Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

My youngest son recently got married. The wedding and the reception were beautiful and the simple wedding cake inspired a recipe of my own: Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting!
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Wedding and Reception:

The wedding was held in Newport Beach CA and was followed by a dreamy reception under an oak tree canopy in a friend’s backyard. Celebrate Invitations and Florals created the most beautiful floral arch and hung one hundred floating tea lights from a 400 year old oak tree creating a dream like ambiance. The joy, love and beauty were captured by Greg Emmett Baker Photography:

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese FrostingButtermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese FrostingButtermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Cake:

I love the simplicity of this triple layer cake! Because buttermilk cakes have such great body, flavor and texture I have several versions of this cake on my blog and each is just lovely. Even though this cake is made from scratch, it has few ingredients and is very easy to make. The vanilla flavor comes from my favorite vanilla paste from Madagascar.

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Frosting:

This is a ‘semi naked cake’ meaning the frosting is light on the sides leaving the cake somewhat exposed. To get this look I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges. Then I repeat with the second layer. Last I frost the top somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Decorations:

I am not a big cake decorator, I go for quick and easy. For this cake I literally went into the backyard, clipped a small succulent out of one of my pots and snapped a hydrangea off a neighbors plant (I asked first I swear) and then placed a small circle of parchment on top of the cake and set the foliage on it.

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

The Recipe: Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting

What you need: three 8″ non stick cake tinsvanilla paste (optional but I like it better than extract) a hand mixer or stand mixer.

Buttermilk Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 12 servings

A beautiful, simple, triple layer cake with cream cheese frosting perfect for the family or any celebration! You will  need three non stick 8" cake tins.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp (plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (or baking oil of your choice)
  • 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon extract
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 1⅓ cup cultured buttermilk

For the frosting:

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, room temperature and soft

4 oz cream cheese, room temp

2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tablespoon buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)

Instructions

Cake Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Prep pans:

  1.  Use a paper towel to wipe the bottom and sides of non stick pans with butter. Lightly coat with flour. Set aside.

The Cake:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  2. Place butter, coconut oil (or other baking oil), sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute
  5. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  7. Allow cakes to cool, gently remove cakes from pans and then frost

The Frosting:

  1. Place butter, cream cheese, vanilla paste or extract into a bowl and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and mix until well incorporated. Add buttermilk if needed.
  2. To get the "semi naked"  look, I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges of cake. Then I place the second cake layer and repeat. Last I frost the top layer somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.
  3. Top with your choice of decoration and serve

Courses dessert

 

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Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot!

I love my Instant Pot. It’s a fabulous way to cook nutritious food quickly and it’s so versatile. This Citrus Herb Basque Chicken is a perfect example of what is possible when using the Instant Pot! This recipe is generously shared from the cookbook The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot by my friend Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri.
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot: Paleo-Whole30-Grain Free

 What is Basque Chicken?

Traditionally, Basque Chicken is a delicious combination of chicken, olives, and peppers or sun dried tomatoes and is typical of the regions around the western Mediterranean. Spanish versions, like this one often include the addition of flavorful chorizo sausage. This recipe only requires 20 minutes prep, then cooks in the Instant Pot for 35 minutes while you do other things!

Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot: Paleo-Whole30-Grain Free

The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot:

When I bought my Instant Pot there weren’t many resources for recipes. Fortunately THAT has changed! One of the newest Instant Pot Resources is The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot by my friend Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri. The books releases this Tuesday, but you can pre-order the book now and lock in the lowest price.

Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot: Paleo-Whole30-Grain Free

Recipes include:

This book contains 80 gluten free recipes including main courses, casseroles, side dishes, pastas, and decadent desserts…like cheesecake! All are gluten free, allergy friendly, WAPF-friendly, and most are Paleo friendly with grain free options. If you have an Instant Pot you need this cookbook!

Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot: Paleo-Whole30-Grain Free

 The Recipe: Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot!

