Turmeric Spiced Golden Milk Granola

Turmeric Spiced Crunchy Granola

I’ve been on an egg kick the last few months but I’m trying to switch it up. That means I’m making a batch of my Nutty Crunchy Feel Good Granola!

If you saw one of my earlier posts, you know I’m a big fan of crunchy clusters of sugary granola and cereals. I love them so much, I don’t even bring those boxes into the house! Resisting the temptation, ya feel? I’m trying a different version today as I’ve acquired a bag of Sari Foods 100% organic turmeric powder! I’ve been dying to try out some turmeric recipes, and this one hit it out of the park.

Turmeric is the ‘It” girl of today’s health world. An old friend to the cuisines of Asia and India, turmeric has been used for centuries in delicious meals and for medicinal purposes. Finally we in the Western world are catching on.

Turmeric is known for its medicinal compounds called cucuminoids, the most well known is curcumin. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory with strong antioxidant properties. It is said that curcumin can improve brain function, lower the risk of diseases related to the brain and heart, help to prevent cancer, lessen arthritis pain, and to possibly help treat effects of Alzheimers disease.

Specific information about these studies is plastered all over the internet, so why haven’t we started chugging turmeric-laden foods?

Curcumin, though it is the main ingredient in turmeric, is difficult to absorb. Eat it with black pepper, heat it up, or pair it with a fat such as coconut oil to increase absorption levels and really get the most out of your turmeric!

Interested in getting a little more turmeric in you life? Start here! Below is my tweaked granola recipe for my Turmeric Spiced Granola. A little sweet, a little nutty, and a beautiful intro to this golden superfood. Trust me, you need this in your life.

Turmeric Spiced Crunchy Granola

Turmeric Spiced Granola

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups Gluten Free Oats (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup sliced Almonds
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 6-8 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 TBSP Chia seeds
  • 1.5 TBSP Sari Foods Turmeric Powder
  • 1.5 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites

How To:

  1. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees C.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. I also sprayed it with a little baking spray.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, almonds, chia seeds, chopped dates, coconut)
  4. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until small peaks form. It took me 3 mins in my Kitchen Aid.
  5. Fold egg whites into the dry mixture. Stir till all dry ingredients are well coated.
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon, turmeric, and vanilla and stir for even distribution.
  7. Pour the oat mix onto the baking sheet and spread evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for about an hour, giving it a stir every 20 mins or so. You can break up the bigger chunks or not!
  9. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Turmeric Spiced Crunchy Granola

This granola is lightly sweet from the dates and cinnamon, and tastes great over yogurt, with almond milk, or snacked on by itself. I personally do not like adding any sugar to my granola, but if you’d like yours to be sweeter, a touch of agave, stevia, or coconut sugar would still bake out very well.

If you choose to save this granola for later, be sure you let it cool completely and THEN store it in an airtight container.

Not feeling the turmeric? Check out my Nutty, Crunchy, Feel Good Granola!


As always, I’m In Search of Avocado.

Spring Cleaning Vegetable Soup

Spring Cleaning Vegetable Soup

If I had known that vegetable soup was this easy to make, I would’ve been making a big pot of this veggie-full goodness and eating it for almost every meal.

I am such a big fan of soups loaded with vegetables because it is such a simple and delicious way to get extra greens into your diet. You know what it’s also good for?

Cleaning out the fridge.

This vegetable soup was really born because I needed to use all the vegetables that were about to go bad. Not hard in the slightest and helps us cut down on our food waste.

I created this recipe with what I had on hand, but in my experience you can use almost any combination of veggies and you’ll have a delicious pot of soup in no time.

I would recommend that you keep onion and celery in your mix (at the very least, keep onion) because it adds tons of flavor to the broth.

Spring Cleaning Vegetable Soup

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 onion roughly, chopped
  • 3-4 stocks of celery, chopped
  • 1 punnet button mushrooms, sliced (about 2.5 cups)
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups zucchini  (I used zucchini noodles)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (undrained)
  • 4 cups broth, or 4 cups water with stock
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder

How To:

  1. After chopping, place onion, carrot, and celery in pot with a small bit of oil.
  2. Let vegetables heat for 3-5 minutes or so.
  3. Add broth or stock, garlic and crushed tomatoes. Stir well.
  4. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
  5. Add mushrooms and zucchini, stir well, and let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  6. Boom. Soup.

