all of you. Don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Real Life Paleo if you haven’t done so already. It will be released on November 4, 2014.



Mongolian Beef
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 2-4
  1. In a wide-bottomed bowl, combine the tapioca flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of beef in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt enough lard to reach halfway up the meat pieces. Preheat for about 8 minutes until it reaches 350°F.
  3. Fry the beef in batches until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
  4. In a separate skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of lard over medium heat until melted and hot. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 90 seconds. Any longer than that and you will burn the garlic.
  5. Pour in the coconut aminos and water and simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the molasses and palm sugar until dissolved. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.
  7. Add the cooked beef and onions to the skillet and stir to coat. Continue to cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. While still warm, garnish with green onions, if desired, and serve with Plain Cauli-Rice.
For serving:
1 batch Plain Cauli-Rice (page 246)

Note: If your family likes green onions, like we do, we suggest doubling or tripling the amount called for in the recipe so that you aren’t fighting over who gets the greens.


Sizzling Pork Belly Sisig

Sisig is a dish that is near and dear to (almost) every FIlipino’s heart. Usually, it is eaten with heaps of rice or with copious amounts of alcohol, particularly ice cold bottles of beer. The smell alone will make your mouth water and crave for that porky goodness!

It was one of Anthony Bourdain’s favorite when he visited the Philippines for his No Reservations show and Andrew Zimmern is a really big fan of it. In fact, Andrew even posted his own version last month on his blog. This is nowhere near the original version but its nice to see a different culinary take on a well loved dish.


Traditionally, sisig is made out of pig’s ears, face and snout which gives it that crunchy texture and unique taste. Liver is added as a flavor enhancer and brain to make it creamy and luxiourious. Those ingredients are not always easily accessible (unless you have an Asian market close by) so using pork belly from a reputable source is a good alternative. Besides, I’m sure theres quite a few out there that wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole after knowing what its actually comprised of! Sisig is not for the faint of heart especially for those who have never ventured towards the wonderful world of offal. (Seriously, you don’t know what you’re missing!)

I’ve toyed with this recipe for a while and decided to finally share it with all of you. Don’t fret, aside from pork belly, I only added chicken liver to reap its nutritional benefits and made substitutions to the other ingredients without compromising flavor. If you’re iffy about liver, I swear you can’t even tell it’s in there because it crumbles as it cooks with the pork. There are no unique ingredients lurking in this sisig so don’t hesitate to give it a try.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Sizzling Pork Belly Sisig
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Filipino
Serves: 2
  1. In a large pot, add water, apple cider vinegar, pork belly and sea salt. Turn on heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 5 - 8 minutes. Turn off heat, drain water and let it cool for at least 20 minutes until cool enough to handle. Chop into ½" (1.5 cm) pieces.
  2. On a cast iron pan over medium heat, add chicken liver. Cook for 5 minutes until no longer pink. Mash it into smaller pieces using the back of a wooden spoon. Add pork belly and cover. Let it cook for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. (NOTE: Take the pan off the heat before removing the lid to stir the pork belly. This will prevent unexpected splatters!)
  3. Remove cover and add onions, jalapeño, garlic, coconut aminos, fish sauce, onion powder and black pepper. Saute for 2 - 3 minutes. Turn off heat and mix in the coconut cream and lime juice. Crack an egg on top and mix well before serving.
*** Mayonnaise can be substituted for the coconut cream in this recipe.



Ginger Balsamic Date Glazed Chicken Legs (Paleo Takes 5 -or- Fewer)

These sexy chicken legs caught my eye and had me drooling! It is one of the recipes in Cindy’s upcoming book, Paleo Takes 5 -or- Fewer which is scheduled to be released on October 21, 2014.

The ginger, balsamic and dates on its ingredient list sounded like a stellar combination so I knew I had to make it for dinner. Paired with a simple kale salad for a complete meal, it was a very simple yet flavorful dish. My husband who hates ginger absolutely loved this one and told me it’s a keeper. Good job Cindy! :)


Cindy is the brains behind PALEOdISH and I met her and her husband Dustin in Berkeley when she was in California for the AHS back in July. She’s a down to earth lady with a very infectious smile!

Paleo Takes 5 -or- Fewer contains delicious recipes that can be made with less than 5 ingredients. What an incredible way to make eating Paleo easier! Recipes such as Pork Belly with Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Bacon Crusted Chicken Strips, Mushroom and Sausage Beef Roll, Lamb Chops Infused with Mint and Lemon sound fancy but Cindy makes it easy as 1-2-3 (or in this case, 3-4-5 ingredients) so you can prepare and enjoy these healthy and nutrient dense meals in no time.