 

9 votes

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Citrus Herb Basque Chicken Made in The Instant Pot!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

This delightful dish is full of spicy chorizo, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet and tangy orange juice, floral thyme and salty olives. It's meant to be shared family style with those you love.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Art of Great Cooking with Your Instant Pot by Emily Sunwell-Vidaurri

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons (43g) grass fed butter, ghee, or avocado oil, divided

4 bone in chicken thighs

1 1/4 (4g) teaspoons sea salt

1 medium yellow onion, thickly sliced

4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced

5 fresh thyme springs, leaves removed and stems discarded

1/2 pound (230g) chorizo, casing removed

1/3 cup (18g) sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup (67g) pitted green olives

1/3 cup (79ml) freshly squeezed orange juice

3/4 cup (177ml) chicken bone broth

Handful fresh cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

1. Add 2 tablespoons (29 g) of healthy fat of choice to the Instant Pot and press “Sauté.” Once the fat has melted, add the chicken thighs, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of sea salt and brown for about 2½ minutes per side. Remove the browned chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon (14 g) of healthy fat of choice, onion, garlic, thyme leaves and the remaining ¾ teaspoon of sea salt, sautéing for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chorizo and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, orange juice and bone broth. Give it a good stir. Add the browned chicken, making sure it’s submerged and some of the liquid is ladled over it. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, making sure the steam release valve is sealed. Press the “Poultry” setting, then increase the time using the “+” button until you reach 20 minutes.

2. When the Instant Pot is done and beeps, press “Keep Warm/Cancel.” Using an oven mitt, “quick release” /open the steam release valve. When the steam venting stops and the silver dial drops, carefully open the lid.

3. Serve immediately, topped with fresh cilantro.

Note This meal is delicious served alongside simple roasted vegetables.

Courses Dinner

Cuisine Basque

 

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Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting!

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! Isn’t it beautiful? This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

The Cake:

Made from scratch with the best ingredients, this double layer cake has a beautiful texture. The cake itself is slightly sweet and super moist (thanks to the buttermilk) and when frosted with the strawberry buttercream, it is perfection!

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

The Strawberry Buttercream and How to Frost a Semi Naked Cake:

A blend of grass fed butter, fresh berries, and organic sugar this Strawberry Buttercream is easy to make and naturally pink. No need for artificial flavors or colors! This is a ‘semi naked cake’ meaning the frosting is light on the sides leaving the cake somewhat exposed. To get this look I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges. Then I place the second layer, frost the top somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

Decorating:

I don’t do fancy cakes. I don’t swirl and flute etc…frankly, I am just too lazy. I prefer to decorate cakes with flowers or berries and call it a day. In this case I placed whole and cut strawberries, blueberries, and mint leaves on 1/3 of the cake. Simple, but lovely!

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

This Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting is dreamy if I do say so myself! This pretty pink confection is delicious and perfect for the family or any celebration.

The Recipe: Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting!

Tips and what you need: all ingredients should be room temperature before making. You will need two two 9 inch cake pans  and a stand mixer or hand mixer.  I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer ! When it comes to vanilla I always prefer using vanilla paste.

12 votes

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Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 10 pieces

Made from scratch with the best ingredients, this double layer cake has a beautiful texture. The cake itself is slightly sweet and super moist (thanks to the buttermilk!) and when frosted with the strawberry buttercream, it is perfection!

Ingredients

The Cake:

  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp (plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (or baking oil of your choice)
  • 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon extract
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 1⅓ cup cultured buttermilk

The Frosting:

1 stick butter (1/2 cup) room temp and soft

1/4 cup strawberry puree (usually 3-5 strawberries depending on size)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

tiny pinch of sea salt

For decorations if desired: blueberries, 3-4 strawberries, 3 mint leaves

Instructions

Cake Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Prep pans:

  1.  Use a paper towel to wipe the bottom and sides of non stick pans with butter. Lightly coat with flour. Set aside.

The Cake:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  2. Place butter, coconut oil (or other baking oil), sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute
  5. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  7. Allow cakes to cool, gently remove cakes from pans and then frost

The Frosting:

  1. Cut up strawberries, place in a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer) add lemon juice and smash with a fork (you could also use a blender)
  2. Add butter to bowl and mix on medium speed for 1 minute
  3. Add a tiny pinch of sea salt and 3 cups powdered sugar into a bowl and mix well
  4. If frosting is not quite thick enough add more sugar, If it's too thick add just a little more lime juice. When frosting is desired consistency, frost cooled cake.
  5. To get the "semi naked"  look, I frost the first layer lightly, adding a little more frosting around the edges of cake. Then I place the second cake layer, frost the top somewhat generously and use what is left to lightly frost the sides, scraping off extra frosting.
  6. Top with your choice of decoration and serve

Courses dessert

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy. 

Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries!

Seriously, Sun Basket has outdone themselves this time! It’s no wonder they are my favorite meal delivery service. This fantastic meal is a new favorite. Not only is it simple, delicious and budget friendly, but just look at how amazing these Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries look! 
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Not only are these simple, delicious and budget friendly, but just look at how amazing these Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries look!

