Caveman Cuisine: Healthy Paleo Recipes


I’ve been on a Paleo kick recently. Admittedly, it was first an attempt to shed a few pounds (which has worked, hooray!), but I’ve actually had a lot of fun coming up with recipes. And instead of focusing on what this “cave(wo)man-style” diet cuts out — no carbs, no dairy, no legumes and no sugar — I’ve done my best to highlight the wholesome ingredients on the “to eat” list … and that certainly includes BACON! If you’re like me, you’ll be surprised at how flavorful and filling each of these recipes turns out to be.


Bacon-Mushroom Frittata
Serves 6-8IMG_8411

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I use baby portabella)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 bacon slices, cooked and chopped
2 green onions, sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 large eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a 10-inch (2-inch deep) ovenproof non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté mushrooms in hot oil 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute until fragrant.

Add bacon and green onions, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs and cook 3 to 5 minutes, gently lifting edges of frittata with a spatula and tilting pan so uncooked portions flows underneath.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until set and slightly browned on top. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut into 6 to 8 wedges and serve immediately.





Baked Denver Omelet
Serves 4IMG_8738

8 eggs
1 cup pre-cooked ham, diced (I use a ham steak)
1 cup bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the bell peppers, onion and garlic until soft (4 to 5 minutes). Add the ham to the skillet and cook another 3 minutes.

Spread the ham and veggie mixture evenly on the bottom of a round glass pie pan.

In a large bowl, add the eggs, milk and chopped scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste and whisk until well combined. Pour egg mixture over the ham and vegetables. Bake in the oven 25-30 minutes until the top is slightly browned and the middle is cooked through.




Avocado Tuna Salad
Serves 3 to 4IMG_8739

15-ounce (or 3 small cans) tuna, drained and flaked
1 English cucumber, sliced
2 large or 3 medium avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ small bunch of cilantro (1/4 cup chopped)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine sliced cucumber, avocado, onion, drained tuna and ¼ cup cilantro. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over salad ingredients and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine before serving.

Note: I love this salad on its own, but you could scoop it atop some field greens for a flavorful salad.




BLTA Salad
Serves 2IMG_8471

9-ounce bag hearts of romaine
2 avocados, pitted
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
4 strips bacon, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the dressing
Pour olive oil and lemon/lime juice in a bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste. Whisk until the emulsion comes together.

For the salad
Add the romaine lettuce to a large mixing bowl. Chop the avocado into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Add halved tomatoes and bacon to bowl. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper to taste over salad and then drizzle with dressing. Toss to mix before serving.




Fajita Shrimp with
Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
Serves 4IMG_8415

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 bell peppers, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
Aimee’s Mexican Spice Mix, recipe here
2 limes, juiced
1 large head cauliflower
2 garlic cloves
2 green onions
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper


For the Fajitas
Heat the oven to broil. In a medium bowl, mix the raw shrimp with the juice of ½ of a lime and Aimee’s Mexican Spice Mix. Spray a jelly roll pan or sheet pan (with sides) with cooking spray and place the shrimp evenly on the pan. Place the sliced peppers and onion on a separate pan and spray with cooking spray.

Cook both pans under the broiler for 7-8 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through and pink. Serve with cauliflower rice.

For the Cauliflower Rice
Remove the core of the cauliflower. Coarsely chop into florets then place half of the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice or couscous — don’t over process or it will get mushy! Set aside and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil, green onions and garlic and sauté about 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the cauliflower “rice” to the pan. Cover and cook approximately 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and toss with cilantro and lime juice to taste.




Paleo Taco Skillet
Serves 4IMG_8406

1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
2 large bell peppers, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
3 cups salad mix (pick whichever you like)
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
3 green onions, sliced
Aimee’s Mexican Spice Mix, recipe here
guacamole/avocado (for garnish)
Aimee’s salsa fresca (for garnish, recipe here)

In a large pan, brown the ground meat over medium-high heat. Drain off excess fat and return to the pan. Add diced onion, zucchini and peppers and cook until soft and browned. Add tomatoes and stir. Sprinkle in Aimee’s Mexican Spice Mix and stir to combine. Let the mixture cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes longer.

To serve, add salad mix to a bowl. Spoon taco mixture over the top and garnish with cilantro, green onions, guacamole/avocado, and salsa fresca.




Pork Egg Roll Bowls
Serves 4IMG_8483

2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
5 green onions, sliced on a bias (white and green parts)
1 pound ground pork (or turkey)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Sriracha, or more to taste
14-ounce bag coleslaw salad mix
3 tablespoons Coconut Aminos
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoon black sesame seeds
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion and white portion of the green onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, 5-8 minutes. Add the ground pork, ground ginger, salt, pepper and Sriracha. Sauté until the pork is cooked through. Add the coleslaw mix, coconut aminos and vinegar. Sauté, stirring constantly, until the coleslaw is tender.

Garnish with green onions, cilantro and sesame seeds before serving.



Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Serves 8-10IMG_8596

3-5 pound round roast
Cajun Seasoning Mix, recipe here
Arrowroot flour
Garlic powder
1 white onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4-6 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces
4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into 3-inch pieces (you could also use baby carrots)
1 small can beef broth

Put roast in the slow cooker. Sprinkle Cajun Seasoning Mix, about 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour, and a generous amount of garlic powder on the roast. Add chopped onions, bell pepper, parsnips and carrots into the slow cooker. Pour beef broth in, cover and cook on low for several hours (8-10, depending on the size of your roast). Be sure to turn the roast over about half-way through the cooking time.

