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
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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
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* 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.