This vegetable soup is SO easy and if you’re not bothered by super soft veggies, you can add them all at once. Your mushrooms and zucchini will be quite soft with this method, but still really tasty. I didn’t mind one bit!

You can play with the ingredients of this soup, try out different veggies, use cauliflower or potatoes, or even beans for an added dose of fiber and protein.


Dairy-Free Tomato Cream Sauce

Dairy Free Tomato Cream Sauce

Who doesn’t love a rich, cheesy tomato cream sauce poured over noodles, chicken parmesan, or sopped up with that last slice of French bread? I know we do, but I’ve doctored it up a bit and made a dairy-free tomato cream sauce version that is also —you guessed it—chockfull of veggies.

Let’s take it back a bit.

A few months ago I decided to tackle roasting and entire blue pumpkin.

An entire blue pumpkin.

This pumpkin was wider than my torso. I think I bit off a little more than I could chew.

After a few hours of roasting, peeling, chopping, mashing and roasting again, I had about 4 liters of pure pumpkin puree. One night Wouter requested pasta, so I whipped out one of these jars, determined to make a rich, creamy, tomato-y, and slightly sweet pasta sauce to really tickle his taste buds. Sans tummy troubles later.

This tomato cream sauce recipe is a spin-off of the previous improvised version and it is just as delectable. Please note: if you want to use ONLY butternut or pumpkin, YOU CAN! You’ll end up with a sweeter tomato sauce that is absolutely delicious!

Dairy-Free Tomato Cream Sauce

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 3 cups butternut or pumpkin
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian herb spices
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (can use regular if not watching dairy)

How To:

  1. In a large pot, place vegetables (cauliflower, butternut, onion) and cover with about an inch of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer about 25 mins or until very soft.
  2. Drain the excess water.
  3. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth (or load into a food processor if you have one!)
  4. Place back on low/medium heat and add tomato paste, nutritional yeast, spices and olive oil. Stir well. Blend again if there are still lumps.
  5. Add the almond milk a little bit at a time, stirring in between until you reach desired creaminess.
  6. I would taste intermittently and add extra spices if I felt it necessary.


This creamy sauce can also be made into a spicy cheese dip by adding jalapeños, chipotle paste or cayenne pepper! 

This tomato cream sauce is great over pasta (picture above on my 2 ingredient gnocchi), cooked vegetables, or even as a creamy tomato soup base. You can add tomatoes if you’re pouring over pasta or you can adjust the liquid to make it thicker. It all depends on what you’d like to use it for.

My fiance loves this sauce over noodles because it tastes and feels creamy and decadent. Luckily for me, I know it’s full of veggies!


Perfectly Chewy Flour-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Flour Free Chocolate Chip Cookies


You guys.

I think this is the recipe that got the biggest “WOW” from my main squeeze AND a request for these cookies on Christmas. I don’t know why the Christmas request but I’ll take that as a compliment.

My time in South Africa is coming to an end so I have been doing my best to use only what we have left in the cupboards. Especially being the one who really bakes and cooks in this household, I don’t want to waste money on extra supplies I know won’t be utilized once I’m outta here.

Tonight after dinner I was craving something sweet. I have some ingredients but as we’d already used cassava flour at dinner this evening, I didn’t want to make ANOTHER thing with cassava flour (Lets be honest, it makes me a little gassy. Not cute.)

(If you are looking for a delectable gluten-free recipe using cassava flour try my Coconut Crusted White Fish or 2 Ingredient Gnocchi. Something sweet? Give these Secret Ingredient Brownies a try!)

I’ve experimented with mug cakes, mug cookies, no-bake bites and all. That just wasn’t gonna cut it. I had heard that there are some people in the paleo and keto communities who were making cookies and no-bake bites with JUST nut butters.

How very interesting. I have a big ol’ jar of OhMega almond butter calling to me from the the pantry. The time has come. I wanted some old fashioned cookies and milk, dang it!

I did not want to make a whole batch because: DANGER. But just a couple for me and my man on this drizzly night in? Yes please.

This small-batch recipe is delicious and perfect for portion control, so if you’re looking for a healthier swap for those flour-filled, white sugar-laden chocolate chip cookies, THIS IS IT.

These cookies are fantastically chewy with delectable crispy edges, and go perfectly with…well…just about anything. You would never know they are completely free of flour and dairy.

Now, my personal opinion is that you could lessen the sugar down to 1/4 cup and they would still be nice and sweet, especially if you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your daily sugar intake. Using coconut sugar or brown sugar is best because it caramelizes better than white sugar, giving you a chewier cookie. I also recommend using almond butter due to the more neutral taste, but I am also not a huge fan of peanut butter cookies. These babies don’t taste overly nutty and will seriously transport you back to your mom’s Tollhouse best.

This recipe makes 4 solid-sized cookies. Run—don’t walk—to your kitchen and you could be in warm, gooey, chewy, chocolate chip cookie heaven in less than 15 minutes.

 Flour Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup Almond butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (but try 1/4 cup for a slightly less sweet, but still delish cookie)
  • 2  TBSP beaten egg—either use one egg and save the rest for tomorrow brekkie, or use liquid egg beaters!
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir with a spatula until well combined.
  3. Drop the batter (about 1.5-2 inch in size) and smooth into round blobs so they are even. Leave about 2 inches between cookies because they spread a little.
  4. Let bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until edges are brown.
  5. Remove and allow cool on the baking sheet for 2-5 minutes. Doing this lets these cookies firm up a bit.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

And that’s it! Delicious, chewy, and decadent chocolate chip cookies without a speck of flour in sight! You can make the cookies smaller or double the recipe for a bigger crowd!

Try them out and tell me what you think!

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

I have been excited to share this recipe for a while because it is just THAT good.



Sweet Potatoes.

Hear me out on this.

Last week I was really feeling some barbecue but didn’t want to use a store-bought, sugar-laden sauce. The problem is that most barbecue sauces get that sweet sticky flavor from added brown sugar that caramelizes while the sauce cooks.

To remedy this, I created my own barbecue sauce and it worked perfectly. I highly recommend you this sauce recipe to keep your stuffed sweet potatoes on the healthy side, but if you have a barbecue sauce you’re absolutely in love with, go for it!

I paired my tangy and slightly sweet (using only natural ingredients) sauce with juicy pulled chicken and steamy baked sweet potatoes. Saucy, sloppy bites full of protein and fiber with added vitamins from the ever-fabulous sweet potato, and not a chemical, additive, or speck of added sugar in sight. These stuffed sweet potatoes are HEAVEN.

Did I mention they are paleo, gluten free, and Whole30 compliant?

Do yourself a favor and start preheating your oven. You’re going to love how filling and “naughty” this dinner feels.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup homemade BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle paste (optional)
  • 1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 onion sliced

How To:

For the Baked Sweet Potatoes-

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Pierce your potatoes several times with a fork
  3. Place them inside the oven on a wire rack. Be sure you have a drip tray lined with foil placed below to catch drippings.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes, squeezing lightly with an oven mitt at about 40 minutes. They will be soft and give slightly when squeezed.

For the Barbecue Pulled Chicken-

  1. In a large pot pour in your water and your chicken breast. Cover in homemade bbq sauce and sliced onion.
  2. Cover and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  3. Shred chicken with a fork inside your pot.
  4. Add chipotle paste and balsamic to the mix if you’d like and give it a good stir.  I did this to really give my BBQ pulled chicken an extra punch before serving.
  5. Cut open your potatoes and fill with Bbq Pulled Chicken and top with extra bbq sauce.

Barbecue Pulled Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potato

And there you have it! This meal will hit the right spot on all your cravings but will fill your body with nutrients it needs and can actually use! My fiance said afterwards that this barbecue pulled chicken would also be great as a Sloppy Jo or in a panini and knowing this filling wouldn’t be tricked out with sugar and chemicals, I agree with him!

I served mine alongside some baby marrow (baby zucchini) strips and it was the perfect meal. Try this out and see what you think!

