Tag Archives: BBQ

Paleo Feasting and Playtime (AKA Mental Health Fun) for My Birthday

Alright! How’s everyone’s new year going? I haven’t posted in quite a few days. Mostly because I wanted to give everyone a chance to see the Giveaway Post and enter. So far  it seems NO ONE HAS ENTERED! I’m running the giveaway until the end of January, so you should really take advantage of it. A QUART of good quality coconut oil is a silly thing to pass up! Plus we all like free things….don’t we?

Anyway, I’ll have some recipe posts coming up soon from the past week. Today though, I wanted to share my experiences with some Paleo Celebrating! Well….almost.

It was my birthday last week. I knew I would be treating myself a little, but I wanted to keep to my values, and stay as relatively healthy and paleo as possible. Just because it’s a special occasion, doesn’t mean you have to totally derail yourself from being a healthy human. My birthday was no exception. I wanted to have fun, eat well, and right down to the figurative birthday cake, not have to feel guilty or regretful the next day, of any of my choices. Birthday’s are about FUN and celebrating YOU – so treat yourself accordingly!

This birthday, I was turning 29, the last year of my twenties. While I wanted to celebrate my youth, I also wanted to celebrate the future, and my current state of health. I’m a big kid at heart, and so the first activity on  the agenda, was to spend some time bouncing and playing at a local TRAMPOLINE PARK! Yep, I am an adult, and my idea of an hour well spent is playing on trampolines….and hey, they had a FOAM PIT! These trampoline parks are popping up lately, so it must be a new trend, but that’s A-OK with me, because it’s a great activity for all ages. Not only is it fun, which translates to joy and happiness, and a good mental state (Seriously, try being stressed out on trampolines, it really doesn’t work), but it’s exercise, and good for your body as well.



Yes….it’s that fun. It was seriously the most stress free hour I think I’ve had in my entire life. I’m not even a very confident jumper, didn’t do any crazy tricks, I just jumped around, bounced everywhere I could, and cannon-balled myself into the foam pit. Super fun….everyone should try it (Safely of course).

For my birthday meal, I had only one thing on my mind – Portuguese/Brazilian Barbeque! There was a nearby restaurant, a Churrascaria, which does one of my favorite things….RODIZIO! It’s basically all you can eat meat, which translates as “easy to stay paleo” to me. If you are traveling and looking to stay paleo, find one of these places, it’s probably a safe bet. They gave us a bunch of sides ( I skipped the bread and rice, and stuck to collard greens, salad, salsa, and a few *gasp* potato things) and saved most of the room in my stomach for the meat. Oh the glorious meat. Everything was perfectly cooked, and lightly seasoned, cooked over coals, or fire, or something. No crazy sauces to ponder, just well cooked meaty goodness! There was chicken, cube steak, tenderloin, short ribs, sausage, pork, and turkey wrapped in bacon. By the end of it, I was pretty darn stuffed. If you wanted seconds of anything, they would bring it to you, but by the end I didn’t have much room. I DID however get a second helping of the turkey wrapped in bacon….because….it was awesome, and a real treat.

Speaking of treats! Let’s talk dessert! I actually had this the night before my birthday, and it was a good thing, since I definitely would have had no room for it after dinner. I kept it simple and small, as well as Gluten and Dairy free. It was just indulgent enough, without being crazy.  I give you the MEGA AWESOME MELISSA’S BIRTHDAY SUNDAY!


This wonderful bowl of birthday celebration included a moderate scoop of Larry and Luna’s Vanilla Island Coconut Bliss Ice Cream (one of my favorite brands of coconut milk ice cream), A big spoon of Almond Butter, a few squares of dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds (Soy and dairy free, Theo’s Brand ) , toasted coconut flakes, and some mixed berries that I warmed up in a little bit of coconut milk. Absolutely, positively, divine. More sugar than I normally consume yes, but other than that, relatively harmless for a once a year birthday treat.

And that my friends, is how you indulge in a little birthday fun, but keep one foot on the road to good health. Have a little fun, but stay healthy and happy. How do you like to celebrate?

Sorry again for the lack of recipe posts – I’ll have a few of them up in the next day or two – I promise!

