Strawberry Margaritas, 2 Ways

If summertime isn’t made for sippin’ margaritas, I don’t know what is. And since summer is also made for snacking on fresh fruit, it only makes sense to combine the two.

I love strawberry margaritas either infused with fresh basil, or heated up with jalapeño. Since I can’t decide which I love more, I’m sharing both recipes with you today!

Best Paleo Recipes

Strawberry Margaritas, 2 Ways

strawberry margarita

Strawberry Basil Margarita

for one drink:

1 sprig basil (about 5 leaves)
3 strawberries
1.5 ounces (1 jigger) lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1.5 ounces (1 jigger) tequila, either gold or silver (I love Espolòn)
1 tablespoon simple syrup, recipe follows
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon raw turbinado sugar
lime wedge, strawberry, and basil sprig, for garnish

  • On a small plate, combine the coarse salt and sugar. Run the lime wedge garnish around the edge of the glass, and then turn the glass upside down onto the salt mixture, coating the rim. Set aside.
  • In a cocktail shaker, muddle the basil, strawberries and citrus juices. Add the tequila along with a small handful of ice and shake well for 30 seconds or so.
  • Strain over ice (I like using a large ice cube so it doesn’t get watered down right away), and garnish with a lime wedge, strawberry, and sprig of basil.

Strawberry Jalapeño Margarita

for one drink:

1 slice jalapeño, seeds removed *
3 strawberries
1.5 ounces (1 jigger) lime juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1.5 ounces (1 jigger) tequila, either gold or silver (I love Espolòn)
1 tablespoon simple syrup, recipe follows
lime wedges, strawberry, and jalapeño, for garnish

  • On a small plate, combine the coarse salt and sugar. Run the lime wedge garnish around the edge of the glass, and then turn the glass upside down onto the salt mixture, coating the rim. Set aside.
  • In a cocktail shaker, muddle the jalapeno, strawberries and citrus juices. Add the tequila along with a small handful of ice and shake well for 30 seconds or so.
  • Strain over ice (I like using a large ice cube so it doesn’t get watered down right away), and garnish with a lime wedge, strawberry, and slice of jalapeño.

Simple Syrup: Dissolve 1/4 cup honey in 1/4 cup boiling water. Allow to cool. Store in a jar in the fridge.


strawberry margaritas

* Be careful when handling any hot peppers! Make sure to wash your hands, knife and cutting board well after handling them. And even after washing your hands, use caution when touching your face or eyes. (or anything else!)


Brown Butter Peach and Cherry Cobbler

What a week it’s been! We landed back in San Francisco on Monday afternoon after spending a wonderful week up in Vancouver, BC with the kids. It was my first time there, and I was blown away by what a great city it is. I posted lots of pictures on Instagram of our adventures up there, so definitely check them out if you’re planning a visit! vancouver

Pretty much as soon as we got back, I jumped right into prepping and shooting the cover for The New Yiddish Kitchen, which releases in March 2016. (But all of the photos need to be turned in by mid-July! Ack!).

Best Paleo Recipes

I shot all of the photos for The Zenbelly Cookbook, as well as the ones for my recipes in The New Yiddish Kitchen, so I’m pretty comfortable with food photography. But something about shooting THE COVER dishes up a certain kind of stress. Not to mention the fact that it takes many more hours and causes a special kind of headache. I’m not complaining though- Having the opportunity to write a cookbook with my girl Jennifer of Predominantly Paleo has been nothing short of awesome. Still- the process took me three days. 0_O On Thursday evening, we celebrated the wedding of our dear friends Marcus and Graham, who had a small ceremony at City Hall earlier that day. These are two people who we haven’t known for a long time, but it feels like we’ve known them forever. They’re just the sweetest. A couple of weeks ago, They came over for a Southern feast, most of which Marcus cooked! What a treat. He happens to make the best fried chicken on the planet, which was easily adapted to be grain-free using arrowroot and potato starch. He also brought collards with oxtails, (OMG) and sweet potatoes. My contribution was gluten-free mac and cheese and dessert, which happened to be this very cobbler. (Have you been wondering when I was going to get to that?). It came out great, and I promised to make it again so I could post the recipe, and here it is. But wait! That only takes us through Thursday, and we can’t leave out Friday, when SCOTUS declared:



