Zesty Italian Faux Pasta Salad

Let me start off by saying, there is no pasta in this salad.

That’s right, the recipe I am about to share with you is a pasta-free pasta salad. It makes no sense…or does it make perfect sense?

Let me explain.

I avoid most grains and refined flours because I find that when I include them regularly in my diet, I don’t feel very well. I’m not celiac, but after 4 years of experimentation, I have directly linked grain consumption to certain undesirable side effects – anxiety to be the number one issue. I have yet to understand the scientific side of that – why does this happen? What specifically is the cause? Is it the ingredients or the preparation? Until I understand it more, I try to avoid grains and refined flours as much as possible. So in relation to this post, although I love a good pasta dish, I don’t include pasta in my diet because it contains said ingredients.->Insert sad face emoji here.<-

But hey, I’m human and so are you! Pasta tastes amazing – it’s comforting, versatile and you can smother it in a sauce. What’s not to love? But maybe you’re currently avoiding grains as well, or maybe you’re simply looking to cut back on calories and have cut out pasta from your diet for that reason. You’re doing really well and avoiding all things pasta related but gosh, after that BBQ last weekend and seeing that cold pasta salad on the table, you find yourself missing a good pasta dish. Sound familiar?

Well, you’re in luck. There are so many ways to have a pasta experience and still avoid the ingredients you want to avoid. Here are some of my favorite pasta substitutions that you can include in your own kitchen –

  • Zoodles – spiralized zucchini noodles (this is my favorite, compact spiralizer)
  • Sweet potato noodles – also spiralized
  • Gluten free noodles – here are some of my favorites:
  • Spaghetti squash – baked and shredded

Today’s recipe is a zesty, cold Italian faux pasta dish featuring my favorite pasta substitution, spaghetti squash. I’ve been missing my mom’s cold pasta salad, so I set out to make something just like hers, sans the pasta. But can it be done? Can you really replace the pasta and still feel like you’re eating pasta?

Well, after this making this dish, I say YES, YES, YES. It can be done! It’s all the same flavors, with all the same comfort, but without all the refined flours and extra calories.

But hey, why take my word for it? You be the judge.

Zesty Italian Faux Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Print

Salad Ingredients

  • (1) spaghetti squash **see notes for zoodle replacement
  • (4) mini sweet peppers
  • (1/4) cup red onion
  • (1) cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • (1/4) cup fresh basil
  • (1/4) cup sliced black olives

Zesty Italian Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • (1/4) cup olive oil
  • (3) tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • (1) tbsp. Italian seasoning blend
  • (2) garlic cloves, minced
  • (1/4) tsp. sea salt

Other Tools Needed

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Baking sheet
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Large serving bowl
  • Small mason jar or container with lid for the vinaigrette
  • 2 forks
  • Large serving spoon


Preheat the oven to 375° degrees (F). Place the two halves of the spaghetti squash on your baking sheet, cut part up. When the oven is ready, place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, prep the produce for the salad by dicing the peppers, onions,and basil. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, and slice the black olives. Throw all ingredients in the large serving bowl and set aside.

To prepare the vinaigrette, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian seasoning blend, minced garlic and sea salt to a mason jar, or any container with a lid. Voila! Instant vinaigrette.

When the squash is done roasting (it should be soft enough to stick a fork in the flesh easily), remove from the oven and use the two forks to shred the squash into noodle-like pieces. Place the shredded squash into the medium sized mixing and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. It should be cold to the touch before mixing the squash in with the other ingredients

When the squash has cooled, add it to the large mixing bowl with the produce and mix everything together. Then take the jar of vinaigrette, and shake, shake, shake! Good? Pour about 1/2 – 3/4 of the vinaigrette in the salad and mix it all together again. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.


If you’re using zoodles (spiralized zucchini), use about 4-5 zucchini in place of the spaghetti squash for the same overall serving size. Sprinkle salt over the zoodles and let sit for 20-30 minutes to dehydrate them, as salt draws out moisture. Then, using paper towels, wring out the zoodles of excess moisture. Now saute the zoodles in a pan until tender and drain them of them of any additional excess moisture before adding them into the freezer to cool. Prepare the rest of the salad as usual.

To make this a full entree, add some protein! I loved this with some grilled chicken.

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If you give this dish a try, be sure to leave a comment to let me know how you liked it. I love hearing from you!

Until next time,


Front Porch Lemonade

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy…”

These lyrics have been dancing around my head after a gorgeous weekend here in California. It may not be summer yet, but our beautiful weather has me feeling wistful for the long, sun-soaked days that are right around the corner.

This weekend, I realized how much I am influenced by the weather, especially when it comes to food and beverages. And if you’ve been following my blog posts for some time, it’s not hard to miss the connection with current weather conditions and the content I put out. With that being said, while the sun came out to play this weekend, I was outside picking fresh lemons off our tree in the front yard with the intent of a new recipe.


I started planning a lemon bar recipe, but for once, I didn’t want to confine myself to the kitchen when there was so much that could be done outside. With the warm weather, I need a little something to quench my thirst.

When life hands you lemons, you make some gosh darn lemonade with ’em.

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I call this my front porch lemonade for two reasons.

Reason #1, my lemon tree is literally right outside the front porch.

Reason #2, you’ll want to take a glass of this lemonade to the front porch, kick your feet up and let time slow down for a just a little while. Sip and soak in the sunshine, take in the laughter of the neighborhood kids as they play down the street, and watch the hummingbirds gracefully kiss the flowers as they buzz by.

Life is good.

Although a lemonade recipe follows this, I would hardly call it a recipe. I would say it’s more of a starting point or guideline. All you really need are lemons, water, a sweetener and a little ice, then adjust to taste. After many attempts at a naturally sweetened lemonade over the years, I think stevia is my preferred sweetener of choice. In my opinion, honey just didn’t cut the tartness of the lemons, coconut sugar didn’t dissolve well, and maple syrup was all wrong taste-wise. See my notes following the recipe for some fun options to spruce up your front porch sippin’.

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Front Porch Lemonade

  • Servings: 6-8 servings
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Paleo friendly, refined sugar free, 100% delicious.


  • 7 lemons
  • 6 cups filtered, cold water
  • 12 stevia packets * see notes
  • Ice

Other Tools Needed:


Fill the pitcher about 1/4 high with ice. Using your knife and cutting board, halve each lemon and use the citrus squeezer to remove the juice from the lemons; you can juice them right into the pitcher. Then, add the filtered water and stevia to the pitcher, and mix the lemonade with your mixing spoon. Use the ‘ol taste test method to see if it’s done to your liking. You can add more lemon juice, water or stevia as needed.


I had stevia packets on hand (1 packet=2 tsp if you have it in bulk), but maybe liquid stevia would be an easier route? You’ll have to adjust the measurements accordingly. Additionally, if you don’t have a citrus squeezer, you can juice the lemons the old fashioned way and squeeze them by hand.

If you feel like sprucing up  your lemonade a bit, you can add fresh berries (raspberries and strawberries would be amazing in this), or you can make lemonade slushies by blending the lemonade with the ice, and blending berries in as well. You can also make this an adult beverage by adding vodka, rum or tequila. There are so many options, so don’t be afraid to get creative.

It may be a Monday but now you have something to look forward to this week or coming weekend. Post pictures of how you enjoy your front porch lemonade with the hashtag #frontporchsippin and tag @cavegirlculture on Instagram and Twitter!

Hope you have a wonderful week!



*In the spirit of full disclosure (secrets don’t make friends), this blog post contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything through those links. I only recommend products that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands!


CrossFit Livermore Weight Loss Challenge Wrap-Up

Happy Friday!

As of yesterday, the CrossFit Livermore 60 Day Weight Loss Challenge that I’ve been participating in, has officially ended. Watching everyone progress and reach their goals over the past 60 days has been such an amazing experience! So many new friendships were formed, and together we laughed, we sweated, we struggled, got frustrated, pushed our limits, and accomplished things we didn’t think possible. Weight loss can be such a personal and private experience, but we created a strong support system and became fitter versions of ourselves together. I feel so very lucky to have been apart of this challenge, and being able to share my recipes with everyone was just icing on the cake.

Speaking of recipes, I promised my challenge participants I would post one final recipe. Let’s call it a celebration recipe, because today we celebrate all the hard work and dedication put in the last 60 days.

And obviously, chocolate needs to be involved. Naturally.


These dark chocolate espresso brownies are rich and gooey, and everything you would ever want in a brownie. In fact, I rarely tell people that they’re gluten and refined sugar-free until AFTER they’ve tried them. The look on people’s face when they find out it’s a healthier alternative to regular brownies is pretty dang priceless.


Did I mention they’re super easy to make as well? Because they are! Click here for the full recipe, kick your feet up, and enjoy a well-deserved treat.