Cherry Barbequeue Boneless Shortribs with Honey Thyme Butternut Squash


I swear, sometimes it’s so hard to make stew type things look good in pictures. Especially for me, I don’t set anything up special, the dishes are not in makeup for an hour before we shoot, I try to be very realistic, and stove-to-plate…..because that’s real life! Anyway, Here’s something a little different. I really love the Grass-Fed Boneless Short Ribs from US Wellness Meats. They are a perfect portion, and you get a good amount of meat with them since you don’t have to worry about getting one with a big bone. I had some left over wine (Not WLC Compliant alert!) , and I was on a cherry kick, so I decided to make a sort of “Cherry BBQ “sauce for the short ribs. As always, it doesn’t get easier than the slow cooker, producing beautiful, tasty, fall apart-melt-in-your-mouth meat. Super duper easy, and you can substitute the ribs for any good roast.


  • 16 oz boneless short ribs (I get mine from US Wellness Meats)
  • 24 oz strained tomatoes
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1/8 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • A few tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 cups dark red cherries (I used organic, frozen)
  • a few dashes of nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon, salt,
  • A good amount of black pepper, paprika, ancho chili powder, and  southwest seasoning

Throw everything in the crock pot, and cook on low for 8-10 hours. I put it in before going to work, and switched it to the keep warm setting when I got home.

Then while I was at the gym, I had a butternut squash roasting (350-375 for about 60-90 min depending on the size of the squash). Before getting into the shower, I cut it in half and removed the seeds. I lightly scored it, and then rubbed it with 1/2 a teaspoon of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon and thyme per side, before putting it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. (Note: Don’t use honey if you are on the WLC as it is not compliant )

All of this fit into my busy day very nicely, and made getting a delicious dinner on the table a snap. I love rich, fruity, BBQ flavors in the winter time. The ribs were so tender, and pulled apart very easily with a fork.


Unburgered Portabella Chicken Sandwich

So how many of us, in our pre-paleo lives, ate chicken sandwiches? If I could look through the monitor into your world right now, I’m sure I’d see a pretty good show of hands. Well, buns are so unneeded let me tell you! I ate this with a fork, but you know what, it felt like an open-faced sandwich, and it was just fun and enjoyable to make. Did I mention it’s as easy as making a sandwich? Well it is….easy breezy. I recommend using a george Foreman grill. Don’t have one? Well you can use a real grill, but it might take a little longer.

Anyway, My “Sandwich” contains the following

–The Bun–

  • 1 Portobello Mushroom Cap
  • 1 Large Slice of Sweet Potato

–The Meat–

  • Chicken Breast

–The Fixin’s–

  • 1 Slice Red Onion
  • 1 Large Kale Leaf
  • 1 Large Tomato Slice
  • A little Tessemae’s Paleo BBQ Sauce
  • A few Avocado Slices

First I threw everything on the grill. Before putting them on the grill, I put a little duck fat in my hands, and rubbed everything over with a little of it. I did very basic seasoning, salt/pepper/ maybe a little oregano, with a little ginger powder as well on the sweet potatoes.


The addition of the sweet potato slice, gives a bit more carbs to the “bun”, and makes it feel a little bit more bun like. Once taking them off the grill, I just layered, starting with the mushroom, then the sweet potato, then the onion.


I even threw the kale on the grill for like 1 second, just to wilt it. The tomato too, just for a minute. Then I added them to the layers.


Once the chicken was done, I layered it off to the side, leaning against the bun. That’s what restaurants do anyway right? Added some BBQ sauce, and avocado, and we were in business!


This is how the layers looked when I cut them with a knife. Stays together nicely, which I like. Too many layer things fall apart when cut.


And that’s it! It’s really an easy way to make a fun, easy, and visually appealing dinner.