What a wonderful moment for equal rights in this country. It’s about time. I basically cried all day- it’s a good thing I don’t wear mascara when working from home. Okay NOW you can have that recipe I promised- Brown Butter Peach and Cherry Cobbler – Fresh summer peaches and cherries, topped with a brown butter biscuit topping that’s sprinkled with flaked sea salt. peach and cherry cobbler

Brown Butter Peach & Cherry Cobbler

prep time: 20 minutes
cook time: 18-24 minutes
makes: one 8×8 cobbler / serves: 8-10

1 1/4 pounds peaches (4-5 peaches) cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 pound cherries, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup brown butter* (melted or at room temperature and soft)
1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt

  • Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 baking dish.
  • In a large bowl, combine the peaches, cherries, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup, and the 1 tablespoon arrowroot. Mix to combine. Pour into the prepared pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the remaining arrowroot, almond flour, baking soda, and finely ground sea salt. Whisk to combine. Add in the vanilla extract, eggs, brown butter and remaining  3 tablespoons maple syrup. Mix to combine.
  • Spread the topping over the peach mixture. It will be somewhat like the consistency of cookie dough, so you’ll have to do a combination of pressing and spreading it over the fruit.
  • Sprinkle with the flaked sea salt and bake for 18-24 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Naturally, this is best with some vanilla ice cream on top.Pictured is Jöne’s Gourmet Gelato, which is made in San Francisco, and is both Paleo and vegan- Do check it out if you’re in the Bay Area!

*I recommend Tin Star Foods ghee and brown butter, which are lab tested to be both lactose and casein free, and are the best damn butters I’ve ever tried. If you cannot handle any dairy at all, sustainably harvested palm shortening is a good swap.



PIN THIS RECIPE: peach and cherry cobbler

Bourbon Peach Smash

If you follow me on Instagram, (you should! It’s fun over there) you know that I love a good cocktail once in a while. And the lovely people over there seem to appreciate when I share recipes to go along with the photos of my favorite libations. So I decided to start sharing recipes here on the blog!

Questions? Here are two I think you might have. Feel free to put any more in the comments below. And please feel free to let me know what drinks you’d like to see here!

1. Why am I sharing cocktail recipes on a mostly Paleo food blog?

  • Well, first of all, I believe in living a balanced life that includes an occasional adult beverage IF you are A) An adult of legal drinking age and B) Able to have said beverage without it impacting your life in a negative way. You’ve probably noticed by now that I’m not a Paleo perfectionist, and don’t have any interest in a dogmatic approach to this lifestyle.

2. Why do we need more cocktail recipes? There are already so many on the internets.

  • These will be different. Most drink recipes are overly sweet and use lots of ingredients I’m not all that interested in using. Zenbelly cocktail recipes will be sweetened with honey or other quality sweetener (if at all), and will use fresh, seasonal produce.

So here it is, the very first Zenbelly Cocktails recipe. Cheers!

bourbon peach smash

Bourbon Peach Smash

for one drink:

1/2 ripe peach
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 sprig fresh mint
1 tablespoon simple syrup (see below)
1 1/2 ounces (1 jigger) bourbon (I like Bulleit)
lemon twist, for garnish
small sprig mint, for garnish

Honey Simple Syrup (makes 1/2 cup)
Combine 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup steaming hot water and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool and store in a jar for future use.

  • In your shaker, muddle the peach, lemon juice and mint until it’s as close to a liquid as you can get it.
  • Add the simple syrup and bourbon and shake well.
  • Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube and garnish with the lemon twist and mint.
  • Alternately, if you prefer your drinks up, shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.


bourbon peach smash


BBQ Baby Back Ribs


It’s Spring! According to the calendar and what I’m seeing on social media, anyway. Living in San Francisco, I’ve essentially given up on the concept of seasons. They just don’t exist here on any kind of level, which is fine by me, after spending many a winter in the Northeast. But for those of you just digging out your flip flops and spending more time in the sun, you’re probably looking for more recipes to throw on that grill that has been gathering dust (or snow) for the past 6 months or so.

This recipe is actually made mostly in the oven, where the ribs cook low and slow to give them a chance for the meat to become tender and richly flavored by the rub and cider they cook in. The grill is just to finish them and char the incredibly flavorful sauce on them. So if you’re having a backyard BBQ where you’re grilling all the things, these won’t monopolize your grill grates all day. And if you don’t have a grill, or if your backyard is currently torn up to be renovated (our current situation is a sand pit- not inviting), you can finish these under the broiler. But if it’s nice out, eat ’em outside. Don’t forget the roll of paper towels!