Now, the challenge might be over, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about the new habits we’ve formed over the past 60 days. Let’s keep the momentum going, and continue to set and smash new goals.

Cheers to a healthier and happier YOU.





Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche)

We’ve had some beautiful weather here lately in Northern California. It’s been sunny and warm, with temperatures hovering around the high 60’s, low 70’s.

It’s been rough guys, real rough.

Last week, it was so warm that Matt and I decided to break out the new cornhole boards, set up the BBQ and play outside with the puppy and some friends. I thought our menu needed to include foods that matched the weather, so why not try my hand at ceviche? I had never made ceviche before and was a little nervous about how it would turn out, but I was so surprised at how easy it was.

Ceviche is made by combining raw fish with tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeno, and citrus (traditionally, with a combination of lime and lemon juice) together and letting it marinate to “cook” the fish. It is then served cold, on or with a tostada (fried, flat tortilla), or with chips. But how does this process of marinating “cook” the fish, and why do I keep putting quotations around the word ‘cook’?

The citric acid in the marinade changes the protein molecules through a process called denaturation, where the proteins in the fish unravel, changing their chemical and physical properties. They are no longer in their natural state – they have been denatured. The process of heating also changes the proteins through denaturation, but we often use the term ‘cooking’ mostly in relationship with heat. So while no heat is used to make ceviche, the end result is essentially the same. The only other thing I would note here is that citric acid does not kill all bacteria, so it’s important to choose fresh fish from a good source for health and safety reasons.

For my ceviche, I used tilapia, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro and freshly squeezed lime & lemon juice from the tree outside.


You can experiment with other types of fish including shellfish, and even combine multiple types of fish in one recipe (hello, shrimp + scallop combination – doesn’t that sound good?). You’ll need to adjust the marinating time based on the type of fish you use.

Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche)

  • Servings: Approx. 12
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 lb. fresh, wild caught tilapia
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 large cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 cup cilantro

Other Tools Needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Plastic wrap


Take the tilapia filets, dice them into very small cubes and place them into the mixing bowl. Consistency is key here, you want all the cubes to be roughly the same size. Do the same with the Roma tomatoes and cucumber, and an even finer dice with the red onion and jalapeno. Finally, juice the lemon and limes and add the seasonings and cilantro. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate. Mine was ready to eat in about an hour and a half.

This ceviche is best when served with grain-free tortillas, tostadas, or tortilla chips. Some of my favorite paleo friendly options that you can make right at home are found here:

The other option is to serve with lettuce cups, which does the trick but can get a little messy if you don’t layer the letuce cups together, or to just eat straight from the bowl. Not going to lie, I ate striaght from the bowl. And it was good.


This recipe makes a pretty large batch of ceviche – great for a party or BBQ where it can be consumed in one day. Ceviche is not the kind of dish you want to save for leftovers, so adjust the recipe as needed to consume within a day.

Nutrition Facts & Serving Size:

This recipe makes approximately 12, 1/2 cup servings. Recipe yields may vary slightly. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.


*Nutritional values given in this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

So for us folks who are daydreaming about long summer days and warm summer nights, just whip up a batch of this ceviche, pull out your favorite funky sunglasses, and bring the summer to YOU.


Until next time,





Game Day Recipes – Buffalo Chicken Wings & Caramelized Onion Cauliflower “Hummus”

Are you ready for some football?!?


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Super Bowl Sunday is here, and if you’re any sort of football fan, you’re getting all geared up for a fun day of football, friends, food and maybe some adult beverages. If you’re still looking for a healthy, paleo-friendly dish to bring to your football party, wait no longer! Today I have two recipes that are obvious choices for any type of social gathering – especially one that involves watching hunky men run around in tights. Wink, wink.


You can’t watch sports without chicken wings. I’m pretty sure that’s a rule somewhere. So I made these buffalo chicken wings for the big day today and they make my heart happy. They’re spicy without burning your face off, messy and get all over everything. Basically, they’re perfect.

“But Stephanie, I’m more of a dipper. What do you have for me?”


Have no fear my fellow dip loving friends. You can still get your dip on today without having to choose between the nacho cheese or artichoke bowl. I’ve got a caramelized onion cauliflower hummus for you that’ll leave you feeling good about your dip choice all throughout the game.

So let’s get to the food, shall we?

