Two moms. Five daughters. Opposite ends of the globe.

Two moms. Five daughters. A friendship that spans opposite ends of the globe.

We have been best friends for ages with a shared love for good food. A desire of good health for ourselves and our families have lead us to exploring the paleo lifestyle together. Enjoy our adventure!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Massaman Beef Curry

Just when I thought I couldn't make a better curry...

In one of my earliest posts, I shared how to make a perfect Thai Coconut Curry, but I think I've actually out-curried myself. On this day, I tossed some meat and veggies into the slow cooker in the morning without really knowing what I was going to make for dinner. Coming home to a house filled with smells of a gingery-stew was lovely, but I just wasn't in the mood to eat it as-is. In 15-minutes, I whipped that "plain" stew into the best Massaman curry I've ever had!

  • 2 pounds stew meat, cubed
  • 1 onion, cut into eighths
  • 2-3 carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 1-2 turnips, cut into large chunks
  • 1-2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp Berbere spice or cayenne (optional)
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 2-4 T Massaman curry paste 
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos (or wheat-free tamari) 
  • 1/4 cup cashews (optional)

  1. Add meat, onion, carrots, turnips, ginger, and beef broth to slow cooker. Sprinkle with Berbere spice or cayenne, if using.
  2. Cook stew on low for 4-6 hours, or until meat is cooked through and tender.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium-high heat.
  4. Add curry paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. The paste will become fragrant and may begin popping and sizzling.
  5. Add about 1/3 can of coconut milk and mix well with the curry paste and oil. Fry for 5-10 minutes or until an oily sheen appears the coconut milks begins to separate.
  6. Add the remaining 2/3 can of coconut milk along with the coconut aminos.
  7. Add contents of slow cooker into the curry sauce, including the liquid. Cook 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
  8. Taste and adjust. Too mild? Add more curry paste. Too bland? Add more coconut aminos. Too thick? Add a little water. Continue adjusting until you reach that taste of ultimate yumminess.
  9. Serve immediately.
Note: The store bought Massaman curry paste tends to be much  more mild than the other pastes I buy. I usually have to double the amount of paste to get the level of flavor I like. I don't generally use fish sauce or lime juice in Massaman curry, but you can certainly add those ingredients instead of the coconut aminos if you like.

Pumpkin-Berry Muffins

Sunshine was up early this morning playfully "complaining" that she had a sweet tooth. Since she has taken such an interest in cooking lately (and because I was attempting to complete a work project on the computer), I told her she should make muffins. Her instructions were to get all the ingredients out that she wanted for the muffins then to come get me for help putting it all together. Not five minutes later, I was called into the kitchen and met with a grinning nine-year old pointing to a countertop with pumpkin, blueberries, walnuts, and a chocolate bar.

These monstrously delicious muffins are the result!

Yield: 18 muffins

  • 1 cup almond meal/flour
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut meal (or almond meal/flour)
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 T flax meal
  • 1 T flax seeds
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey (optional)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 dark chocolate bar (I prefer Green & Black's 85%), chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease or line muffin trays.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the meals/flours, flax seeds, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. In a second bowl, mix the eggs, oil, and sweetner, if using.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until all the flour is moistened. The mixture will be thick and a bit crumbly.
  6. Add the nuts, berries, and chocolate, if using. Stir gently until the extras are mixed in but being careful not to smash the blueberries.
  7. Fill muffin cups with batter (all the way as this mixture doesn't rise much).
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.
Note: I think you could easily turn these into cookies by shaping dough into small balls or discs and placing on cookie sheet.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

No Guilt Here

Thanksgiving is traditionally a day of overindulgence and guilt. Not here. Not this year. And for that I'm thankful. Since this is our first paleo Thanksgiving, I was super excited to try and "primal-ize" some favorite traditional dishes. I began researching recipes several weeks ago and found some fabulous suggestions for green bean casserole, sweet potato pie, and even almond meal stuffing. My mouth was watering from all the finds and I think that evening dinner was not eaten until the kids' bedtime due to my reckless recipe surfing. However, somewhere between that night and the night I made my Thanksgiving shopping list, my motivation to try several new recipes all at once waned. Hard. I realized that over the past few years, we had already dropped some of those less healthy dishes from our holiday dinner table. Why re-introduce green bean casserole, even paleo-ized, if we didn't seem to miss it last year? Plus, my spouse offered to cook. Do not look a gift turkey in the mouth.

We ended up with a lovely spread. A beautiful bird, roasted to near perfection. Minty peas (peas, mint, vinegar, a touch of agave). Mashed "sweetnip" (sweet potato, turnip, a little butter, salt, pepper). And my gorgeous sausage stuffing. I was just winging it and can say I WILL be making this again. I thought it was divine and I swear I didn't miss the dense bready stuffing I normally love.

Sausage Stuffing Ingredients:
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp Berbere spice
  • 2 apples with skins, cored
  • salt and pepper, to season

  1. Roast the apples. We actually cooked them inside the turkey and so they nearly disintegrated in lovely turkey drippings. You might achieve the same consistency and flavor in a slow cooker or roasted in the oven with some bacon grease. In a pinch, you might be able to substitute unsweetened applesauce.
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the onion, carrot, and celery until they begin to soften. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Fry the pork. When partially cooked, stir in the spices. Continue until pork is cooked through.
  4. Return the cooked vegetables and cooked apples to the pan. Stir into the pork and continue cooking until vegetables reach desired doneness.
  5. Serve immediately.
Note: This dish did not taste nearly appealing once it cooled down. Definitely reheat any leftovers!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Roasted Winter Squash Soup

I love soup. Anytime of year, but especially thick, warming soups in winter. Before moving to a paleo diet, my favorite soup ingredients often included pasta or beans. Since cold weather has set in, I've enjoyed experimenting with new recipes sans the ingredients I'm trying to avoid. I've had a couple delicious winter squash soups before, but some reason, have never attempted it at home. Now that I'm a serious squash lover, I just had to come up with an easy squash soup. And I am NOT complaining about the results!

For this soup, I wanted a sweet taste and smooth texture. I chose Blue Kuri squash with bright orange flesh. I also had a Delcata squash that needed eaten, so I added that as well. I think this soup base would work just fine for any winter squash. I'll be experimenting... and there's plenty more winter left in Alaska to do just that!

  • 1 blue kuri and 1 delcata squash (substitute as desired)
  • olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the squash and remove seeds.
  3. Drizzle squash with olive oil and sprinkle generously with fresh ground pepper.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Let cool.
  6. Heat coconut oil in a pan.
  7. Fry onion on low-medium heat until golden brown and carmelized.
  8. Scoop flesh from squash and place in blender with fried onion, chicken broth, and coconut milk.
  9. Blend until smooth. Add water until desired consistency is reached.
  10. Return to stovetop and heat.
Note: The squash can be baked a day ot two before making the soup. I cooked it the previous night while cooking dinner.