BBQ baby back ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

prep time: 30 minutes  cook time: 1:45-2:15 hours  serves: 4-6 


2 racks baby back pork ribs
½ cup hard cider (or ¼ cup apple cider vinegar and ½ cup water or broth)

1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon lard or coconut oil
½ cup diced shallots
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons rib rub (from above)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 can tomato paste
1 cup brewed coffee
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut aminos
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses


Preheat the oven to 300. Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl, setting aside 2 teaspoons for the sauce.

Rub the ribs on both sides with the spice rub and place in a large roasting pan along with the cider. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 1 ½ – 2 hours.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, sauté the shallots in the lard for 3 minutes, or until beginning to soften and turn golden. Add the garlic and sauté one minute more. Mix in the rib rub and smoked paprika, and then add the tomato paste. Cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly.

Add the coffee, maple syrup, coconut aminos, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce and molasses. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Puree the sauce, either with a stick blender or by transferring to a blender, until smooth.

To finish the ribs:
Heat your grill to medium-low.

Set the ribs on the grill, meaty side down. Coat the exposed side with a layer of sauce. Grill for 4 minutes. Flip, and add another coating of sauce. Grill 4 minutes. Repeat, so that you’ve grilled both sides twice, and added 2 layers of sauce to each side.

Remove the ribs to a cutting board and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes before cutting between the bones. Serve with additional sauce.

bbq baby back ribs

Blueberry Lemon Tart

I bought ingredients to make popsicles the other day. My plan was to make summery, fruity popsicles with flavors like strawberry and blueberry and horchata, maybe even layered to make a real foods version of a Bomb Pop. Perfect for Memorial Day weekend! And then I started seeing them pop (heh) up all over on social media and decided that there were plenty of good popsicle recipes out there** already. Plus, my freezer’s way too full.

And then the kids ate the strawberries, sealing the deal. I’m not complaining because they also made whipped cream to go with them and offered me a bowl. They even sort of cleaned up!

So this morning, I woke up with a good deal of blueberries, coconut milk in the fridge and a serious chill coming through the open window. It definitely feels like the beginning of summer in San Francisco. Brrrr.

blueberry lemon tart

A blueberry tart was in order, and since blueberries are my favorite berry, I decided to pair them with my favorite fruit- lemon curd.

blueberry lemon tart

This tart may look fancy and time consuming, but it’s really not. See how the blueberries are arranged in the tart like that? They’re not arranged at all, because when you drop them into the pre-baked custard, they put themselves in place just perfectly, without any assistance. In fact, making this lovely tart might be easier than making popsicles. Easier than rearranging your freezer, anyway.

blueberry lemon tart

Blueberry Lemon Tart (grain-free, dairy-free)

for the crust:
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 tablespoons coconut flour
1/3 teaspoon sea salt

for the filling:
zest of one lemon, plus extra for garnish, if desired
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 large eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut cream (from a chilled, unshaken can of coconut milk*)
1 pint fresh blueberries

To make the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • whisk together the eggs, coconut oil and honey. Mix in the almond flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, and sea salt. Stir to combine and knead a couple of times to make sure it’s well incorporated.
  • Press the dough into a 9″ tart pan. Using thin strips of aluminum foil, loosely cover the sides of the crust. Poke the bottom of the crust all over with a fork (see picture below)
  • Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil.

To make the filling:

  • Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, eggs, honey and coconut cream.
  • Pour into the prepared crust. If the sides of your crust don’t go to the very top of the pan, you might have more filling than you need. Just fill the crust to wherever the sides reach to. Drop in the blueberries.
  • Bake for 25-32 minutes, or until the filling is mostly set. It will still be a little jiggly when it’s done, and will set more as it cools.
  • Allow to cool completely before serving, about one hour.

* Coconut milk will separate when chilled, so you’ll be able to use just the cream that settles on top. After removing from the fridge, turn over the can and open the bottom. Pour off the water, and you’ll be left with the thick cream.

blueberry lemon tart

** Wishing I made popsicles instead? Check out these recipes from my friends:

Mango Lassi Popsicles from Slim Palate

Ginger Berry Lime Ice Pops from So Let’s Hang Out

Lava Flow Ice Pops from Nom Nom Paleo

And here’s a whole popsicle roundup from Savory Lotus!