Game Day Paleo Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • Servings: Approx. 10-12 wings
  • Time: 55 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 lbs. chicken wings
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. sea salt, divided
  • 1 cup hot sauce (I like Frank’s Red Hot sauce)
  • 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter such as Kerrygold, or ghee
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • chopped cilantro, for topping

Other Tools Needed:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Foil lined baking sheet
  • Large mixing bowl


Preheat the oven to 400(F). While the oven is preheating, take the wings, baking powder and 1 tsp. of sea salt and mix together in the large mixing bowl until the wings are completely coated. Why baking powder, you ask? The baking powder will suck out any excess moisture, leaving you with nice and crispy wings. YUM.

Throw the wings into the oven for about 45-50 min. While the wings are baking, prepare the buffalo sauce in the rewashed mixing bowl by combining the remaining ingredients (minus the cilantro) and mixing thoroughly. Store in the fridge until the wings are done.

When the wings are out of the oven and cool enough to handle, remove from the baking sheet and toss them into the mixing bowl with the sauce. Then mix baby, mix! Make sure the wings are completely covered with the sauce, transfer all the wings and remaining sauce to your serving dish, top with cilantro and you’re ready to go!


Make sure you grab some paper towels because these bad boys are sure to get all over your hands and face like a true chicken wing should.

Serving Size & Nutrition Facts:

2 lbs. of chicken wings should yield approximately 10-12 wings. The data below is for 1 wing, based on a total yield of 12 wings. If you’re following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.


*Nutritional values given in this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful. 

Now that you have your wing fix in, you need a dip! Here is my caramelized onion cauliflower hummus, which you can pair with your favorite sliced veggies, or some homemade potato chips or fries.

Caramelized Onion Cauliflower Hummus

  • Servings: 14
  • Time: 20 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 head of cauliflower (approx. 4 cups of florets)
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • Optional Toppings: a drizzle of olive oil and some paprika

Other Tools Needed:

  • Food processor
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Frying pan
  • Mearing cups/spoons


Divide the cauliflower florets into 1 cup portions and process them in your food processor in these increments. Process the cauliflower until you reach a mash-like consistency – this can take about 15 minutes.

Warm up the frying pan and coconut oil on low heat, then add the onion and garlic. Saute until the onions are nice and caramelized. Take your time with this and be patient – you don’t want to burn the garlic and onions and have that flavor come through in the hummus.

When the onions are done, add them to the food processor with the cauliflower and the remaining ingredients and process until completely combined and the consistency looks good to you. Transfer the hummus to your serving dish and then top with a little paprika and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with your favorite veggies and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts & Serving Sizes:

The appetizer version of this recipe makes approximately (14) 1/4 cup servings or 4 tbsps. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.


*Nutritional values given in this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful. 

Time to get ready for some football! Go Panthers!


Weekend Wrap-Up 1.31.16

Hi friends,

I hope you’ve enjoyed your weekend! Mine was packed with activities – two good friends became engaged on Saturday and we had the privilege of being apart of their special day with the rest of their friends and family. Earlier today, we were off to my best friend’s birthday brunch at a great restaurant downtown. So much happiness and fun in two days, but I’m definitely happy to be settling down and having a low-key Sunday night with a few stacks of homework. So, this post will be short and sweet as I’m sure you want to get back to your Sunday evening too!

I have some new beverage obsessions this week, and I’m excited to share them with you! I’ve been drinking more tea lately, which is surprising because I’m not usually a huge tea fan. BUT when you find a great flavor like this non-caffeinated Bengal spice from Celestial Seasonings, mix in a splash or two of almond milk and a little stevia, what’s not to love? It’s creamy, sweet and completely guilt free.

I’ve tried this little concoction with chai and black tea as well, and it turned out fantastic.

I’m also hopping on the La Croix bandwagon this week. I know, I’m like a year late on this, and I’m sad it’s taken me so long to give it a try. But now I’m hooked! Think naturally flavored sparkling water, so no added sugar or artificial sweeteners. The grapefruit flavor is my favorite, and Safeway had a 2-for-$8 deal, so…


…we stocked up at the house. Rolo the pup approves of this purchase.

In other news, we’re entering Week 5 of the CrossFit Livermore Weight Loss Challenge and I wanted to share some of my favorite Cave Girl Culture recipes with the participants as well as my readers. These particular recipes always leave me feeling good about my food choices and fueled for my workouts throughout the week.

Back at the end of 2014, I posted this recipe for my Kalamata Turkey Meatballs, which can be served as an appetizer, or as an entree with potatoes. The olives really give these meatballs an extra zing in the flavor department. I love ’em so much that I wanted to reshare them with you!


Another fantastic lunch and/or dinner option from 2014 is this one here for my Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats. I’m actually cooking up a batch of this tonight to tie me over for the first part of the week, woo-woo!

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Boats

If you’re in a time pinch, you can use a store-bought marinara sauce instead of making one from scratch. Just make sure to check those labels, because food manufacturers just love to sneak in a bunch of extra sugar and fillers. Trader Joe’s has a pretty clean organic marinara sauce, that has just a trace amount of organic cane sugar in it. I use it when I need to cut some corners in the kitchen and I really like it. It’s always good to have a plan B for when you’re in a time crunch!

Well, I hope you get a chance to try some of my favorite meals, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Brand new recipes will be posted next weekend, so make sure you stay tuned for that. Have a great week everyone!

Happy Eating,




Sunny Side Up Breakfast Flatbread Pizza

I live in a house of CrossFitters. There are four of us – six if you include significant others that we consider honorary roommates – and it’s no secret that we love to lift heavy and we LOVE to eat. Most of our interactions in the house happen post-WOD, when we’re all in the kitchen preparing our recovery meals, talking about meal plans, PR’s at the box or how much the workout sucked.

I kid you not, this is the truth. We’re like a freakin’ CrossFit parody from YouTube, but it’s real life.

Here at the house, we all have our ways different ways of eating. I am primarily paleo/primal, my roommate Jess is experimenting with the RP (Renaissance Periodization) diet, and the other two – Pete & Nicole – eat a clean diet that includes some dairy & grains. But there is one thing we all unanimously agree on – we all love pizza. There have been many weekends when we would all get back from the box, kick our feet up around the TV, grab our adult beverages of choice and order a few pizzas. Or, we’ll walk downtown and grab a pizza at Cravings with friends. It’s a big part of our life around here.

Following a paleo/primal diet, I have three choices when it comes to pizza time at the house. I can either enjoy it “as is” and choose not to feel guilty about it, order mine separately with a gluten free crust and light cheese, or I can make my own pizza with ingredients that I choose. For me, any of these options works. I follow a 80/20 rule when it comes to eating paleo – I just know that when I’m more strict about it, I feel better on a day to day basis. That’s why I prefer to order mine separately with a gluten free crust and choose my dairy wisely – my body will thank me afterward. But ultimately, my favorite thing to do is make my own, if I have the time. I have full control over the ingredients and I’ll feel the best with this option.

Diet and nutrition really boils down to educating yourself about how the body interacts with different foods, and then experimenting with that knowledge and finding out the right template for YOUR body. Then you can decide how to balance out things like pizza, desserts, and whatnot. You don’t necessarily have to cut them out to be a healthier version of yourself. You just have to be smarter about your intake.

Anyways, I swear there is a point to all of this. I’m here rambling about being smart with your pizza intake, and you’re like…


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Alright, alright! The point IS….I made you a pizza! But not just any ordinary pizza, because, hello – we’ve all been there, done that. It’s time to expand your pizza loving horizon with a breakfast pizza.



The crust is a thin, crunchy, garlicky crust using cauliflower as the base. It’s a very simple recipe using only 3 main ingredients and some seasonings, so it’s easy to whip up quickly. If you’re a thin crust lover like myself, this crust is for you. Then you add a little tomato sauce (*see recipe notes on using tomato vs. marinara sauce), sautéed greens, and the best part – two sunny side up eggs. When you cut into the pizza and the yolk runs out and mixes in with the rest of the flavors…it’s just a little slice of heaven, my friends. And the best news yet – you don’t even have to share because each pizza serves one.

Does life get any better than this?

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Flatbread Pizza

  • Servings: 2 personal pizzas
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Grain/Gluten Free, Paleo, Positively Delicious

Crunchy Garlic Pizza Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cauliflower rice (see notes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch (found at Safeway or Whole Foods)
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder, divided

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Flatbread Pizza Ingredients:

  • 1 ‘Crunch Garlic Pizza Crust’ recipe, divided in half
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce, divided in half (I use TJ’s organic canned tomato sauce – see notes)
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 & 1/2 cups greens – I used kale, but spinach would work great as well
  • 4 eggs – 2 per pizza
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste

Other Tools Needed:

  • Medium sized mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Large mixing spoon
  • Parchment paper
  • Flat baking sheet
  • 2 frying pans
  • Heat safe spatula


  • To make the cauliflower rice, take the florets off a head of cauliflower and process them in a food processor until you have a fine, rice-like consistency. No head of cauliflower is made equal and each will produce different amounts, but generally speaking, a medium size cauliflower should produce around 4 cups.


  • One may argue that a true pizza will have pizza sauce, a.k.a marinara sauce. The only difference is marinara sauce includes garlic & herbs and is cooked down to let the flavors of each element really develop. I’m all for that with this recipe if you have the time and want to put forth the effort. Most store-bought marinara sauces will have some refined sugar, but if you don’t mind, then go for it! Otherwise, regular tomato sauce works just fine in this recipe.


To make the crust, take two cups of cauliflower rice, the egg, tapioca starch, sea salt and 1/2 tsp. of garlic and mix together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Let it set in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up a bit. While the pizza ‘dough’ is setting in the fridge, take the baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375F.

Once the dough has set, remove from the fridge and split into two batches. Using a large spoon, take each batch and spoon it out on the parchment paper. Spread the dough out in whatever shape you want – circular for a traditional pizza, square for a hipster pizza or you can think outside the box and make whatever shape you want! You want it to be fairly thin but evenly spread out, because no one wants holes in their crust.

Bake the crust at 375 for about 40 min. During the last 10 minutes, it may look like it’s starting to burn. Obviously, you don’t want it to burn, but the last 10 minutes is where it really gets crunchy. Pull it a few minutes early if you need – all ovens cook a little differently.


While you’re watching the crust during the last 10 minutes, sauté the kale and cook the eggs. Begin with the kale by warming up the coconut oil in the frying pan on low heat. Season with a little sea salt and garlic powder, cover, and let cook down for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside. You can also cook the eggs simultaneously, in a separate pan. Cook the eggs on low heat to achieve the sunny side up version. I usually cover the eggs to help steam cook the top a bit, but remove before the yolk starts to cook through. You can tell it’s time to uncover when the egg whites around the edges of the yolks turn from translucent to white. When the eggs are done cooking, remove from heat.

If you’ve timed it correctly, your crust should be out of the oven right around the same time the eggs and kale are done. Spoon half the tomato sauce on one pizza crust and half on the other. Put most of the sautéed kale on top of each pizza, but reserve a little for topping.


Then add two eggs to each pizza carefully – you don’t want the yolk to run prematurely! Hehe. Sorry. Yolk joke.

Last step – top with the leftover greens, cut into slices and devour!

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Pizza + Breakfast = Love


Nutrition Facts & Serving Size:

This recipe makes two personal sized pizzas. The nutrition data below is calculated for (1) personal pizza. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

**CrossFit Livermore Weight Loss Challenge Participants – this recipe is a great post WOD recovery meal!


*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

If you want more pizza action, check out my Mediterranean Style Pizza recipe by clicking here.

Well, friends, I’m one week into the spring semester at school and homework is calling my name loud and clear. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Cave Girl Out.


Big ‘Ol Chopped Taco Salad

I love a good salad.

I’m talking about a big, fat salad with different elements, textures, and flavors. A salad that satisfies from the first bite all the way to the very last crumb. This salad – this incredible salad that I dream about sometimes – is full of fresh, whole ingredients and doesn’t need to be drenched in a dressing to make it palatable. It doesn’t leave me feeling hungry, sad or depressed about eating salad either.

It’s kind of like your BFF of salads.


Isn’t that beautiful? So many colors on one plate – it’s almost hard to eat it. Almost. 

Big 'Ol Chopped Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 20 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Big ‘Ol Chopped Taco Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic, baby spring mix
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp. avocado
  • 3/4 cup halved sugar plum tomatoes
  • 4 oz. taco meat (ingredients below)
  • 1/4 cup your favorite organic salsa
  • 1/4 cup chopped plantain chips (optional)

Taco Meat Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (I used 96% lean for this recipe)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • dash of cracked pepper
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne

Other Tools Needed:

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Large dinner plate or bowl (trust me, you want a big one)
  • Measuring cups/spoons


Prep all your produce ahead of time and place the chopped veggies in the fridge until you’re ready for them.

Prepare the taco meat by heating up a large skillet on medium heat. Add the ground beef and diced onion to the pan and mash up the ground beef with the spatula. As the beef begins to cook, you will start to see some grease develop in the pan. This is when you want to add all your spices and mix into the beef.


Once the beef is done, remove from heat, cover and set aside.

