Grain Free


I don’t really miss bread ever since I switched to a grain-free diet about 8 years ago. Eating regular bread has so many health implications for me that it is just not worth it — honestly, it’s probably not worth it for you either! Joel and I don’t even eat bread made with alternative flours very often, so an individual serving of a low-carb bread in a mug for those rare times is just what the (functional medicine) doctor ordered.

Sometimes I just want savory bread in a mug with cold-smoked salmon for breakfast instead of eggs. Other times I want a breakfast sandwich with bacon, fried egg, and sautéed greens piled high. For lunch, I may want turkey sandwiches to get through our turkey leftovers. This is when two slices of savory bread made in a mug hit the spot.

Seriously, it is so easy and quick to make in only 90 seconds of cooking time that there is no need to bake a whole loaf. Well, unless you’re serving a lot of people. If I ever feel like I want a sandwich or something different from my regular rotation, I can have an individual serving of fresh bread in less than 5 minutes!

Bread in a mug with smoked salmon
Savory bread in a mug with cold-smoked, wild-caught salmon and sour cream

As is with any baking that uses alternative flours and low-carb sweeteners, I’ve been refining this bread in a mug recipe for a while. I finally settled on a version that I like and want to share with you. It doesn’t use almond flour for those of you who can’t tolerate it. It can also be made dairy-free using coconut oil instead of butter, but I think it tastes better with butter 🙂

I initially started with a recipe that used coconut flour and blanched almond flour. Those two flours together produced a moist-enough consistency only if you used 2 tablespoons of fat or 1 tablespoon of fat and 1 tablespoon of water per serving. And then I read something online that changed my world. Funny how that happens!

Now, you might ask, “What’s wrong with almond flour and 2 tablespoons of fat or 1 tablespoon of fat and 1 tablespoon of water?” First, in my case, 2 tablespoons of cooking fat is simply too many calories in one meal. Joel can have that — no problem — he’s bigger!

Turkey sandwiches with bread in a mug
Turkey sandwiches made with savory bread in a mug, toasted, layered with turkey slices and onions from the homemade Paleo stuffing, poured over with homemade grain-free gravy, and served with a side of leftover chicken broth for dipping

Second, I did my gut microbiome test and found out that I should minimize almonds, at least in the initial phase of rebalancing my overall microbiome. In fact, many people out there don’t tolerate almonds very well and are looking for recipes that don’t use almond flour. Blanched almond flour is surely better than regular almond flour because it has almond skins removed, but still.

The breakthrough happened when I was reading comments about a low-carb bread recipe that was posted on DietDoctor.com. I love that site and their entire mission! Someone suggested using ground flaxseed because it makes the bread moist and gives it a nice texture. Well, flax seeds are on my “enjoy” list according to my gut microbiome test!

I modified my initial bread in a mug recipe to use ground flaxseed instead of blanched almond flour. It now requires only 1 tablespoon of cooking fat of your choice to be completely moist and delicious! Plus, all of the ingredients in the recipe are on my “enjoy” list. I can root for that!

The best part, of course, is that my hero Robb Wolf created a story on Instagram saying that my turkey sandwiches made with this savory bread in a mug looked amazing! Read my story to find out why Robb is my hero 🙂

Bread in a mug liked by Robb Wolf
Instagram story by Robb Wolf

Makes 1 serving


1 large egg, preferably pastured (I use pastured eggs from Vital Farms, which are available at most grocery stores in our area)
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder or granules
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter or coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons dried chives (optional)


  1. Whisk the egg, coconut flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder, sea salt, and onion powder in a microwave-safe mug with a wide bottom or a large ramekin until well combined.
  2. Pour melted butter or coconut oil into the mug or ramekin and mix well.
  3. Mix in dried chives (optional).
  4. Microwave on high for 90 seconds.
  5. Remove the mug or ramekin using oven mittens (it will be hot!)
  6. Let cool for a minute.
  7. Remove the bread from the mug or ramekin and cut into slices.
  8. Toast in a frying pan or a toaster (optional).

Bread in a mug recipe

I like to use a small whisk when mixing these ingredients, but a regular fork works just as well. Joel uses a fork all the time! I also use a butter knife to remove the bread from the mug.

This is where you get to play around with your favorite flavors! Feel free to omit onion powder if you don’t like the taste or want it plain. Try experimenting with other herbs and spices — I’d like to try it with dried dill because it would go well with smoked salmon.

Check out my recipes for an easy roasted chicken or prime rib, which would be perfect for using leftovers to make sandwiches with the savory bread in a mug.

Our friend Marc is a quintessential foodie and an avid home cook and baker. He likes to be very precise in his cooking and baking, and will spend considerable time perfecting a recipe. He doesn’t follow any specific diet and eats anything he likes, which is no longer the case for me. Some of Marc’s recipes I can enjoy as is, like his super easy roasted chicken recipe, while others I am inspired to modify, like his pecan cookies!

This recipe was given to Marc by his late friend Carl. Carl got the idea from one of his chef friends and refined it. Marc roasts his chicken without salt. We like ours with salt and sometimes add smoked paprika. It is very good just with salt.

