Nom Nom Paleo

Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles

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Every Christmas, I get my truffles on. This is the same recipe (and post) that I’ve whipped out every holiday season—for good reason.

If you’re panicking because you need a last-minute, homemade gift to bring to a holiday party, make some of these chocolatey balls. These deliciously dairy-free treats will make you the superstar of the soirée.

Nom Nom Chocolate Truffles by Michelle Tam

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Lava Flow Ice Pops

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Lava Flow Ice Pops by Michelle Tam

With Labor Day signaling the end of summer, it’s time to put all our white apparel back into storage. Good thing, too, ‘cause I have a hard time convincing my boys that mommy’s white clothes shouldn’t be used to wipe their hands and mouths.

But before the hot weather gives way to the crisp, cool autumn, what do you say about indulging in one more frozen treat?

Lava Flow Ice Pops by Michelle Tam

These ice pops are named after one of my favorite tropical frozen drinks: the Lava Flow—a frosty piña colada topped off with strawberry purée. Come to think of it, these popsicles are more like Virgin Lava Flows, given that I’ve omitted the rum; in fact, my version’s just made with fruit and coconut milk—perfect for those of you who want to avoid any added sweeteners. Of course, if your fruit’s not quite in tip-top shape or if you prefer your desserts a tad sweeter, feel free to add some honey.

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Chunky Monkey “Ice Cream” Bon Bons

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Who’s in the mood for a frosty, nutty, chocolatey treat?

Chunky Monkey "Ice Cream" Bon Bons by Michelle Tam

By merging together two of my favorite recipes—The Kitchn’s One Ingredient Ice Cream and Irvin Lin’s homemade Magic Shell—I came up with this simple, bite-sized confection.

Chunky Monkey "Ice Cream" Bon Bons by Michelle Tam

The steps are easy, but timing is key. You must wait for the “ice cream” to freeze completely (twice!) before proceeding, and then you gotta work fast. Otherwise, you’ll end up with melty brown lumps.

Six Ingredients + Patience = Happy Little Monkeys.

Chunky Monkey "Ice Cream" Bon Bons by Michelle Tam

Here’s what to gather to make 24 bite-sized Bon Bons:

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, frozen and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher), finely chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons almonds or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (Chunky Monkey ice cream typically contains walnuts, but I prefer almonds)

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Mexican Chocolate Pots de Crème (Dairy-Free!)

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When it comes to chocolate pots de crème, there’s no messing around. These dense little cups of smooth, dark chocolate don’t pretend to be delicate or airy, and you’ll never mistake them for bland-tasting instant pudding or low-fat chocolate mousse. With just one bite, you’ll taste the message loud and clear: These bittersweet pots de crème are intensely chocolatey, decadently full-fat, and proud of it.


I rarely indulge in sweets these days, but dark chocolate is my kryptonite — so when occasion calls for it, I’ll happily whip up a batch of dairy-free chocolate pots de crème. And my favorite ways to amp up the intensity of this special treat is with a touch of cinnamon, vanilla, and ancho chile powder — a flavor combination inspired by the rich, spicy kick of traditional Mexican hot chocolate.

This recipe is foolproof, provided you don’t rush things. Yes, I know it’s virtually impossible to exercise self-restraint when it comes to chocolate, but to ensure a silky-smooth ganache, staple these three tips to your forehead:

  • Be patient when forming the base custard,
  • Step away from the chocolate for a full five minutes while it’s melting, and
  • Stir slooowly and deliberately when combining the melted chocolate and custard.

Trust me: you’ll be rewarded for your stoic Jedi ways.

Ready to learn how to make these little pots o’ joy?

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Grain-Free Dark Chocolate Cherry Scones

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I’m glad I’m no longer addicted to bread products, but I still feel an occasional twinge of nostalgia for scones — crusty, with a tender crumb, and just a touch of fruity sweetness.


Henry's to blame for this grain-free scone recipe. He created a cinnamon apple scone for our iPad® cookbook app last year — one of my favorite Paleo treats! — and ever since, I’ve been experimenting with new and different variations.


After months of testing, I’ve finally landed on my favorite: dark chocolate and cherries. With an almond flour base, these scones marry three of my favorite ingredients, and they just so happen to taste fantastic together. But just to be sure, I figured I needed to make one more batch. (All in the name of responsible recipe development, of course. It had nothing to do with my love for chocolatey scones. NOTHING!)


Once the kids were off to school, I had the house to myself for a few hours this morning, so I cranked up the oven and broke out the chocolate. Less than an hour later, my kitchen was filled with the warm scent of freshly-baked scones.


As usual, after trying one, I had to banish the rest of the batch from the house for fear I’d eat the whole tray in one sitting. (Calories do still matter, you know.) But don’t let me dissuade you from making these incredible scones. Just save one for yourself, and give the rest away as holiday treats!


Keep reading for the recipe!