When roast is very tender to the touch, take it out and shred it into thick pieces. Mix a couple tablespoons of flour with water and then pour into the leftover gravy in the slow cooker to thicken. Serve roast with vegetables and cauliflower rice, if you’d like.



Where’s the Beef?: My Top 3 Burgers of Summer 2014


I may have taken off a few weeks this summer away from the blog, but that in no way represents the amazing eats we’ve enjoyed in Miami (and also while traveling in the Cayman Islands – stay tuned for that photo gallery!). I’m back in the saddle this week, so be on the lookout for photos and reviews of our tasty meals within the next several weeks.

Let’s first start with one of the quintessential summer foods, in which we’ve indulged quite a bit this summer: the All-American, classic hamburger. It’s safe to say my husband, Kenny, is a burger aficionado. If I had to guess, every time we go out to eat, there’s about a 50-65 percent chance he’s ordering a burger. (And no, that’s not a confirmed statistic. Like I’ve mentioned before … I don’t do math, people.)

It was actually his brilliant idea that I pull together a blog post honoring some of the best burgers we’ve eaten this summer in Miami. I do happen to think he’s quite a genius, and so … voilà! Here, find our top three gut-busting burgers from summer 2014.


B&B: Burger and Beer Joint
Multiple Locations: Brickell, South Beach, Pembroke, Orlando

Both Kenny and I agree that the “massive burgers with a gourmet twist” at this local franchise are consistently among the best we’ve had in Miami. We often walk to their location in Mary Brickell Village, but in honor of Kenny’s 30th birthday weekend in July, we visited their original location in South Beach.

There are many reasons we love Burger and Beer Joint: the friendly and attentive servers, the sizeable craft beer list, the fact the burgers are always cooked to our liking (a pink-centered medium). And speaking of the burgers, we enjoy having the choice of the “Build-your-own” option (ranging from $6-$8, plus add-ons) or a variety of pre-selected combos. These patties come with some rather out-of-the-ordinary toppings, such as guacamole, Cajun-spiced shrimp, walnut pesto, and even foie gras.

The appetizers also typically please our palates: I’m talking mini corn dogs and fried dill pickles. I highly suggest adding a side of spicy garlic mayo, and no trip to B&B would be complete without the duck fat fries. Trust me, they are salty, decadent and worth the extra $3.

I’m telling you, this place is solid. We’ve had several of the menu items, all of which we’ve had no complaints about. I’ve yet to try the adult shakes (I know, I know, shame on me!), but those are definitely on my to-do list for our next B&B visit.


3190 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove

Set in the bohemian environs of Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood, LoKal’s name says it all. There’s something to be said about a burger joint that uses all sustainable and locally sourced ingredients from Floridian farmers, dairies and brewers. (Note: No, I’m not a hipster, I just happen to support the homegrown guys.) According to their website, LoKal is “the first restaurant in Miami-Dade County to use 100% clean, renewable energy sourced from wind and solar power!” And there’s no doubt, this farm-to-plate approach shines through their menu.

All of the burgers at LoKal are made with free-range, Kobe-style beef from the Coward Ranch in Sumterville, Florida (that’s about 50 miles northwest of Orlando). On the hot summer day we stopped by LoKal for lunch, we ordered the Fidy-Fidy ($14, made with half ground beef and half ground bacon from Miami Smokers in Little Havana). The burger packed in pretty much everything you’d want: juicy patty, sturdy-yet-soft bun, meaty flavor. I will say though, the smoky essence from the bacon played more of a background role than we would have liked. The combo does, however, come with half French fries and half sweet potato fries, which were some of the best I’ve ever had – crispy, sweet, paired perfectly with the honey mustard sauce served alongside them.

LoKal’s atmosphere certainly represents the eclectic vibe of the Grove, with its intimate interior space, covered outdoor patio ideal for people watching, and colorful graffiti wall art. They even have a doggy menu with savory treats for your furry friends. Not to mention a locally focused menu of craft beer comprising the likes of Wynwood Brewing, Miami Brewing and M.I.A. Brewing.


Multiple Locations in Miami and Fort Lauderdale

Its name might resemble some sort of trendy Twitter or texting lingo, but this South Florida chain considers itself a neighborhood joint with “no red ropes and no attitude.” Consistent with each of its locations, the South Miami restaurant where we had lunch ties into a prohibition theme. The sizeable bar packs in plenty of TVs, making for a prime game-watching spot.
And while we are speaking of sports, we were delighted to see many of the burgers on ROK:BRGR’s menu are named after famous Miami Heat basketball players (ranging from $12-$16): the D Wade (chorizo, fried egg), Bosh Burger (Swiss, mushrooms, truffle oil), the Birdman Sandwich (grilled chicken, roasted corn and black bean salsa), and the King James (you might want to rethink that one!).
Our Bosh Burger ($14.50), which was a combo of chuck, brisket and short rib, was cooked to a perfect medium. The toasted brioche bun served as the ideal vessel to hold in the juicy patty as well. The side of truffle fries we ordered ($7), however, were another disappointing and soggy story. I never thought too much truffle oil could be a bad thing … but those fries didn’t do much for us at all. I might try the onion rings, loaded tots or poutine next time around. And yes, with the spectacular sports bar atmosphere in ROK:BRGR’s bar area, I see us returning again perhaps to enjoy a few craft beers while watching the Heat play next season.