Author Archives: Paleo in the Desert

Cassava Flour Tortilla

It is so amazing to find a grain free flour that can be used to create a traditional flour tortilla. The taste and texture are so close. It is a perfect substitute. I took my old flour tortilla recipe and substituted ingredients and a little bit of quantities and here you have it. Four ingredient perfect flour tortillas.

What is cassava flour? It comes from the cassava root. Tapioca also comes from the cassava root but is just the starch. Cassava flour is made using the whole root.

Cassava Flour Tortilla

4 c Cassava Flour (There are a few brands I have seen Ottos Cassava flour or Moon Rabbit) or I have found a brand called OLA-OLA in Asian Markets.
1 tsp Sea Salt
3/4 c Palm Oil Shortening (I have used both Native Red Palm Shortening and Spectrum)
1 c Hot Water

Mix together the Cassava Flour and salt. Using your hands mix in the Shortening until the mixture is crumbly in texture (like cutting butter into flour for a pie crust). Then add in the hot water, 1/2 at first and then little by little until reaching a texture that feels like play dough. You want it smooth without being sticky, but you want it to hold together as you roll it out.


Next make a small ball of dough. Place between 2 pieces of parchment paper. Using either a tortilla press or a rolling pin, flatten into a tortilla shape. I used a tortilla press and made small tortillas. Preheat on medium heat a skillet or a comal. Peal the tortilla off of the parchment paper and place in the skillet or on the comal. Cook until small bubbles start to appear (about 1 minute or so) then flip to cook the other side. Repeat process until all your tortillas are cooked. Use as a wrap or fill with your favorite taco ingredients. Store left over tortillas in the refrigerator or freezer.

Makes approximately 25 small tortillas.

Easy Paleo Pan Fried Salmon

I love Salmon. This is one of my favorite ways to make it. It is fast, full of flavor and I don’t over cook it. (Something I tend to do, when I bake salmon)

1 Salmon Filete with the skin on
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1 T coconut aminos
1 T coconut oil
optional 1/4tsp chile powder or 1/4tsp chipotle powder


Place the coconut oil in the pan over medium heat. Lay the salmon in the pan skin side down. Pour on the coconut aminos then add the other seasonings on top. Add either of the chile powders if you want a little bit of spice. I enjoy both, types of chiles, totally up to you and usually make it for myself and my husband with a kick, and leave it off for the kids. Cover the pan and let it cook about 3 min. Check it and see if it is almost done. You can carefully use a fork to see if it the fish flakes. If it does remove it from the heat. If it still needs a bit more, I like to flip it over and give it another 2-3 min. I love how the coconut aminos creates a semi-caramelized top to the salmon. Check again and serve. I served it with my roasted shaved brussel sprouts.

Thin Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Growing up, I loved making cookies with my mom. We made all different kinds. One of my favorite was a really thin, buttery, crunchy on the bottom a tiny bit chewy in the middle, chocolate chip cookie. I finally made one that reminded me of my childhood favorite! It has all those great characteristics that I loved growing up, but this time without any refined sugar or wheat. If you can do grass fed butter, and love thin cookies. This is the recipe for you.

1/2 c grass fed butter room temperature (I use Kerrygold)
1 c coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 tsp cream of tarter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c almond flour (I like Honeyville)
2 T coconut flour
1 c chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 F
Using a hand held mixer beat together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat once again. After they are all incorporated add the other dry ingredients and mix well. Finally stir in the chocolate chips.

I use a small cookie scoop on a silicon (or parchment paper) lined cookie sheet and space the cookies 3 inches apart, since the dough spreads a lot! Bake for 10 -11 min. Let cool slightly on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. They taste the best the day are made, but are still yummy a few days later, they just loose their crunch and get a bit more chewy.

Another way to enjoy them is turning them into an ice cream sandwich.


Turmeric, Ginger Limeade

Summer is here is here and boy is it hot here in the desert! This drink has become our absolute favorite! It is not only refreshing, but has amazing health benefits. Turmeric is anti-inflamatory, ginger is great for digestion, local raw honey is amazing for seasonal allergies and lime is just plain awesome. That is it, 4 ingredients, 5 ingredients if you count the water and you are good an hydrated all summer long. My husband loves it so much that he is planning on using it as his sports drink. He is mixing it with hierba mate tea and taking it biking.


1, 2 inch piece of turmeric peeled and cut into 5 or 6 chunks (you could also use the dried spice about 1 tsp, but I prefer the taste of fresh)
1, 2 inch piece of ginger  peeled and cut into 5 or 6 chunks (you could also use the dried spice about 1 tsp but I prefer the taste of fresh)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (2-4 limes depending on how juicy they are) (you could use lemon as well, it too is super yummy)
3 T local raw honey
4 cups + 2 cups of Filtered water

Place the chopped turmeric and ginger in a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn down to low and let simmer 5 min or so. Turn off the heat add the 3 T or honey, stir to combine and let cool. Once cool take out the pieces of ginger and turmeric and pour into whatever you are going to use to store your drink. I use a large canning jar. Add the remaining 2 cups of water and the 1/2 cup of lime juice. Stir and drink right away over ice or store in the refrigerator.


Paleo Apple Pie

The last 2 weekends we loaded up the kids and went apple picking. Agritopia Farms is a beautiful area of Phoenix that has gorgeous organic produce, organic peach trees, apricot trees and Anna apple trees.  The Anna Apple tastes very similar to a Grannie Smith, only a little less tart. They are awesome! The first weekend we bought 30lbs and just this last one we bought 15lbs.


Needless to say we are making everything apple from apple butter to apple chips. So why not make an apple pie. I used a crust recipe that is part of the amazing blogger Brittney Angell’s online club. She is an very talented gluten free and grain free baker. If you love pies, the crust alone is worth the yearly $14.99.  The pie crust is just like a Pilsbury Dough crust. It flakes. If you have tried to make a paleo crust in the past, need I say more? Usually, although tasty, they are very dense. This one is light and flaky.  You can get the recipe here. She also has 2 other free pie crust on her site, but I haven’t tried them yet. If you do, please let me know how they turned out!

Another option is one from Elana’s Pantry. It is really good, but doesn’t flake like a traditional crust. You can get it here.


Paleo Apple Pie
2 pie crusts (one for the bottom and one for the lattice on top)
6 cups of thinly peeled and sliced tart apples such as Anna or Grannie Smith
3/4 c  plus 1 tsp. maple sugar (The brand I use is Coombs Family Farms 100% Organic Maple Sugar, 1 lb 9 Ounce, Container)
1 lemon juiced
2 T arrowroot flour
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Roll out the pie crust onto parchment paper with a little arrow root flour underneeth to prevent sticking. Use the parchment paper to transfer the crust to the pie pan and press into place. Bake the crust in preheated oven for 15 min. In the mean time mix all the filling ingredients together except for the 1tsp maple sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Place the mixture in the par cooked crust. Roll out remaining dough and cut into strips for the lattice. Place the lattice onto of the apples and then sprinkle with 1 tsp of maple sugar and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon.

Cover entire pie with aluminum foil and bake for 40 min. Remove foil and bake another 15 min until top is golden. The inside of the pie should a bit  jiggle but not be runny.

Sever alone or with a scoop of paleo ice cream.



Traditional Guacamole

Who doesn’t like guacamole? Well, I am sure there are some that don’t, but it has become a staple at any party. There are all kinds of variations, but a straight up traditional one always takes the cake in my book!


1 ripe avacado (How do you know it is ripe? All black, if there is no green on it, it is good to go, wait too long and it will be rotten)
1/2 lime juiced
1/2 small onion (white or yellow) chopped (mix it up and use a red onion)
1 serrano chile minced (with our without the seeds. Keep the seeds in to make it spicy, take them out for a more mild, but still flavorful guacamole)
1 small roma tomato chopped
1 small handful of cilantro minced
salt to taste

Feel free to double or triple the amounts!

Start with the avocado. I just tried this method to keep it from browning, it is brilliant, using salt water. Just don’t add extra salt at the end. Follow this link to find the instructions. (Zen belly guacamole recipe)

Continuing on with the avocado. One you have removed it from the salt water (did you follow the link?), place it in a bowl and mash it with a fork. I prefer it chunky so I don’t mash it too much. Add all the other ingredients and give a quick stir. Serve with fajitas, plantain chips, tortillas chips (if you do corn) or just by the spoonfuls, (we all do it).