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Paleo Pumpkin, Coconut, & Maple Custard Cups

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[UPDATED October 29, 2012: This ain’t a new recipe (it’s from a year ago), but I wanted to repost it for folks jonesing for an easy pumpkin dessert recipe to serve for Halloween. Enjoy (again!)]

Who misses pumpkin pie after going Paleo?

Look no further — here’s a mini crust-less version where the silky spiced custard and crunchy coconut topping will surely satisfy your autumn sweet cravings. You can bake these custards in the oven or pop them in a SousVide Supreme (195°F for 60-90 minutes). 

Here’s what to gather to make ten 4-ounce ramekins:

  • 1-1/4 cup coconut milk (I used Aroy-D)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup grade B maple syrup
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin puree (I use Libby’s)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup toasted coconut flakes (bake raw flakes in a single layer at 300 F for 3-5 minutes until golden brown)

Here’s how to make them:

Gather your ingredients…

…preheat the oven to 325°F, and boil a full kettle of water.

Get two 9” x 13” glass baking dishes and lay a small towel on the bottom of each one (the towel will keep the ramekins from slipping around).

Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over low heat until it’s steaming but not boiling.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the maple syrup…

…and whisk well.

Slowly add the warmed coconut milk to the egg and syrup mixture (a little bit at a time) and mix vigorously.

(Don’t be impatient and add the hot coconut milk all at once or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs!).

Toss in the pumpkin, spices, vanilla, and salt…

…and stir until well-blended.

Divide the ramekins into the two towel-lined baking dishes (ten ramekins won’t fit in one dish) and ladle in the mixture.

Pour boiling water into the baking dishes until it reaches halfway up the ramekins and carefully transfer them to the oven.

Bake custard cups for about 30 minutes. The custards are ready when a knife inserted into them comes out clean and they’re still slightly jiggly in the middle.

Cool the custards on a wire rack until they’re room temperature (about 1 hour)…

…and top each one with a sprinkle of toasted coconut.

These custards taste great cold, too. Refrigerate the ramekins and top with toasted coconut right before you devour them.

Bloody Eyeballs (Blueberry-Stuffed Longans in Berry Sauce)

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What little monster doesn’t like downing a couple of bloody eyeballs now and then? Especially if they’re sweet and juicy?

Here’s a quick and easy Halloween treat you can assemble with just a handful of ingredients: longans, blueberries, and frozen mixed berries.

I purchased a couple pounds of fresh longan fruit from 99 Ranch Market

…and enlisted the help of the Double-O’s to help peel them.

If you start at the stem end, the rest of the skin is pretty easy to remove.

The peeled longans already look like eyeballs — hence the name, which literally translates to “dragon eye” in Chinese.

The large seeds in the center are inedible so I removed and replaced ‘em with blueberries.

Yes, you can find canned and de-seeded longans at an Asian market, but they’re steeped in heavy syrup and who knows what else. I’m not gonna lie — removing seeds from fresh longans is kind of a pain in the keister because the flesh clings to the fruit —- but it’s worth it.

After the longans were halved and deseeded, I placed a blueberry in the center of each bisected piece of fruit.

Once the eyeballs were assembled…

…I blitzed half a bag of Trader Joe’s Very Cherry frozen berry blend.

I plated the “bloody” berry puree on a plate, dotted it with “eyeballs,” and added extra “blood” to each “sclera.”

Lil-O found them almost too creepy to eat.

Sweet yet revolting — kind of like me!

Civilized Caveman’s Apple Cinnamon Cookies

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When I got home from work, I rounded up my little sous chefs and we set to work making apple cinnamon cookies from Civilized Caveman Cooking Creations. It was Mother’s Day and this mama wanted some cookies!

I love making cookies with my boys so it was fun baking a batch that were tasty and healthy. Yes, skeptics, those two adjectives can go hand in hand. These cookies are really simple to make and they’re sweet enough to satisfy this reformed sugar addict. Plus, the smell of baked apples, cinnamon, coconut, and almonds is HEAVENLY!

The recipe and my step-by-step photos after the jump…

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Whole30 Sabotage: Primal Palate Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This morning, right after I went to bed, Fitbomb and the kids decided to tackle a cooking project to ring in the New Year. Specifically, they made primal chocolate chip cookies from one of my favorite blogs, The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate.

The grain-free cookies are made with almond flour, coconut oil, chocolate chips, eggs, maple syrup, baking soda, and vanilla extract. 

In case you’re wondering, that’s my sister’s homemade vanilla extract. She’s a DIY cooking maven, no doubt.

My kids were so excited to make the cookies, they both patiently waited their turn to stir the batter…

…and it didn’t devolve into fisticuffs. 

Here’s the finished dough…

… and the freshly baked cookies right out of the oven:

How’d they taste? I don’t know (big pat on my back) but the kids loved them!

I seem to be missing out on a lot of good eats while I’m sleeping the day away.

Nonetheless, I’m so effing glad I was sleeping this morning or I would have cheated on the Whole30 without a batting an eyelash. 

Trust me, this guy is a great salesman: