Posts made in November, 2012

21 Day Sugar Detox. Day 5: I’ll be on the couch, pretending not to want ice cream and a margarita.

Posted by on Nov 30, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 3 comments

You know who doesn’t say TGIF often? That’s right, me. I’m saying it tonight, even though the weekend that lies ahead doesn’t in the least resemble an actual weekend. I have to cook all day tomorrow, and cater a small wedding on Sunday. I’m not complaining. It’s my job! And I love it. The fact is, I get tons of random days off on all sorts of days of the week. This is not a M-F 9-5 gig. Sometimes, I have a whole week off, and get to do things like catch up on paperwork, when I’m not being distracted by the likes of  Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.  (<— that was sneaky, right?) But this Friday evening I have off. From the time I delivered lunch in Marin today until tomorrow morning when I start cooking, I’m a free woman. So far, I met a friend for lunch and got a pedicure. It’s not even 7, and I can see the couch in my near future. I’m so happy I could cry. It’s the little things. Day 5 of the 21 Day Sugar Detox was so far the day that felt the most arrrrgh. I did a stupid thing and forgot to bring the desserts for the lunch, which means they are still in my possession. Normally, I would be excited about this, because they are delicious and gluten-free. Obviously I’m not excited to have 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies and a whole lot of lemon bars. But you know who will be? The gluten-free folks getting married on Sunday, who don’t know it yet, but are getting a little gift from me. Let’s go ahead and call this a win. Argh. The wine at Whole Foods looked extra good. Simon couldn’t take one more egg this morning, and ran (drove) to the store to get almond butter and green apples. He’s a lifelong toast with butter and cinnamon in the morning kind of guy. It’s that or a smoothie, so he’s having a tough time with breakfast. Especially the unsweetened coffee. Argh. So this is today, in between the argh moments: Day 5 Breakfast: Simon never thought he’d be so excited to have an apple and almond butter. I made myself a scramble with peppers and onions and topped it with some leftover guacamole. Which, by the way, was still green. If you don’t know the secret, you really must check it out. I’d post a picture, but it’s blurry. It looks good on Instagram, though! Lunch: Simon ate half of a roast chicken that was in the fridge. (I’ve made sure that the fridge never runs out of roast chicken this week) It’s helped. I met a friend for lunch in Mill Valley, and got myself the classic paleo out to eat staple of the burger no bun. And pushed those nasty raw onions aside. Blech. Oil and vinegar on the salad, ’cause you can’t trust those dressings. Dinner: Soup again. But this time, spicy tomato chicken soup. Kind of like tortilla soup, but without the tortillas. So it’s probably not right to call it that.  We topped it with some avocado and gave it a squeeze of lime. Perfect for a cold and rainy night. “Winter” is what they call it here in San Francisco, but I was wearing flip-flops earlier, and I still have my toes. You’ll notice that there isn’t a link to the soup recipe. That’s because there isn’t one. I’ve noticed that a picture of a photo often elicits requests for the recipe, which I love, and… 90% of what I cook is completely...

Read More

21 Day Sugar Detox. Day 4: Based on my scientific research, starting the day with chicken soup makes everything amazing.

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 2 comments

While falling asleep last night in a state of sheer exhaustion, I remember muttering “I’m going to have chicken soup for breakfast”. This is normal, right? I did just that, and was happy to remember this morning that I had made such a good plan the night before. I have some genius moments when I’m barely conscious. I feel like I’ve been whining a lot this week, so today, I’d like to share with you the many good things about this lovely stormy Thursday. The rain didn’t start until I was a mere half a block from home when walking the dogs  this morning. I was able to procure delicious chocolate chip cookies from The Goods Gluten-Free Treats*, and that means that I don’t have to make dessert for tomorrow’s catering job. (more importantly, I don’t have to smell cookies baking) I decided to take a tiny detour to check out the storm as it was coming in on the ocean.  It was beautiful and stormy, and I was reminded that I really do need to go there more often. I was able to finish work in time to actually make dinner for me and Simon, and happened to have ground beef, salsa, avocados, and romaine in the fridge. Taco Night! We made them with lettuce leaves instead of jicama, to use what we had and to make it as simple as possible. If you haven’t yet had jicama taco shells though, oh man, are you in for a treat. And once you know how to make guacamole that doesn’t turn brown, you’ll just want to throw parties all the time. AND THEN! We finally bottled up our first batch of kombucha that we started two weeks ago. It needs another day or three for it’s second ferment / flavor magic to happen, and I can hardly wait to try it. I bought a kit, SCOBY and all from the lovely people at Kombucha Kamp while I was at the Weston A Price conference earlier this month. Being a total kombucha novice, I felt good about having a complete kit to start with, including very detailed instructions. It looks like our first batch came out great, and we started a new batch to keep it going. I promise I did eat between breakfast and lunch, but it was more like snacking here and there…. Some rotisserie chicken, a few bites of frittata, a few emergency almonds that I keep in my purse at all times. This list, combined with a conversation I had with my friend Johnny over at Eating For Idiots reminds me that I really do need to eat more kale and other good dark leafy greens. I tend to get lazy with the veggies! Shame on me. This weekend at the market I will stock up, I promise! Eat More Kale! What a great day. I hope yours was great as well. * The Goods website is still in progress, but definitely keep them on your radar – There are some pretty fantastic cookies and such coming from their kitchen. All of the links on are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

Read More

21 Day Sugar Detox. Day 3: Christmas Trees Smell Amazing

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 3 comments

I’m going to make this quick, because I am dying to lie on the couch for a whole hour, starting in 8 minutes. Today: Again, insane. Cook, drive, set up, drive, shop, cook, blog. A wonderful new recipe, if I do say so myself, for grain-free rosemary olive oil crackers. They’re a great snack for the next 18 days, and beyond! Check ’em out. Honestly, today is a blur. What I do know is that I had to bake brownies and chocolate chip cookies for a catering job, and let me tell you: Smelling those things when doing a sugar detox is TORTURE. And we’re not just talking about smelling them while sitting in the other room playing video games (ahem, Simon), but MAKING them. And not licking the spoon, or eating those little bits on the cookie sheet that get a little extra toasty. And you know how when you cut brownies, they get stuck to the knife a bit? Holy. Moley. Can you just picture the beads of sweat on my forehead while I resisted cheating? This is how I found myself with my nose literally in the Christmas tree. It smells great. And not like delicious cookies. All that being said, I managed to eat pretty well today. Bacon and eggs for breakfast, some rotisserie chicken for lunch, chicken broth later on, and shrimp scampi over spinach for dinner, which Simon made(!) He likes to pretend he doesn’t know how to cook, but he’s totally busted. In general, I have a feeling that I haven’t been eating enough for the past few days, but I haven’t felt all that hungry either. I find that the fewer carbs I eat, the less hungry I am in general. The main difference I feel in my health since embracing a mostly paleo lifestyle is stable blood sugar. Carbs and grains make me hypoglycemic. Cutting out sugars and most carbs altogether makes me a superhero. Not that I’ll never eat a grain-free chocolate chip cookie ever again. 3 days down, 18 to go! How’s everyone doing? All of the links on are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

Read More

Grain-Free Rosemary Olive Oil Crackers

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in 21DSD, Appetizers, grain-free, Paleo, potluck, Snacks | 33 comments

Once you find out how easy it is to make grain-free crackers, you’ll be hooked. These are a variation of my other favorites, my grain-free everything crackers. If you haven’t tried those, you really should, especially if you have fond memories of a good everything bagel. These are a great way to add crunch to your paleo lifestyle. If you’re doing the 21 Day Sugar Detox along with us, they’re a perfect snack to help you get through those… oh you know… moments. Grain-Free Rosemary Olive Oil Crackers Preheat oven to 325° 2 cups almond flour 1 egg, preferably pastured 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary 1/2 teaspoon sea salt In a large bowl, beat the egg and the olive oil. Mix in the remaining ingredients and mix well, giving it a few kneads. Turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper and flatten out a bit. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment and cut into 1 inch squares with a sharp knife. Transfer (with the bottom sheet of parchment) to a sheet pan and bake for 14-20 minutes, checking occasionally. The outside crackers might be done sooner than the center, in which case just remove the pan from the oven and carefully transfer the finished crackers to a plate to cool. They’re done when they’re just barely golden. Store in an airtight container. These are great for just snacking, but for some simple hors d’oeuvres ideas: goat cheese and tapenade chicken liver pâté and a slice of cornichon fig jam and aged manchego cheese grilled steak, caramelized onions and dijon mustard All of the links on are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

Read More

21 Day Sugar Detox. Day 2. We’re going to need more butter.

Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in 21 DSD Daily Eats | 10 comments

Owning a catering company is like this: I’m so busy I can’t figure out a way to physically do everything I need to do, I eat cold bolognese with a spoon for dinner, and curse all those 80’s movies and The Jetsons for promising that we’d have robot assistants by now. Where. Are. They. * crickets * Considering I’m blogging at 10pm instead of strapping on my light blocking eye mask like I should be, it’s safe to say that this week falls into the #1 category. And yes, I had cold bolognese for dinner. Actually that’s not entirely true. I had 2 bites while it was scorching hot, and got distracted, later shoveling the rest of it in my mouth while doing dishes. It’s all glamour over here, folks! I didn’t manage to take many food pics today, but did wake up to a text from Simon asking if this was the right amount of butter to put on his coconut muffin: I replied that it’s almost enough butter, but this is more like it: Looking through the pictures on my phone, I’m reminded that I did actually have lunch! Yay me. Leftover turkey soup, the one I’ve been bragging about. Seriously, Bobby Flay would get his tuchus handed to him if he challenged me to a Throw Down on this one. I will try and post a recipe, but it’s one of those things…. Almost impossible to record what happened in the kitchen that day. Measuring definitely did not, but I’ll do my best to recipe-ify it. This picture is from the other night. I did not eat it at the table with a nice cloth napkin today. In other news: Do you like our glitter table? We did some DIY this weekend with the kids, which is way outside the norm of our usual activities. We are not crafty people. The concept of putting down something protective didn’t cross our minds, and so the table has officially been refinished. And it’s pretty damn sparkly. For the most part, I was way too busy today to think about what I could and couldn’t eat, so it was essential that there were plenty of leftovers in the house.  I have an equally busy day tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, and the day after that. But there are a few recipes that I reeeeealy want to post, so I will try my very best to do so. I’ll give you a hint: one of them is a variation of these crackers. How was today for you? All of the links on are for information purposes, however some are affiliate links to books, products or services. Any sponsored posts are clearly labelled as being sponsored content. Some ads on this site are served by ad networks and the advertised products are not necessarily recommended by Zenbelly...

Read More

Free eBook: Essentials

Enter your email address to get Chef Simone's Free eBook: Essentials; Zenbelly's guide to mastering the basics. 11 simple recipes to boost your kitchen confidence and help you cook like a pro