Simple Pleasures

Sorry for the lack of quality updates, life has had me running in circles, and going crazy! I’m still eating compliant to the WLC but I’ve been just “whipping things together” and “winging it” most days. I have a few posts lined up, but I’m going to apologize right now for going back to iPhone photos. I’ve just barely had time to put anything together, and when I want to take a few quick pictures for you guys, It’s usually nearby. The first thing I wanted to share with you, is a dinner I put together one night last week. I know it’s no longer summer, and hot dogs are not what you really think of when It comes to eating healthy, but in a pinch I really love Applegate Farms brand hot dogs (Specifically, The Great Organic Beef Hot Dog…and the Chicken variety as well) , and if you look at the ingredients (No nitrates, no junk, no preservatives, no sugar), they’re WLC compliant! So whether you consider this a “Processed Food” or not, they’re great for a no frills, super quick, dinner or a summer BBQ.

Ingredients: Organic Grass-Fed Beef, Water. Contains Less Than 2% Of The Following: Sea Salt, Organic Spices, Organic Dehydrated Garlic, Organic Dehydrated Onion, Organic Paprika, Celery Powder. Spices: Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Coriander, Mace, Ginger, White Pepper

And buns? Who needs buns when you have some nice leafy kale! Add a little organic and WLC compliant mustard, or some Tessemae’s Paleo BBQ sauce and you are good-to-go!


As a side dish, I made a salad using Raddichio, Red Cabbage, Big Tomato Slices, Leeks, Capers, Olive Oil, and a squeeze of Lemon Juice. Simple, Raw and Delicious!


So, I’ll have some recipes coming up soon, but in the meantime, this is just a reminder that you can keep it really simple, and still be healthy, on those hectic nights that cooking is just not an option! Still better than eating out!



Cowboy Burgers!

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I’ve been told that my regular burgers are pretty damn tasty. I usually keep it simple and just throw in some garlic and onion, along with salt, pepper, cayenne, and ginger powder. This time though, I decided that I was going to have a bit more fun. I was toying with the idea of a Japa-Burger (Asian Inspired toppings and seasonings…Similar to the Japadog hot dog franchise ), but after looking around my refrigerator, I settled on a Texas/BBQ/Cowboy Burger.

This recipe Makes 6-8 burgers

  • 2lb grass fed beef
  • 3/4 Vidalia onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bell peppers (yellow + orange)
  • Kalustyan’s Southwest seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 3 tablespoons stone ground mustard
In a pan, cook the onion, garlic, and peppers in an oil or fat of your choice. I used sesame, but I bet Tallow or Duck Fat would be better. I kept the heat at low/med and let the onions cook a little while I chopped the peppers, and then added them. towards the end, when they are getting soft, sprinkle them with Kalustyan’s Southwest seasoning. Take off the heat.
Put the ground beef in a big bowl. Squeeze in the mustard, coconut aminos, and ginger powder, plus a little more southwest seasoning. Pour in the vegetables, and as soon as you can work it, mix everything together making sure it is well combined.
Form patties, and cook to your desired done-ness. These just took a few minutes on the George Foreman grill
Top with Guacamole and BBQ Sauce (I used some leftover Paleo barbeque Sauce from when I made ribs) and garnish with a piece of raw pepper.
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Paleo Slow Cooker BBQ Short Ribs

I love my slow cooker. especially on days that I’m going to crossfit after work. Nothing says stress free dinner better than coming home, showering, and dinner being ready. Seriously, it’s like the best assistant ever.

I wanted to do something BBQ, but wasn’t sure what. Whole Foods had grass-fed beef short ribs, so I decided to try them. I keep experimenting with trying to get a good BBQ sauce that would be Whole Life challenge compliant, with no added sweetener. Even the all natural sauces in the store usually have some form of sugar. This has been my favorite version to date. It has a nice kick, and plenty of flavor. You can save the extra sauce to use later in the week. It’s still a little more tomatoey than I imagined – so I might play around with the ratios, but it’s still yummy. Experiment! Use it on ribs, chicken, steak…. Anything!

Paleo and WLC compliant BBQ slow cooker short ribs

1.5 lb grass fed short ribs (about 4)
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1 sweet pear
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Kalustyan’s southwest seasoning
1 tbsp organic ground ginger
3 tbsp organic stone ground mustard

Cook on low 8-10hrs

Note: You can get Kalustyan’s Southwest Seasoning at whole foods. It makes a great dry rub too. Read labels, but this one is great.


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