At this point, you have two options. You can get fancy and lay out the lettuce first, then add all the ingredients on top as pictured. Or you can say hell with it, you’ve already seen in that way in the picture and just throw everything in the bowl. Your choice. It’ll all be mixed together at one point right?


You also may be wondering – what about the dressing? Well my friends, that’s what I love about this recipe – the salsa IS the dressing. No need to make one from scratch or buy one from the store with a gazillion crappy ingredients that you don’t need. Just salsa. So make sure it isn’t a salsa that is going to burn your face off. Unless, you know, you’re into that sort of thing.

Meal preppers – this recipe has all the leftover ingredients you need to make several portions for the next few days. You could even do one of those fancy salad-in-a-jar things from Pinterest! Just keep the salsa separate and add it right before you eat a serving.

Nutrition Facts & Serving Size

The nutrition values below reflect one serving of salad (with or without plantain chips) – the entire recipe above. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your serving size to fit your meal plan as needed.

*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

I hope you get a chance to make this for yourself this week! And if you happen to love it, I would equally love for you to share in the comments below.

Stay tuned for another brand new recipe before the weekend is up!

Happy eating,






This Week – We Snack, with *2* New Snack Recipes

Hi guys!

Today is a special day on the blog – it’s snack-palooza! That’s right, today I’m sharing two new recipes that are downright perfect for you when you need a quick and healthy pick-me-up between meals. It’s time to change the way we think about snack time.

Snacks tend to get a bad rap because there are so many bad snacks out there filled with sugar, chemicals, and just junk in general. And big food companies make it so darn easy to just grab a pack of chips, a snack size serving of cookies, or a high sugar-high crap filled granola bar. So we snack poorly because we’re hungry, but then feel frustrated when we’re not meeting our weight loss or nutrition goals. But not all snacks are created equal, my friends. With a little preparation, you can snack guilt-free, knowing you’re putting nutritious AND tasty food in your body. Win-win, baby.

My first choice for snack time is kind of like a spin-off on deviled eggs, but you make a sandwich with your eggs as the bread and guac as the sandwich filling. And don’t forget to add a little hot sauce or Sriracha, if you like things a little hot. These things are so simple, SO delicious, and come on, they’re adorable little egg sandwiches.


My second choice for snack time are these chocolate-banana protein bites. I mean, what’s not to love? You get a little protein by adding your favorite protein powder, healthy fats from the pecans and almonds, and some safe carbs from the banana – ALL in one bite.



Wait, wait. I need to pick up the mic again because there IS a disclaimer here. I make these when I have a handle on my sweet tooth, and I eat one or two at a time, max. It’s quite easy to over indulge on a treat like this, but when snacking in a smart manner, you’re getting lots of good things in one bite.

So, if you’re ready to step up your snack game, check out the recipes below!

Guac & Egg Snack 'Sandwiches'

  • Servings: 2 eggs
  • Time: 10 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 2 eggs (organic, pasture-raised or cage-free eggs are best)
  • 2 tbsp. avocado
  •  1 dash of sea salt
  • 2 dashes of garlic powder
  • 1 dash of your favorite hot sauce, or Sriracha

Other Tools Needed:

  • 1 medium size pot
  • 1 large, slotted spoon
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 chef’s knife
  • 1 small mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • 1 spoon
  • 2 toothpicks


The first step is to boil your eggs. I personally prefer medium boiled eggs (when the yolk is not runny, but not hard boiled either – right in between).


Mmm, a perfect egg.

Take the medium pot and fill it with water. You want the eggs to have about an inch of water over them. Bring the pot of water to a rolling boil. The recipe calls for two eggs, but you can boil up to 6 at a time- just make sure the eggs are not crowded in the pot. When the water is boiling, gently place each egg into the pot with the slotted spoon.


Boil the eggs for 7 minutes for medium boiled eggs (if you want hard boiled eggs, add another two minutes) and then remove each egg with the slotted spoon and place in a cold water bath in the large bowl for about a minute. Dump the water, and then fill it with cold water again. Now the trick to getting the shells to come off clean is to remove the shells immediately. Take each egg, crack it against the sink, and place it under cold running water while you peel off the shell. Place each peeled egg on some paper towels to dry off.

Once all the eggs have been peeled, set them aside and make your guacamole filling. This is super simple. Each egg gets about 1 tbsp of filling, so if you’re making one egg, just use one tablespoon of avocado, two eggs with two tablespoons of avocado and so on. Add the avocado, dash of sea salt and two dashes of garlic powder to the small mixing bowl and mash baby, mash. Once the guac tastes good, set aside.