Today I’m sharing with you her Ginger Balsamic Date Glazed Chicken Legs, a sneak peek recipe from Paleo Takes 5 -or- Fewer. You know how I love quick and easy week night recipes and this is definitely one of them.

Ginger Balsamic Date Glazed Chicken Legs (Paleo Takes 5 -or- Fewer)
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 3
  • 6 chicken legs/drumsticks, skin-on
  • 3 tbsp (33 g) cooking fat (we used butter/ghee)
  • 8 fresh dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 3⁄4 cup (180 mL) balsamic vinegar (good quality)
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) fresh ginger, grated
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Start by brushing chicken legs with some melted cooking fat. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until skin becomes crispy (internal temperature of 175°F (79°C)).
  3. In the meantime, puree dates, balsamic vinegar, ginger, salt and pepper in a small food processor. Pulse these ingredients together until a paste has formed. You may have to stop it occasionally and scrape the mixture off the sides, as sometimes the dates can stick.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally until it becomes the consistency of a honey-like glaze. If it is too thick you may have to add in a little bit more balsamic.
  5. Remove the chicken when cooked and brush generously with the date glaze, making sure the entire drumstick is coated. Return to oven and broil for approximately 5 minutes, watching closely. You can use tongs to turn, and broil opposite side if you wish. Let them sit and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Side note: The glaze is sweet, so a little goes a long way!
  7. Nutrient Density Fact: Dates are a good source of copper.




Filipino Chicken Adobo

I’ve always made Chicken Adobo without measuring the ingredients because I can just eyeball the right ratio of coconut aminos to apple cider vinegar and make adjustments as it simmers. This is a good one pot meal that can be enjoyed with cauliflower rice or regular white rice and usually lasts up to a week in the fridge due to the amount of vinegar used in cooking it.

Im excited to be guest posting on The Paleo Mom today with my Filipino Chicken Adobo recipe. I wrote down the exact measurements I used so that it can easily be replicated. Don’t skip frying it at the end after simmering because that makes adobo really delicious!

Filipino Chicken Adobo




Loaded Hasselback Sweet Potato | Whole 30 Recap

I’m happy to announce that I have completed the Whole 30 for the month of June :) Time flew by pretty quickly and after a rough week 1 start due to headaches, it was smooth sailing from there and though I’ve had a little twitch here and there, it went away super fast and I didn’t have to take any NSAIDs! During week 2-4, I also noticed that I did better doing my daily workouts plus I had more energy and didn’t feel tired or lethargic at all especially in the afternoon.

I was able to eat out and enjoy with family and friends because I planned ahead and I didn’t really feel like I missed out on anything. Not to mention I enjoyed all the summer fruit available right now so I never felt deprived. Post-whole 30, I am incorporating back food that I usually eat such as white rice, potatoes and safe starches. Still avoiding nuts and dairy until I can work on balancing out my hormone levels.

Today I’m sharing the Loaded Hasselback Sweet Potatoes that I posted last week. I was experimenting with a vegan version of cheese using nutritional yeast since dairy is off the table for a while and I was happy with how it came out. Even my husband likes the vegan cheese :) I also used the Garlic Lover’s Seasoning by Flavorgod but you are welcome to tweak it and use any type of seasoning that you want. This is SUPER easy and if you can handle dairy, make this with raw cheese instead of the vegan one to achieve that gooey consistency that you get with cheese!


Loaded Hasselback Sweet Potato
Prep time
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Total time
* Raw smoked gouda, mozarella cheese or even goat cheese would go well with this in lieu of the vegan cheese. Also, to substitute for the Flavorgod seasoning if you dont have it, use 1 tsp garlic powder + ½ tsp onion powder + ½ tsp paprika + ¼ tsp salt + ½ tsp black pepper.
Recipe type: Main DIsh
Serves: 2
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp garlic lovers Flavorgod seasoning (*substitutions above or any seasoning you prefer)
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap, chopped
  • ¼ cup sweet bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ghee, melted
  • 2 tsp parsley for garnish
  • -----------------------------------------------
  • For the Vegan Cheese (if using):
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp tapioca starch
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric powder
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Prepare sweet potatoes by holding onto one end and with your knife perpendicular to the sweet potato, create thin slices (about 1cm) until about ¼" towards the bottom. Make sure the knife does not go all the way through so the sweet potato will remain intact. It should look like a mini accordion once you slice from one end to the other. Coat it with 1 tbsp of melted ghee and sprinkle 1 tsp of seasoning on it. Place it on a parchment lines baking sheet and bake it in the oven for 35 minutes.
  3. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and coat with the remaining melted ghee making sure it reaches between each slice. It should start to fan out at this point so bake it for another 15 minutes.
  4. Check it again and its ready once the exterior is lightly browned and the inside is soft. Set it aside while preparing the topping.
  5. Prepare the topping by sauteing the ground beef and bacon on a cast iron pan over medium high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add portobello mushrooms, onions, bell peppers. Saute together with the beef and season with the remaining 2 tsp of seasoning. Cook until vegetables are soft. At this point, adjust the seasonings according to taste.
  6. Spoon the ground beef mixture evenly on top of the cooked hasselback sweet potatoes. Top with your cheese of choice and return it to the oven to cook for 5 more minutes until the cheese melts.
  7. Top with chopped parsley and let is rest for a few minutes before serving!
  8. -------------------------------------------------------
  9. (To make Vegan cheese)
  10. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, combine ghee, coconut milk, tapioca starch, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder and turmeric.
  11. Whisk together until it starts to simmer. Once it has thickened, removed from heat and use like regular cheese.