WHY DO I RECOMMEND SUN BASKET?

Easy, Delicious Recipes

  • Sun Basket meals are delicious! You choose 3 recipes for 2 or 4 people at $11.49 per meal
    Customize with Paleo, Gluten–Free, and Vegetarian options. Most recipes take about 30 minutes to prepare.
    Certified Organic, Non GMO and Sustainably Sourced
    Just how I like it! Ingredients are seasonal (better for you and the planet) and pre–measured – less hassle, less waste!
    Skip the grocery store and discover new products and flavors that are hard to find on your own. Plus you become a better cook!

    Convenient Delivery

    • Sun Basket delivers weekly to your door. Ingredients are shipped in an insulated box so they stay fresh. Recyclable and reusable packaging materials are used.

Not only are these simple, delicious and budget friendly, but just look at how amazing these Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries look!

Two Amazing Deals from Sun Basket!

My followers can get $35 off Sun Basket meals for two, or….

If you are cooking for a crowd, get 50% off Family Meals from Sun Basket! Fresh organic and non-GMO ingredients and kid-friendly recipes delivered!

Let’s Talk About This Meal:

This is Sun Basket’s family-friendly, gluten-free spin on an indulgent classic. Who doesn’t love chili cheese fries? But of course these are a healthier version because Sun Basket and I care about what you eat! These sweet potatoes are roasted instead of fried, and topped  with a homemade chili and cheddar cheese! Crunchy jicama sticks and yogurt dipping sauce are served on the side. Kids love to dip!

Not only are these simple, delicious and budget friendly, but just look at how amazing these Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries look!

The Recipe: Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries!

8 votes

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The Recipe: Sweet Potato-Black Bean Chili Cheese Fries!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Soy-Free

4 Servings, 580 Calories/Serving

25 – 35 Minutes

This is Sun Basket’s family-friendly, gluten-free spin on an indulgent classic. 

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes (about 1¾ pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 or 3 cloves peeled fresh garlic
  • 1 chipotle chile in gluten-free adobo (these come in can and are easily found in most grocery stores)
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 cup mirepoix ( 1/3 cup onions - 1/3 cup carrots - 1/3 cup celery)
  • Chili spice blend: 2 1/2 tablespon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander,1 teaspoon ground cumin, 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (mixed together)
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 lime
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ pound jicama, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 6 or 7 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

Prep and roast the sweet potato fries and prep jicama:

Heat the oven to 450ºF and place oven rack in center position

  • Peel jicama and cut into sticks, set aside. Scrub or peel the sweet potatoes. Trim the ends and cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise into ½-inch-wide wedges.

On a sheet pan, toss the sweet potato wedges with 2 tablespoons oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer and roast, turning once halfway through cooking time, until tender and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. While the sweet potatoes roast, prepare the chili.

Cook the chili

  • Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1½ teaspoons.
  • Finely chop the chipotle chile in adobo sauce.
  • Rinse the black beans.
  • dice carrots, onion and celery for mirapoix
  • Toss spices together to make chili spice blend

In a medium size sauce pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the mirepoix (diced onions, carrots, celery), season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili spice blend, and 1 chile in adobo (or less if you are sensitive to heat) and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the black beans, tomatoes, and ⅓ cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. While the chili simmers, prepare the lime yogurt and jicama sticks.

Make the lime yogurt; prep the jicama sticks

  •  Juice the lime; the juice will be divided between the yogurt and the jicama sticks.

In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and half the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine the jicama sticks, remaining lime juice, and 1 teaspoon oil and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prep the remaining ingredients; finish the fries

  • Coarsely chop the cilantro.
  • Trim the root ends from 2 scallions; thinly slice the scallions for garnish; save the remaining scallion for another use.

Stir the cilantro into the chili and season to taste with salt and pepper. In a medium ovenproof bowl or plate, spread the sweet potato fries, top with the chili, and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese. Warm in the oven until the cheese melts, 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve:

Garnish the chili cheese fries with the lime yogurt and scallions. Serve the jicama sticks on the side.

Kids can!

  • Press the garlic (if you have a press).
  • Rinse the black beans.
  • Juice the lime.
  • Toss the jicama sticks with the lime juice.
  • Stir the cilantro into the chili.

Courses main course

Cuisine American

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy. 

So, What If Whole 30 Doesn’t Work for Me?

I LOVE the Whole 30 program as a tool for figuring out emotional and physical issues caused by food. In fact I run Whole 30 Support Groups and I have witnessed people absolutely transform their lives simply by eliminating the foods that cause them them inflammation and trigger overeating. But what if the Whole 30 doesn’t work for you or you don’t want to have to do an elimination diet to figure out your health issues? Are you destined for belly aches, creaky joints, headaches, weight gain and mysterious physical symptoms for the rest of your life?
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

I LOVE the Whole 30 program, but what if the Whole 30 doesn’t work for you or you don’t want to have to do an elimination diet to figure out your health issues? Check out these tips on what to do if Whole 30 didn't work for you.

The Short Answer is “No”

Phew right!? The Whole 30 program is designed to eliminate the foods that most commonly trigger inflammation, and works for most people, most of the time. Once the most common triggers are gone, inflammation decreases and joints move more freely, bellies feel better, and energy can skyrocket. What are the most common triggers? Sugar, soy, dairy, grains and legumes. And while I have seen miraculous success, it seems in each Whole 30 support group I run there are one or two people that never experience relief from symptoms or the energy boost often described as ‘tiger blood’. Those people follow the rules, they give it their all and yet they are stumped after reintroduction. After 30 days of hard work this can be very discouraging. But before you hang your head and decide your fate is to never feel good, there are a few things to consider, let’s start with the most likely culprits and work our way down.

    1. Eggs: Yup. Eggs are allowed on Whole 30 as they are a great source of protein and fat and most people tolerate them just fine. That said some people are allergic to eggs and make it to adulthood without ever knowing. If you still experience fatigue and inflammation after 30 days on W30 it may be time to look at eggs.
    2. Nightshades: nightshades are a species of plant that blossom at night. Nightshades include bell peppers, chili peppers, white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and more. Nightshades often trigger inflammation, especially in those with autoimmune dieseases. So again, if you stuck to the W30 plan and couldn’t figure out your issues, nightshades are something to look in to.
    3. For some it’s about quantity. After a successful W30 reintroduction, I learned that dairy gives me a sinus headache. I am fine with a little Parmesan on my salad, or a yogurt sauce in a lettuce wrap, but drink a milkshake or have a ton of cheese and I have instant sinus pressure and headache! What does this mean? Quantity matters. So, sometimes when you go through reintroduction you can feel fine, but two weeks after resuming a “normal” diet all of your ‘pre-whole 30″ symptoms return and you wonder WTH??? If this was your experience, it’s time to consider how many times a week (or day) you are consuming the top offenders (grains, dairy, soy, legumes and sweeteners) and cut back. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of ‘a spoonful doesn’t bother me, but a bowlful does.’
    4. Stress: Stress is a killer. No matter how stellar your diet is, if you are under a lot of stress and don’t learn how to deal with it you will not feel your best and your energy will never be top notch. Stress increases the hormone cortisol, cortisol causes inflammation resulting in a host of physical problems. So eliminate stress where you can and add calming practices like morning walks, yoga and meditation to your daily routine. Diet alone can’t make up for the inflammation that stress causes.
    5. Chronic illness cannot be overlooked when it comes to thwarting your W30 progress! If you have a chronic illness and did W30 and your symptoms have not improved, be patient. It may take more than 30 days to see big gains if you have had arthritis or lupus for 30 years. As long as you see some improvements, no matter how small, slow, or incremental they might be, you are heading in the right direction.
    6. Last BUT NOT LEAST, test for food sensitivities at home:  If you have done the W30 program and followed the rules to the letter and are still left mystified by what is causing your issues, or if you simply want to cut to the chase and find out exactly what foods trigger your issues without doing a 30 day elimination diet I recommend using the EverlyWell food sensitivity kit to find out what foods trigger your physical symptoms. It’s very simple, you order the kit, send it to a lab and they screen you for 96 food sensitivities. EverlyWell also has home tests for thyroid, testosterone and more. My followers can get 12% off any order at EverlyWell! Use coupon code EVERLY during checkout. Expires 12/31/2018.

      MAY I PLEASE ASK A FAVOR?

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      STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy. 

       

Whole 30/Paleo Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce

As my September Whole 30 experience winds down I am feeling fabulous, and although I have not weighed myself (per the rules) I know I have dropped some pounds because my pants are literally falling off. Very good things are afoot! In fact, I am so thrilled by these improvements that I created another new Paleo/Whole 30 recipe: Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce!
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Whole 30/Paleo Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce

The Tacos: From Scratch or Save Some Time!