What do you like to stuff your sweet potatoes with?

Whole30 Barbecue Sauce

Whole30 Barbecue Sauce

One of my very favorite things my dad makes is barbecue ribs. I am not kidding when I say they are  THE BEST

The meat is fall-off-the-bone juicy, and every bite is full of sticky, sweet, saucy barbecue flavor. I have been a barbecue fan for my whole life, but ever since I started reading about nutrition and then doing my first Whole30, I learned that my beloved barbecue sauce gets all that flavor from sugar in various forms.

I looked through countless recipes calling for brown sugar or dates, but as I didn’t want to use sugar or non-nutritive sweeteners, and we do not have dates in the pantry, I was out of luck!

Finally, I stumbled upon HappyWifeStyle and her recipe for Whole30 barbecue using only applesauce as a sweetener. BRILLIANT.

I did not have all the right ingredients, and since we’re trying to clean out the apartment for the big move, I needed to improvise on my own.

This whole30 and paleo barbecue sauce turned out to be a fantastically thick and smooth, perfect for smothering on wings or dipped into with your own homemade fries. It had just the right amount of tang, smoke and sweetness, all without added sugar and/or non-nutritive chemical sweeteners.

Unsweetened applesauce is not easily found here in Pretoria so I made it myself. Peeled, sliced and boiled apples, pureed with my stick blender. Do yourself a favor and get some store-bought applesauce if you choose to try this out. Homemade applesauce is no joke.

Simmering sliced onion and balsamic beforehand lended itself perfectly to that sweet and tangy depth that many homemade barbecue sauces are lacking. I really enjoyed this added flavor and though it requires an extra step, it is totally worth it!

Lastly, cocoa powder might seem odd but I use it regularly in my dishes that need a dark smokey flavor. Check out my Taco Chili.

You may need to play with the ratios of this sauce to fit your tastebuds, but who doesn’t love a good taste test or 5?

This sauce can be made and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week. It tasted perfect on sandwiches and in my stuffed sweet potatoes (recipe to come).

So if you’re looking for a slightly sweet, tangy, smokey barbecue sauce sans all the sugar, look no further.

Whole30 Barbecue Sauce

Whole30 Barbecue Sauce

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste 200 ml
  • 1.5 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 TBSP mustard
  • 1.5 tsp chipotle paste
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar (you can use regular vinegar or a little more balsamic if you don’t have ACV)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 extra TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • Half of a white onion roughly sliced
  • 1/2 TBSP olive oil

How To:

  1. In a medium pot, add the sliced onion and olive oil. Let it cook on medium for 3 minutes.
  2. Add 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and simmer for about 10 minutes stirring frequently. Turn heat to medium low once you see the balsamic begin to reduce and thicken.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add applesauce, tomato paste, mustard, chipotle paste, spices and extra vinegar to pot.
  5. Stir well.
  6. If using an immersion blender, blend directly in the pot. If using a food processor, transfer mixture from the pot and blend until smooth.
  7. Adjust to taste (adding more vinegar or a touch more mustard fixed it for me!) and use immediately or transfer to an airtight jar.

You can use this sauce immediately in my recipe for stuffed sweet potatoes (coming soon!), or whatever recipe calls for a hearty barbecue sauce.

Hope you enjoy! How do you naturally adapt recipes that call for lots of sugar?

Paleo Coconut Crusted White Fish

Paleo Coconut Crusted White Fish

As my time here in South Africa comes to a close, a lot of our dinners are being made with whatever is left in the cupboards! I had the remains of some cassava flour and coconut flakes, and simply wasn’t feeling chicken for dinner. So I pulled our last two white fish fillets out of the freezer and decided to bring us back to our days in the Caribbean.

Tonight I’m attempting a Paleo Coconut Crusted White Fish.

This meal is light and fresh with a subtle coconut taste. It could be used in fish tacos or by itself, it is lovely either way! The batter is made with only gluten-free and paleo ingredients, and with a side of creamy coconut cauli-rice, you can feel good about eating this crisp and lightly sweet dinner.

When I served it to my fiancé, his immediate thoughts were:

“If you told everyone they could be healthy and still eat food like this, more people would do it.