Brussels Sprouts Recipe and Whole 30 | Week 3 Recap

I am on the last stretch of my Whole 30! This past week has come and gone pretty fast and it was the same as week 2 – my meals and work outs have been consistent but I think I’ve started to reach the point where I just want the 30 days to be over so I can finally eat rice again. Oh, and make dairy free ice cream and pancakes as well. lol

Even if the Whole 30 is strict, the good thing about it is that I can enjoy as much fresh fruit as I want. Especially now that summer is here, I have been eating mangoes, lychees, pineapples, cherries, blueberries and strawberries whenever I can so I haven’t felt deprived at all!

That pretty much sums up how the past week of my Whole 30 has been. It has become part of my daily routine so I don’t really agonize over each day anymore :) Now on to this recipe that I wanted to share – today I am guest posting on the Paleo Parent’s blog with my take on how to jazz up regular Brussels Sprouts. I have always admired Stacy and Matt and enjoyed reading stories about their family life on IG and on their blog so I am excited to guest post for them again.

Head over to Paleo Parents for the recipe to this perfect summer side dish that is both Whole 30 and 21 DSD compliant!


Tostones Recipe and Whole 30 | Week 2 Recap

My week 2 has come and gone and I realized I forgot to post a recap at the end of it (whoops!). I’m happy to say that it has definitely gotten easier. My meals have been pretty spot on, i’ve continued to dedicate 30 minutes a day to working out and that nasty headache from the 1st week was finally gone!!! I also feel more energized when I’m working out and I have been lifting heavier weights and pushing myself each day.

Of course i’ve had a lot of challenges along the way but since I always plan ahead of time, I was able to deal with sticky situations. Monday nights are always reserved for dinner with D’s parents so that means yummy non-paleo Filipino food and ricceeee! So I prepared some cauliflower rice and vegetables ahead of time to take with me and share with everyone. I told my in-laws I was eating healthy (explaining paleo would be a little complicated) and they were so sweet to buy me some grilled fish to eat :) They thought I was weird for eating cauliflower rice but they tried some and mixed it in with their regular white rice. lol

Thats a good example on how being prepared is important especially when doing the Whole 30! The same scenario happened for Father’s Day when we ate out for dinner but I had my eye on the prize and ordered some grilled catfish and vegetable skewers.

My love affair with plantains continues and since I always have a few pieces on hand, I’ve decided to share my recipe for making Tostones. I also made some Mofongo which uses Tostones as a base and is mashed with garlic and EVOO. Enjoy both with some garlic infused ghee on the side and I can guarantee you won’t have a problem finishing the entire plate!


Tostones w/ Garlic Infused Ghee
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I find that pre-soaking the plantains result in more evenly cooked tostones. When pressed for time, this step can be omitted.
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 2
  • 2 green plantains, peeled and cut into ½" pieces
  • 3 cups cold water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp coarse ground sea salt
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  1. Mix together cold water and salt to a bowl until the salt is dissolved. Add the sliced plantains and let it soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain plantains and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Add coconut oil to a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add plantains one by one making sure they are not touching each other so it cooks evenly. Fry for 5 minutes. Flip to the other side and fry for another 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
  4. Grab one piece of fried plantain and using the flat bottom of a small bowl or drinking glass, gently press onto the plantain in a clockwise motion until it is flattened to about ¼" thick. Do this for the rest of the fried plantains.
  5. On the same pan that is kept on medium heat, fry the flattened plantains for a second time, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels. Season with some coarse ground sea salt.
  6. While the tostones are cooling, melt ghee in a small saucepan on low heat. Once the ghee is hot, add minced garlic and cook it for 2 minutes. Stir frequently so that it does not burn and stick to the bottom. Remove from heat and drizzle on top of the tostones or serve on the side as a dip.