I use ground chicken cooked with onions and spices, placed in lettuce wraps and topped with pico de gallo, avocado, and my tasty chipotle lime cashew sauce! That said, I always like to offer an easier version too. So if you want to take almost all the work out of this recipe, feel free to use store bought rotisserie chicken and store bought pico de gallo!

Whole 30/Paleo Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce

THE CHIPOTLE CASHEW SAUCE:

Eating Whole 30 means no tortillas, which in turn means the toppings have to be creative, flavorful and delicious! This Chipotle Cashew Sauce is super easy to make but does require ‘soaking’ time. To get the cashews soft enough to make a smooth sauce you need to soak them for at least three hours, so allow time for that. Once the cashews have softened you can place them in a food processor (or blender) with lime juice, garlic, water,  chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, a little sea salt and black pepper and give it a whirl! Sixty seconds later you have a spicy sauce for your tacos!  I have noticed one brand of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce that contained sugar, so be sure to read the label if you want to stay Whole 30/Paleo compliant. If you have leftover sauce you can make these sweet potato wedges tomorrow!

Whole 30/Paleo Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce

The Pico De Gallo:

If you choose to make your own Pico de Gallo but aren’t sure how to handle a hot chili pepper, click! It may just save you from some burning fingers…

The Finished Product:

Flavorful, filling, budget friendly and loaded with protein and healthy fats. And those romaine leaves have plenty of crunch so you won’t mis that tortilla! (much)

The Recipe: Whole 30/Paleo Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce

6 votes

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Whole 30/Paleo Chicken Tacos with Chipotle Lime Cashew Sauce

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 4

Chicken tacos served in Romaine lettuce wraps, topped with pico de gallo, avocados and a spicy chipotle lime cashew sauce.

Ingredients

Allow 3 hours soaking time for cashews

The Chipotle Cashew Sauce:

2 cups simmering water

1 cup raw cashews

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large clove garlic

1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce (two if you like things really spicy!)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup water

Pico De Gallo: if making fresh (otherwise use store bought)

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • ½ of one medium white onion, diced, see how here
  • ¼ of one green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ -1 tsp serrano chilis finely chopped, see how here
  • 2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of half a lime
  • sea salt, to taste

The Tacos:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I like to use a combination of dark and white meat)

1 teaspoon powdered garlic

1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

sea salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

2 ripe avocados, sliced

8 cilantro sprigs

8 romaine lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry

2 limes quartered, for squeezing

Instructions

The Cashew Sauce:

Bring water to simmer in small pan, turn off heat and add raw cashews to pot, allow to sit at least three hours

Place peeled clove of garlic in food processor and process until minced

Strain cashews and discard cooking water

Add soaked cashews, lime juice, water, sea salt, and 1 pepper in adobo sauce (two if you like things really spicy!)

Process for one minute

When dip is the consistency you want, and nice and smooth, stop processing. Taste and decide if it needs more sea salt or chipotle, then make adjustments accordingly. If you need to thin it add a little more olive oil

The Pico de Gallo:

See instructions linked above for handling a hot chili pepper.Combine all ingredients except Serrano chili. Add chili 1/2 teaspoon at a time, mixing and tasting in between additions. When the heat is right, cover and refrigerate till serving. (I like 1 1/2 tsp)

The Tacos:

Place a large frying pan on medium heat. Drizzle olive oil into pan. When oil is hot but not smoking add onions and ground chicken to pan.

Use a spatula to break up meat and stir frequently while cooking.

Sprinkle chicken with chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper.

While meat cooks, slice avocados, prepare lettuce and tear off cilantro springs.

When meat is done (8-10 minutes) fill lettuce wraps with chicken, top with pico de gallo, avocado, chipotle cashew sauce and sprigs of cilantro. Squeeze with a little lime and enjoy!

Courses dinner

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Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter!

Comfort food comes in many forms. Soft warm bread with melted cheese being one of the the best forms in my humble opinion. This family style Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter is truly a dreamy side dish!
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter!

The Bread:

I chose a soft Belge loaf, but you can choose any artisan style loaf you prefer. Just make sure it’s good quality and super fresh!

What Goes In and On That Beautiful Loaf?

So much goodness! Here is the very simple how to…

Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter!

Start by slicing the bread and placing cheese in between each slice. Then melt butter, add freshly chopped herbs and drizzle into all the nooks and crannies! Wrap bread in foil, pop in the oven…

Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter!