This meal takes a little bit of prep to make sure you coat the fish well. My recommendations would be to lay out your flour mixture, then your egg mixture, and then the coconut all in a line. This way you can work your way down and then put the finished fish straight into the hot pan. If you have your own method for dredging, by all means!

Paleo Coconut Crusted White Fish

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup cassava flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 fillets white fish

How To:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You may also begin to heat your pan so it is hot when you need to transfer the fish.
  2. In a shallow dish or on a plate, mix salt and cassava flour together.
  3. In a separate shallow dish, whisk the egg and coconut milk until there are no lumps.
  4. Sprinkle the coconut onto your last plate. Lay these dishes out in a row to make the process more efficient.
  5. Pat the fish down with a paper towel. If it is still wet, the coating won’t stick well!
  6. Dredge white fish first in cassava flour/salt mixture. Make sure it’s well coated on both sides.
  7. Then dip your fish (both sides) into the egg mixture, then into the coconut flakes. You might need to use your hands to pat the coconut evenly onto the fish
  8. Transfer immediately to a heated pan (with coconut oil) and let cook until it begins to brown. 3-4 minutes each side.
  9. Transfer fish to your lined baking sheet and let it bake in the oven for another 12-15 minutes.
  10. Switch your oven to broil for another 3-4 minutes. This really allows the fish to get beautifully brown and crispy.

You do not need to do this last step if you are happy with the color and crispness of your fish.

BONUS Recipe!

If you’d like a yummy side to accompany your fish (why not? Live your tropical dreams!), here is the recipe for the coconut cauli-rice I whipped up. It feels a little creamier than my original Cauliflower fried rice and we thought it went perfectly with this coconutty fish!

Coconut Cauli-rice

What You’ll Need:

  • 500 g riced Califlower
  • 1 cup yellow corn
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp Liquid aminos, soy sauce or Ponzu (I had ponzu on hand)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more depending on taste

How To:

  1. Combine frozen caulirice, corn, green onion, coconut milk and ponzu in a medium pot and let simmer on the stove for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. I allowed mine to simmer for the entire time I prepared and cooked the fish and it turned out great! My original Cauli-Fried Rice would also be fantastic!
  3. And that’s it! This was a nice dish to serve to someone who truly loves a good battered fish. My main man loved that it was crispy and lightly sweet, and I loved that it wasn’t deep fried in oil and batter! This fish turned out perfectly cooked on the inside, and we loved getting to reminisce about our time in the (literal) sun.

Test it out and see how you like it! What food transports you back to your fave vacation spot?

Crispy Roasted Broccoli

Crispy Roasted Broccoli

If I don’t know what to make for dinner, I immediately turn to one of my favorite vegetables:


This is the typical childhood dinnertime nemesis, but I have always loved it! I will have it steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or raw, but my favorite way to eat this fluffy green veg is roasted until the edges are just slightly crispy. You may have seen it make some appearances as a side dish to some other dinner ideas such as my South African Pancake recipe. We really do enjoy it!

My main reason for posting this as a recipe is because the first time I made it, my fiancé looked terrified. He doesn’t really eat broccoli as just…broccoli. He’s used to it covered in cheese sauce or creamed together in some kind of a casserole.  But just the other night while talking with friends, these words escaped his lips:

“Yeah, she has this way of making broccoli—plain broccoli— taste really good! Like really good!”

Well if I didn’t just swoon right there.

It occurred to me that people sometimes shy away from eating healthy food because they perceive it to be tasteless, gross, or very hard to make. And I am here to say healthy does not have to be hard! And this crispy roasted broccoli definitely passed the taste test.

This is a set it and forget it kind of dish. You can do it on just one baking sheet and I even line mine with foil so the pan isn’t dirtied! Brilliant.

So if you’re having some trouble finding a easy vegetable side dish, or you simply can’t fathom eating another bite of boring salad, give this crispy roasted broccoli a go.