Take an egg, slice it in half vertically and put a dash of hot sauce on one half (or both if you like it really spicy). Then take a tbsp. of guac and put it on one half of the egg. Take the other half, place it on top of the guac and voila! Egg sandwich. Use a toothpick to keep it together – if you can wait that long before eating it!


Cute, right?

Nutrition Facts & Serving Size:

This recipe makes 2 eggs, but you can adjust and make as many as you need. The nutrition data below was calculated per egg sandwich. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.



Chocolate-Banana Energy Bites

  • Servings: 12 balls
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1/3 cup Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (I used Nitrean Natural-Chocolate Fudge Brownie, see note)
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Other Tools Needed:

  • 1 small bowl
  • Measuring spoons & cups
  • Food processor
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 large dinner plate


Soak the Medjool dates in hot water for about 10 minutes. While the dates are soaking, put all the ingredients in the food processor.

When the dates are done soaking, remove the pits and place in the food processor. Process the ingredients until completely blended (little bits of nuts still present is okay) and you have a sticky paste.

Line a plate with parchment paper. Measure out 1 tbsp. of batter per “bite” and roll into little balls. Using the tablespoon as the scoop actually works wonderfully here. It also helps to keep your hands just a teeny bit wet to keep the batter from sticking to your hands. Place each ball on the plate as you go and then place in the fridge for about 15 minutes to let them set.


*Notes: Nitrean Natural Chocolate Fudge Brownie contains milk, egg and a little bit of soy. It tastes delicious, but it’s not my favorite or the cleanest protein to use – it’s what I had around when making this recipe. I highly encourage you to use a clean protein of your choice.

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can add other ingredients as you want! Try rolling the balls in a mix of cocoa powder and coconut sugar for a really sweet treat. Or you can roll them in unsweetened shredded coconut for a little contrast. Add dried fruit, different nuts, etc. Play around with it as you please!


Nutrition Facts & Serving Size:

This recipe makes approximately 12 bite size balls.The nutrition data below was calculated per ball, but does not include data for the protein as all protein powders vary. Take the nutritional information for one scoop of the protein powder you’re using and divide each category by 12, then add to the data below. It’s a little bit of work, but worth it if you’re tracking this type of information. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.


Happy snacking friends,


One Skillet Chicken Sausage & Potato Stir-Fry

I shared this one-skillet recipe on my Instagram account awhile back and it got such a great response that I wanted to make sure it was on the blog for quick access. I know most of us are always on the go and need to have recipes like this that they can whip up quickly without sacrificing quality and health standards. Well here’s another one to add to your list!

Think of this as your paleo fast food, minus the drive through and grease-stained napkins littering your car.


One Skillet Chicken Sausage and Potato Stir-Fry

  • Servings: 2*
  • Time: Prep time: 5 min, Cook time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 1 tbsp. organic coconut oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped (see note)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • sea salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder, or a few cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 garlic-herb chicken sausages (I used the Trader Joe’s variety)
  • 1 cup shredded kale
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • handful of chopped green onions, for garnish

*Notes: I used Japanese sweet potatoes – the purple variety with the white, creamy flesh. If you don’t have these readily available, you can sub in a sweet potato or white potato.

Other Tools Needed:

  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Frying pan


Over low heat, warm the coconut oil in the skillet until it’s warm. Add the chopped sweet potatoes to the skillet and cook covered, over medium heat until softened. Add the onions and sauté with the potatoes until translucent. Season the skillet with all the goodies – salt, pepper, garlic, chili powder, and cayenne – and give it a good stir. Once all the spices are mixed in, add the chicken sausage and let them cook for another two minutes or so before adding the remaining ingredients (reserve the green onions). When the kale and mushrooms have cooked down – which should only take a few more minutes at most – you can turn off the heat and serve with the green onions sprinkled on top. Easy peasy! 

Nutrition Facts & Serving Size*:

This recipe makes a little over 2 cups. The nutrition facts below have been calculated using a serving size of half the recipe – a little over 1 cup. If you are following a meal plan, please adjust your servings to fit your meal plan as needed.

One Skillet Chicken Sausage &amp; Potatoes Nutrition Facts

*Nutritional values given on this post are approximate. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete and useful.

Alrighty friends, enjoy the last bit of your weekend! I’ll talk to you soon!