…..and 25 minutes later you have a a warm, soft loaf of bread with melted cheese spilling out between the slices. Whenever I serve this bread it is devoured! In fact, this bread disappears so fast you may just want to make two loaves!

Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter!

Serving Suggestions:

Serve alongside salads, soups (especially my creamy tomato soup), Italian main courses…honestly this bread goes great with everything!

Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter!

The Recipe: Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter!

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Cheesy Bread with Herbed Butter!

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Total

Yield 14 slices

An easy, cheesy, bread side dish! If you like to add a little heat, use pepper jack cheese! NOTE: How much butter and cheese you need will depend on the size of your loaf. Mine was about 12" and I cut about 10 slices. 

Ingredients

1 medium sized artisan loaf, sliced (mine was about 12")

1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted

1 medium size garlic clove, peeled and minced or grated with a microplane

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (plus more for garnish)

2 Tablespoons chopped basil (plus more for garnish)

10-14 slices jack cheese (it depends on the loaf you choose and how many slices you make)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Melt butter, add herbs to butter and whisk

Slice bread (fairly thickly), place a slice of cheese in between each slice of bread

Drizzle with herbed butter, separating bread slices so butter really gets in there!

Wrap in foil and bake for 25 minutes

Remove from oven, garnish with extra herbs and serve!

Courses Side Dish

Cuisine Italian

 

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Asian Style Ribs with Ginger-Orange Glaze

Prepare for your mouth to water because these Asian Style Ribs with Ginger-Orange Glaze are fall off the bone good! And they are Paleo and made in the crock pot, what could be better?
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Paleo/Crock Pot Asian Style Ribs with Ginger Orange Glaze

The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking!

This recipe comes to you from The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking: 200 Nourishing Recipes That Cook Carefree, for Everyday Dinners and Weekend Feasts by Natalie Perry. This book is a must have in my humble opinion: 200 gorgeous Paleo recipes all made in the crock pot for easy, convenient meals the whole family will love. The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking includes recipes for appetizers, soups and chilis, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, fish/seafood, vegetable sides, even sweets and desserts! But that’s not all:
139 recipes are Whole 30 compliant or easily adapted to be so. Woot!
176 are nut free or easily adaptable
167 recipes are egg-free
36 recipes are AIP-compliant (Auto-Immune Paleo) or easily adaptable

Now, Let’s Get To The Ribs!

Brushed with an Asian inspired marinade, then cooked in the crock pot until tender the meat on these delectable ribs literally falls off the bone. But we aren’t done yet, because we still need to talk about the that glaze…

Paleo/ Crock Pot Asian Style Ribs with Ginger Orange Glaze

The Glaze:

Tangy, deliciously sticky, and addictive this glaze is the perfect finish to these tender ribs. Are you drooling yet? The fact that this recipe is Paleo and made in the crock pot is just a big bonus! I know, I know, you want the recipe. I won’t make you wait any longer.

Asian Style Ribs with Ginger-Orange Glaze

The Recipe: Asian Style Ribs with Ginger-Orange Glaze

What you need: you will need a crock pot and an asian chili sauce called Sambal Oelek, if you can’t find it in the Asian aisle of your grocery store you can find it here.And be sure to check out  The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking on Amazon!

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The Recipe: Asian Style Ribs with Ginger Orange Glaze

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Yield 6

Ribs, who doesn't love them? Especially when made in the crock pot so the meat is so tender it falls off the bone. And this glaze! So tangy and delicious it's addictive. This recipe is Paleo, but with a small tweak can be made Whole 30, just skip the honey! 

Ingredients

1 full rack of spare or back ribs

1 Tablespoon (18g) sea salt

1/2 cup (80 ml) coconut aminos

4 Tablespoons honey, divided (80g) skip if doing Whole 30

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil (7.5 ml)