Crispy Roasted Broccoli

What You’ll Need:

  • 1-2 heads of raw broccoli
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (more if the stalks aren’t coated)

How To:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Cut the broccoli into small stalks roughly the same size. About the length of your thumb.
  3. Lay out the stalks evenly on your lined baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over the stalks and lightly massage with your fingers so everything is evenly coated. You want the fuzzy bits to be coated too!
  5. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder over the top so every stalk has a nice dusting of spices.
  6. Put into the oven and set your timer for 40-45 minutes.
  7. You may give them a flip halfway through, but I normally don’t!
  8. They are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork and the edges of the broccoli are just browned and slightly crispy.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

You may also put all your broccoli into a bowl and oil it there. I do it on the pan to dirty less dishes!

This is SO simple and SO delicious! You could include cauliflower on this roasting pan and it will do the same thing. This is great for dinner or for meal prep to eat throughout the week!

Roasting big pans of veggies is one of my favorite pastimes, so more easy side dish recipes to come!

Hope you like it!

Taco Chili

Taco Chili

We had a bit of a dreary day here in Pretoria. Dark and rainy days like this make me want to curl up with something hot and hearty. When I was little we always had cans of chili in the pantry that made for a quick weeknight dinner. Actually, on of my favorite simple meals my mom used to throw together was beef chili poured over a base of spaghetti noodles.

To some that may sound odd, but take it from me, it was delicious.

These days I’m not much of a pasta person, but I still love my chili. Not only is it versatile (vegetarian, paleo, 3-bean, the list never ends), but it only requires one pot and very little work! You can cater to your own specific tastebuds or dietary preferences and really make it your own.

Perhaps best of all? Very little cleanup afterwards!

My taco chili has all my favorite Taco Tuesday flavors, minus the shell. It is warm and filling, it’s got a little spicy kick, lots of veggies, as well as black beans and ground 100% lean beef. You could change this recipe and use ground turkey or chicken, or omit the beans to make it completely paleo.

Try this out for yourself! This one pot wonder got a huge thumbs up from my fiancé and we were able to live off of it for the rest of the week as an easy protein-packed lunch or dinner option. You can eat it over rice, on its own, or top it with your favorite guacamole and scoop it up with corn chips!

(*A note from the chef: don’t skip the avocado. I might be avo-biased, but some sliced avocado on top of this nostalgic bowl will give you a delicious dose of your omega-3s, skin-feeding carotenoids, and fiber to aid in digestion. Trust me and add the avocado, ok?)

This healthy dish is too easy to pass up! Get to it!

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 oz lean ground 100% beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, diced
  • 2 red or yellow peppers, diced
  • Can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP crushed garlic
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1.5 TBSP chipotle paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander (cilantro)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more to your liking)

How To:

  1. In a large pot add some of your oil and the onion, peppers and ground beef. Let it cook for about 7-10 minutes until beef turns brown.
  2. Add mushrooms, tomato paste, crushed tomato, garlic and the rest of the spices and stir until well combined.
  3. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until your chili reaches desired consistency.

And that’s it! So easy, right? Aside from chopping up your veggies, 3 steps and you’ve got yourself a huge pot of smokey goodness just waiting to be devoured.

This taco chili is simple yet satisfying. It is a fabulous healthy dinner option that won’t break the bank or require hours in the kitchen. Stir up a big pot for yourself and tell me how you customize it!

Copy-Cat Pannekoek — South African Pancakes

South African Pannekoek (Pancakes)

One of my very favorite dishes my future mother in law cooks is pannekoek, or “pancakes” in English.

Now my American self hears “we’re having pancakes for dinner.” and I’m immediately thinking “Cool! Bring on the bacon!”

As dinner is served I’m completely perplexed because not only were these so-called “pancakes” NOT a stack of fluffy buttery goodness, they were in a casserole dish rolled up into little tubes filled with savory mince meat! And then they were topped with the most perplexing ingredient of all:

Cinnamon sugar.

This dish can only be explained as rolled up savory crepes. The cinnamon sugar sprinkle though? I don’t know where that came from, but let me tell you:  It. Is. Incredible.

In South Africa they sell these little rolled up crepes all over the place. Gas stations convenience, grocery stores for a quick takeaway snack, served in restaurants (done both sweet and savory), and cooked for a family dinner. They are not the typical pancake that I know, but in all honestly I prefer the South African pannekoek to our own American pancakes—or flapjacks as they’re called here.