Dairy Free Tomatillo Cream Sauce

Green salsa has to be one of my favorite things in the entire world. Make it a cream sauce and it can go on just about everything.  This one is dairy free, creamy and tangy all at the same time. Use it on stuffed peppers, on top of a frittata, on a tuna cake, it could even be a salad dressing. It is that good!


6 tomatillos
3T cashew cream
1/2 raw serrano chile (with or without seeds, depends on how spicy you like it)
Salt to taste

If you bought the tomatillos still in their husks, remove them and give the tomatillos a good wash. Then place them in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over medium heat and gently boil until the tomatillos change color, from a bright green to a more subtle green. About 5-10 min. Once cooked through, using a collated spoon remove the tomatillos from the water and put into a blender, add the 3T of cashew cream, the serrano chile and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth. Give it a good taste, if you like it creamier add more cashew cream, saltier add more salt.

Paleo Chipotle Roast seasoning

Paleo Chipotle Roast Rub

roast rub

I have been on a Chipotle kick lately. I love the tiny bit of kick that it has, without being too spicy. The smokey flavor is there without being too overwhelming.  The kids love it, the adults love it, it is a win/win in my book.

Here is the rub.

Paleo Chipotle Roast Rub
2 Tablespoons Chipotle spice
2 Tablespoons Onion powder
2 Tablespoons Cumin
2 Tablespoons Oregano
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Sea Salt


Crockpot Roast 

To make a delish shredded beef dish using the rub. I generously seasoned a chuck roast with 3T of the rub, ensuring that I got it evenly distributed on all sides. I put the seasoned roast into the crock pot with 1 inch of water, 1T of sea salt and a bay leaf. I set it on 10 hours and let it slow cook the day away. We came home to the most tender beef with a delicious subtle flavor that we all loved. I ate it shredded with a little avocado and salsa on the side. The kids put in in tortillas. We all were full and happy.


Chipotle Shrimp

I must confess I am on a Chipotle seasoning kick. It is smoky, spicy (without being too hot) and just plain delicious. Tonight we made shrimp with roasted garlic, lime, smoked paprika, sea salt and of course chipotle.



2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp ghee
1 lb shrimp (I used wild caught with the shell on, but you can use whatever you like)
2 heads of garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt,
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
juice of 1 lime
2 T olive oil

Heat the olive oil and ghee in a skillet on medium low. (I use stainless steel). Cut the end off of the garlic heads and place in pan with the oil and cover the pan. Let it cook until the garlic is soft and cooked through. This will take 10 min or so. If the pan gets too hot and starts to burn turn it down. While the garlic is cooking, toss the shrimp with all the other ingredients. Once the garlic is cooked through, add the shrimp. Cooking about 2-3 minutes and then flip over for another 2-3 minutes until shrimp are bright pink. Shrimp with the shell on will take a bit longer than shrimp that is peeled. So just keep an eye on it. Serve on tacos, alone, or with a side of whatever veggies you like. We had it tonight with whole steamed artichokes.


Almond Horchata

Typically horchata is a sweet drink made with white rice, cinnamon and sugar. Sometimes almonds are added to the rice drink to give it a little different taste. I make mine purely out of almonds, a cinnamon stick, and coconut sugar (I am sure honey would work just as well).
Almond Horchata

1 c almonds
4 1/4 c Filtered water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 c coconut sugar

Place almonds and cinnamon stick in a glass jar, or dish. Add just enough water to completely cover the almonds with about 1/2 inch of water above them. Soak at least 8 hours or over night. After soaking, drain the almonds and cinnamon stick and place in a blender with the 4 1/4 c filtered water and coconut sugar. Blend for about 1-2 minutes. The time will depend on your blender. Strain the mixture using a milk bag, cheese cloth or thin dish towel. Store in a glass jar for 4-5 days. I love to drink this over ice. For an extra adult treat add a splash of Ammaretto or Kahlua. That will make it not Paleo, but a nice treat to enjoy occasionally.