1 1/2 teaspoons sambal oelek or other Asian chili garlic paste

1 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

2" (5cm) knob of fresh ginger, grated and divided

1 Orange

1 Tablespoon (15ml) rice vinegar

Pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Place ribs on a rimmed baking sheet or large platter
  2. Combine salt, coconut aminos, 1 Tablsepoon (20g) honey, sesame oil, chili paste, fish sauce, and half the grated ginger in a small bowl. Whisk together, then pour it over the rack of ribs. Use your hands to spread the marinade over both sides of rack. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the ribs and marinade into a 6 quart (5.7 liter) slow cooker, cutting the rack in half and layering if necessary. Add 1/4 cup water (60ml) of water to bottom of cooker, and cook on low for 5-6 hours, until the meat is tender and shreds easily.
  4. Remove ribs for slow cooker and place on rimmed cookie sheet. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Pour on cup (235ml) of cooking juices from slow cooker into a small skillet. Add 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest and the juice form the orange to the skillet. Add the other half of the ginger, 3 Tablespoons (60g) of honey, the rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes to the skillet as well.Heat to boiling and let it bubble for 6-8 minutes, until glaze has thickened slightly and begins to look syrupy and coat a spoon.
  6. Brush some glaze over the ribs and broil them for 2-3 minutes, until bubbly. Brush another layer of glaze over them and return to broiler until bubbly.
  7. Serve the ribs with the rest of the glaze!

 

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Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce

No matter what protein you are serving, these Paleo/Whole 30 Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce are the perfect accompaniment! They are also pretty dang great all by themselves, or served for breakfast with a poached egg!
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Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce! Paleo/Whole 30

Paleo and Whole 30 Versions:

When I make these crispy veggies my husband and I gobble them up! They are just so good. To make them Paleo, I double the sweet potatoes and leave out the white potato. When I make them Whole 30 compliant I use sweet and white potato. Both versions also include “zoodles” which are spiralized zucchini noodles. No matter which version you choose, these crispy veggies are phenomenal!

Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce! Paleo/Whole 30

How Do I Spiralize?

I used to use a hand crank spiralizer, which is fine and very budget friendly. But to be honest it’s pretty hard to work with sweet potatoes on the plastic version. You have to use a blade with bigger holes because the small just won’t work, and your biceps get a good work out even with the bigger blade. So I recently invested in the attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer and it’s a dream tool! You can just walk away and let the machine do the work!

Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce! Paleo/Whole 30

How to Get Them Crispy:

To get the veggies crispy I cook them like you would cook hash browns. I place them in a hot pan with olive oil or ghee and let them sit as long as I can, until one side is crispy and browned. Then I turn them over, trying my hardest just to leave them be (the flipping too much struggle is real!). Once the second side is crispy I remove them from heat and serve with chipotle cashew dip!

Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce! Paleo/Whole 30

The Chipotle Cashew Dip:

This Chipotle Cashew Dip is super easy to make but does require ‘soaking’ time. To get the cashews soft enough to make a smooth dip you need to soak them for at least three hours, so allow time for that. Once the cashews have softened you can place them in a food processor (or blender) with lime juice, garlic, water,  chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, a little sea salt and black pepper and give it a whirl! Sixty seconds later you have a spicy dip for your veggies!  I have noticed one brand of chipotle chilis in adobo sauce that contained sugar, so be sure to read the label if you want to stay Whole 30/Paleo compliant. If you have leftover dip you can make these sweet potato wedges tomorrow!

Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce! Paleo/Whole 30

Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce! Paleo/Whole 30

Rejoice! A Healthy Side Dish That Feels Like A Treat

These veggies, look, taste and feel like a treat even though they are packed with nutrients, low carb, dairy, grain and gluten free! They have quickly become my favorite side dish ‘go to’ for all those reasons, but mostly because they are delicious! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce! Paleo/Whole 30

The Recipe: Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce

Tips and what you will need:  Be sure to use med-high heat to get those veggies crispy. You will need a spiralizer, or  the attachment for the Kitchen Aid mixer  (I highly recommend investing in the attachment if you think you might use it a lot, or use it for sweet potatoes. To blend dip you will either need a good quality blender or food processor. You will need chipotle chilis in adobo sauce which can usually be found at the grocery store or you can have them delivered to your door.

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Crispy Spiralized Vegetables with Chipotle Lime Cashew Dipping Sauce

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Yield 2-3

A delicious vegetable side dish with Paleo and Whole 30 Versions! Be sure to spiralize the veggies on the smallest setting. If you are using a hand crank spiralizer then do all the veggies on the second to smallest setting or it will be too difficult with the sweet potatoes.The potatoes take longer to cook than the zucchini, so cook them for 4-5 minutes before adding zucchini to pan.