I could eat an entire pan of these babies all by myself. The light and airy pannakoek filled with a warm and savory mix of mince…What’s not to like?

South African Pannekoek (Pancakes)

I heard yesterday was National Pancake Day, and though I have yet to find that written anywhere, I decided to attempt a copy-cat version of my future MIL’s famed dish.

We’re having pannekoek for dinner!

Though it took some practice, they turned out so well!

If I were to make this dish again, I would consider adding zucchini or peppers to the mince to make it more veggie-ful. The cocoa gives this mince a darker flavor, and the coconut palm sugar adds a bit of sweetness. The sugar is optional, but the cocoa really makes this mince smokey and well-rounded. And you’ll notice, I did not sprinkle my pannakoek with cinnamon sugar, but you are more than welcome to do so!

These little rolls of deliciousness are full of protein, can be made dairy free and paleo, and also happen to be gluten free. They are fairly easy to make once you get the hang of crepe making in your nonstick pan! If you’re looking to try a South African favorite, give these yummies a shot!

South African Pannekoek (Pancakes

What You’ll Need

For the Pannakoek Batter:

  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup regular or nut milk (plus a little extra if your batter starts to thicken)

For the Mince

  • 2 TBSP oil of choice. I used pure butter but you can also use olive oil, ghee or a neutral flavored coconut oil.
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms diced
  • (5oz) lean bacon diced
  • 10 oz lean ground 100% beef
  • 1 TBSP crushed garlic
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 TBSP Coconut palm sugar or brown sugar. (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more depending)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Pepper to taste
  • Add 1 cup of diced zucchini to up the veggie content!

How To:

  1. In a large pot, warm the butter (or oil) and add onions and mushrooms. Let them cook, stirring every so often, for about 5 minutes. Until onions are translucent.
  2. Add diced bacon and ground beef to the mix and break up with a spatula. Stir occasionally for another 5-8 minutes until the beef begins to cook through and brown.
  3. While your meat is cooking, start on your pannekoek batter. Combine flour and egg and stir until combined.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of milk to the batter and stir until there are no lumps
  5. Add the other 1/2 of the milk and stir again. Your batter should be quite runny with no lumps. If it is too thick, you will not be able to make the pannekoek thin enough.
  6. Back to your pot of meat! Add spices, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, cocoa and coconut palm sugar and stir until everything is well combined.
  7. Turn heat to low and begin making your crepes.
  8. Heat a medium sized non-stick pan and coat with a small drizzle of oil. (medium heat)
  9. Using a ladle or a small measuring cup (i used my 1/3 cup), spoon some of your pannekoek batter into the middle of the pan and tilt your pan round and round until the batter coats the entire bottom of the pan all the way to the edges. This could take a minute to get the hang of!
  10. Allow pannekoek to cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side. Check with a spatula to see if it is beginning to brown.
  11. The edges will start to peel away from the sides of the pan as it becomes ready. Now the fun part. FLIP! It’s ok, you can use your hands and the spatula.
  12. Let it brown on the other side for another 2-3 minutes or so, and then transfer to a large plate or work surface.
  13. Spoon some of your savory mince in a straight line towards one side of your pannakoek.
  14. With your hands, begin to roll the pannakoek up into a thin tube and transfer to a baking tray or rectangular casserole dish.
  15. Continue with the batter, making thin crepes, spooning your mince onto the cooked pannakoek and rolling them up until all the batter is used.
  16. You may have some leftover mince depending on how thick your individual pannakoek turned out!

I was able to make a tray of 12 savory pancakes with this recipe. I transferred my finished tray of pannakoek to a preheated oven just to warm them back up before serving.

For the future I will consider adding more veggies to this mince, but this dish got a huge thumbs up from my fiance regardless. This is super filling meal and is also fantastic for breakfast the next morning!

Serve it alongside a green salad or veggie of choice (here I’ve made my own crispy roasted broccoli) and you’ve got yourself a delicious South African-inspired dinner.

Happy Pancake (Pannekoek) Day!