Paleo Carrot Muffins- Guest Blog Post

These are grain free, dairy free and free from refined sugars and taste amazing!

Guest Post by Tamara from www.alotofthings.com

As a stay-at-home-mom I make a lot of muffins. They are easy to make and travel well and something a toddler (and who are we kidding – everyone) always wants to eat. So when we were drinkingcoffee[1]following a grain free diet I still wanted to make sure we had some of our favorites to keep us motivated. Learning to bake with almond and coconut flour has been a bit of a learning curve (ongoing!) but I absolutely love the taste and texture these ingredients give to the finished product. This recipe produces a moist and fluffy – almost cake like – muffin. I love the flavor of orange and carrot together. Its a classic combination and the added cinnamon really brings out the flavor of the orange. You can add nuts and/or raisins to this as well for a more traditional carrot cake feel. If you’re looking for a grain free cupcake recipe, these are a great option as well – just add your favorite frosting.


Paleo Carrot Muffins


2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt (I use Maldon)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
the zest and juice of one large orange
3 eggs
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
⅓ cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup grated carrots

Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and grease or line your muffin tin. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, honey, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest. Add the dry mix to the wet mix just until combined and then gently fold in the grated carrots.

Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


A little bit about me:
I am a wife, mother, traveler and a pretty darned good cook. I share the same birthday with my 2.5 year old twin boys and my mother-in-law…so it makes remembering birthdays pretty easy for my husband :) I was born in Canada and since then, have lived in 5 different countries. For now, we call Amsterdam home. I’m a feeder and love to cook for people. When I’m not in the kitchen, I can usually be found running after my twin terrors on some rainy playground around Amsterdam or looking sideways at my enormous pile of laundry.
Blog: alotofthings.com





Creamy Vegan Baked Pesto Pasta


I have been on a vegan kick lately! I don’t practice a vegan lifestyle, however I find vegan recipes to be so creative, healthy and of course- delicious! I love love love Oh She Glows, a healthy food blog where I fell in love with vegan cooking! Her cookbook book is full of healthy and delicious recipes.

In this delicious baked vegan pasta recipe the creaminess comes from pureed beans rather than gobs of cheese, oil or fat.  The casserole turned out beautifully and tasted extremely delicious! This is heart healthy, full of fiber and low in calories.

For those of you who aren’t vegan, you can add cooked chicken or ham to the casserole before baking and sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese.


Vegan Creamy Pesto Pasta

Yields 8 servings // Prep time 40 min // Cook time 50 -60 min

Pesto Ingredients: (You can also use store-bought pesto)

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

Casserole Ingredients:

  • ½ package whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour in water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp white wine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 19-oz can white kidney beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • ½ cup grated vegan mozza cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, nuts, salt, pepper and basil. Pulse until finely chopped.  With the food processor running, add the oil, water and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Place pesto in a covered bowl or container in the fridge until needed. You can also use store bought pesto instead.
  3. Cook pasta until al dente. Rinse with cold water and drain, set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the cashews, milk, broth, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, wine and 1 cup of white beans. Blend until smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the remaining beans, tomatoes, red pepper, spinach, milk mixture, pasta and pesto; toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to an oiled 8×8 inch baking dish. Smooth top and sprinkle with cheese, than evenly sprinkle the breadcrumbs and salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil. Bake the casserole for 40 to 45 minutes or until the topping turns golden brown.
  7. Let cool for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.



Vegan Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce


I’ve made these enchiladas twice in the past week! The first batch was pure vegan. The second batch, not so much.  The great thing about these enchiladas are that they taste great either way! Feel free to get creative and put your own spin on this recipe.

I modified the Oh She Glows Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchilada recipe. (She has an amazing blog btw!)




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Vegan Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

Yields 4 servings // prep time 30 minutes // Cook time 25 minutes


  • 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups store bought enchilada sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8-12 corn tortillas (how ever many fit in your casserole dish)
  • 93% lean ground turkey (optional)

For the Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


  • fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
  • sliced green onion, for serving



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking dish

2. Make the enchiladas: Place the sweet potato in a medium sauce pan and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to medium-high heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Season with salt and pepper. (If using turkey, add in at this step and brown.)

4. Add the bell pepper, cooked sweet potato and black beans. Raise the heat to medium high and cook for a few minutes (until turkey is almost fully cooked), about 8 minutes.

5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, lime juice, chili powder and salt.

6. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Scoop filling into each tortilla.  Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the baking dish. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas. If you have leftover filling, scoop it on top of the enchiladas.

7. Bake the enchiladas uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is a deep red color and the enchiladas are heated through.

8. Meanwhile, make the avocado cilantro sauce. In a food processor, process the cilantro until minced. Add the avocado, lime juice, salt, garlic powder, and 2 Tbsp water and process until creamy.

9. When the enchiladas are ready to serve, plate them individually and drizzle with avocado sauce. Garnish with cilanto and green onion, if desired.

10. I am in love with the Oh She Glows cookbook, I highly recommend purchasing her book!




Vanilla Almond Chia Seed Pudding


I was so excited to make chia seed pudding! It is all the rage lately and I have never even tried it. It is extremely easy to make and of course tastes amazing.

I made this on Sunday with my neighbor Hanja (who is awesome).  We basically turned Sunday into a major girl day full of boy talk, Real Housewives of New York City, cooking, wine, power walking, skinny cocktails- and did I mention boy talk?

Hanja and I randomly became friends one night when I was bored. I knocked on her door and basically asked her to come grab cocktails with me. She was down and since then we have become good friends. Unfortunately Hanja will be moving to NYC, but that just gives me an excuse to visit her.


1ounce of chia seeds contains:

  • 11 grams of fiber
  • 4.4 grams of protein
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 137 calories

Omega-3’s lower inflammation levels in your body which may prevent heart disease and cancer. Fiber slows digestion and can prevent diabetes.

Why I love chia seed pudding:

  1. It totally works as a dessert
  2. You can get creative… aka chocolate almond milk + peanut butter chia seed pudding?  YUM!
  3. It’ easy to prepare
  4. Way cheaper to make it yourself then order from a restaurant







Vanilla Almond Chia Seed Pudding

Yields: 4 servings // Prep time: 10 minutes // Refrigeration time: 4 hours


  • ¼ cup raw chia seeds
  • 1 cup sweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 4 Tbsp slivered almonds


  1. Add chia seeds, yogurt, almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup to a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally. For best results, let the chia pudding refrigerate overnight.
  3. When it’s ready (it will thicken and turn into a pudding) place in a bowl and top with blueberries and slivered almonds.

I’d love to hear your comments!!