Ingredients

Allow 3 hours soaking time for cashews

The Dipping Sauce:

2 cups simmering water

1 cup raw cashews

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 large clove garlic

1 chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce (two if you like things really spicy!)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1/2 cup water

For the Veggies: Paleo and Whole 30 Version

1 sweet potato peeled with spiralized  on smallest blade(paleo peeps: use two sweet potatoes and omit the Yukon gold potato)

1 Yukon Gold potato, spiralized with smallest blade (no need to peel Yukon gold!)

1 large zucchini, spiralized with smallest blade

2-3 tablespoons olive oil or ghee

sea salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chives for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring water to simmer in small pan, turn off heat and add raw cashews to pot, allow to sit at least three hours
  2. Place peeled clove of garlic in food processor and process until minced
  3. Strain cashews and discard cooking water
  4. Add soaked cashews, lime juice, water, sea salt, and 1 pepper in adobo sauce (two if you like things really spicy!) 
  5. Process for one minute
  6. When dip is the consistency you want, and nice and smooth, stop processing. Taste and decide if it needs more sea salt or chipotle, then make adjustments accordingly. If you need to thin it add a little more olive oil
  7. The Veggies:
  8. Spiralize the Yukon gold potato (if using) and place into folded paper towels. Squeeze out liquid, set aside
  9. Spiralize sweet potato and zucchini (squeeze liquid out of zucchini as well keeping zucchini separate)
  10. Place a large pan on high heat and add olive oil or ghee so bottom of pan is generously covered
  11. add potatoes to pan, pressing them into the pan firmly with a spatula, sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper, cook for several minutes (4-5 before adding zucchini to pan)
  12. place zucchini on top, press and season again
  13. let cook, undisturbed until first side is browned and crunchy (8-10 minutes)
  14. Gently turn to second side, adding more oil or ghee to pan and turning down heat if necessary
  15. Cook second side until crispy and browned
  16. Remove from heat, garnish with chives and serve with dip!

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Peach, Plum and Cherry Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette!

I am sneaking one last summer salad in before stone fruits are off the shelves, and boy is it a goodie! Peach, Plum and Cherry Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette!
(This post contains affiliate links. I make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running.)

Peach, Plum and Cherry Salad with With White Balsamic Vinaigrette!

Let’s Chat About Stone Fruit:

‘Stone fruits’ have a thick flesh that surrounds a large single pit…think cherries, plums, nectarines, peaches, apricots etc. Stone fruits are known to be high in cancer fighting properties such as phenols, vitamin B17 and vitamin C. So take advantage of their healthful properties while they are in season and eat them as is, or add them to oatmeal, cereal and of course, salads!

Peach, Plum and Cherry Salad with With White Balsamic Vinaigrette!

The Salad:

This gorgeous salad starts with a bed of greens and is topped with plums, peaches, cherries, feta, caramelized nuts and just a hint mint. Talk about a fresh, healthful, summer bounty!

Peach, Plum and Cherry Salad with With White Balsamic Vinaigrette!

The Caramelized Pecans:

You can buy caramelized nuts at the store or learn to make your own.

The Dressing:

We finish this colorful salad with a simple white balsamic vinaigrette: heart healthy olive oil, whisked with white balsamic vinegar, a touch of honey, sea salt and ground pepper. So easy and take two minutes to make.

Peach, Plum and Cherry Salad with With White Balsamic Vinaigrette!

The Recipe: Peach, Plum and Cherry Salad with With White Balsamic Vinaigrette!

Tips and what you will need: you will need a good quality white balsamic. Many grocery stores carry white balsamic, but you can also have it delivered to your door.  If you prefer not to pit the cherries by hand you can use this handy cherry pitter! This recipe is gluten and grain free.

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Peach, Plum and Cherry Salad with With White Balsamic Vinaigrette!

Prep

Total

Yield 4-6 servings

A beautiful, fresh summer salad made with stone fruits!

Ingredients

The Dressing:

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

sea salt, freshly ground pepper

The Salad:

5 ounces of your favorite greens (I used a baby green mix with pea shoots)

1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped

2 ripe peaches, sliced

2 plums (your favorite variety), sliced

1/2 cup cherries, cut in half and pitted

1/3 cup feta cheese

handful caramelized pecans or walnuts

Instructions

Make dressing:

Whisk olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and honey together. Add a pinch or two of sea salt and a few turns freshly ground black pepper. Whisk again.

The Salad:

Either use a cherry pitting tool or cut cherries in half, twist each half in opposite directions and remove pits by hand. Slice peaches and plums, set aside. Place greens and mint on a platter, top with stone fruits, nuts and cheese, toss.

Dress lightly and toss. Add sea salt and pepper if desired. Serve!

Courses Salad

 

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