These days, I’m all about quick and easy cooking. Or quick and easy alternatives to cooking myself, like buying a roasted chicken from the supermarket when I’m short on time. Well, Marc kept telling us about his homemade roasted chicken, and how easy it is to make, and then he invited us over to taste it. We were sold!

Easy Roasted Chicken Recipe

Plus, this way you can buy a pastured chicken, which is a healthier option, and make it yourself, instead of eating chickens that are fed corn, soy, wheat, etc. (aka “vegetarian-fed”). Even cage-free, organic chickens you buy at natural food stores are typically fed a vegetarian diet, which really means a grain-based diet. Chickens are actually omnivores like us and will eat bugs and small animals if left to their own devices!

But back to that easy roasted chicken recipe. I’ve tried fancier (more complicated) versions of roasting a chicken at home, which involved spreading butter and freshly-chopped herbs under the chicken’s skin. Don’t get me wrong, the chicken tasted great, but who has the time? Nowadays, I leave these sorts of recipes for the holidays or leisurely weekends, which don’t happen very often.

We’ve modified Marc’s chicken recipe to make it more to our liking. It’s a 2-ingredient recipe that tastes absolutely delicious — think meat falling off the bone and yummy broth filled with collagen protein. How about that! It’s also National Chicken Month, so I’m paying a tribute to that. Enjoy!

Easy Roasted Chicken Pieces


1 (4-5 pounds) chicken, (preferably pastured)
Salt to taste (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)


  1. Preheat the oven to 500° F.
  2. Remove chicken’s neck and organs packet, if there is one.
  3. Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry.
  4. Cover the chicken with salt on all sides.
  5. Place the chicken, breast up, in an enameled cast iron pot / Dutch oven. Ensure the lid is closed tightly.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes (adjust cooking time slightly if the bird is less than 4 or more than 5 pounds).
  7. Remove the pot from the oven and let stand for 90 minutes without removing the lid.
  8. Remove the chicken from the pot and cut into pieces on a cutting board.

This easy roasted chicken recipe turns out juicy and tender. It’s extremely easy to make; the longest part is the cooking time. Next, I’ll have to try this in an Instant Pot® in my never-ending quest to develop quick and easy recipes!

Feel free to store the chicken in the refrigerator inside the enameled cast iron pot / Dutch oven. That’s the beauty of these pots — you can store your food in them!

Play with other seasonings and spices as you like. Marc actually only uses freshly-ground black pepper instead of salt. Feel free to use Italian seasoning, herbs de Provence, smoked paprika, curry seasoning, etc.

Looking for more juicy chicken recipes? Check these out.

I don’t recall how this tradition started, but at some point after we arrived to the United States, my grandmother Fira started baking a Russian cake called “Annushka” once a year for my birthday. She’s had the recipe for this honey-based cake in her recipe notebook for at least 40 years. Maybe she made it once, and I loved it, so she started baking it for me. I loved this tradition.

My favorite cake stopped being a part of my birthday celebrations once I adopted the Paleo lifestyle about 8 years ago (all of that flour, sugar, honey, and condensed milk!) Honestly, I didn’t really miss it because I only baked Paleo treats once in a while.

Since I adopted the Keto / Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) lifestyle about a year and a half ago, I’ve been having a lot of fun modifying old family recipes. Keto / LCHF allows dairy, if you aren’t sensitive to it, so it’s a lot easier to modify recipes that call for butter, sour cream, etc., which this recipe does. I am actually sensitive to dairy, so I still rarely make dairy-based desserts. They’re mostly for my husband who handles dairy fairly well.

Annushka Russian Cake Recipe Notebook
“Annushka” cake recipe in my grandma’s 40-year-old recipe notebook

This year for my birthday, I thought it would be a great idea to bake this Russian cake for me and then share it with those who would appreciate all of the effort, trial and error, and creativity that it takes to modify a recipe. It’s a lot of work to make it gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, and have it taste so much like the original! And on top of it, I get to share this recipe with all of you! A win-win all the way around 🙂

It was hilarious and frustrating, I must admit, when I first tried to modify this cake earlier this year. I visited my grandma to bake it with her. I brought all of my substitute ingredients: almond flour, coconut milk, low-carb sweetener, etc. The recipe in her notebook doesn’t have all of the details, of course, such as at what temperature to bake the cake layers. It also lists Soviet measurements such as “one package of butter.”

Me: “Grandma, how much was one package of butter in the Soviet Union?”
Grandma Fira: “Do you think I remember??!! I’ve lived in the U.S. for 30 years now!”
Me: “Well, approximately?”
Grandma Fira (after showing me in the air with her fingers): “About this much, I think. I don’t remember!!!”
Me: “But you baked this cake last about 7 years ago. How much did you use then?”
Grandma Fira (clearly frustrated): “I’m going to turn 90 years old this year; I don’t remember!!!”

Discussing Annushka Russian cake recipe with my grandmother
My grandma Fira teaching me how to make Russian cake “Annushka”

She actually has pretty good memory, but maybe not when it comes to baking cakes 🙂 So, here I was trying to convert from grams to ounces and American-sized cup measurements and Googling the typical temperature at which one would bake cake layers. I’m still amazed at what it takes to modify a 40-year-old Soviet recipe to be a healthy, modern-day awesomeness. Oh, yeah, the recipe also calls for margarine in the cake batter, which just like in the U.S., was considered “healthier” back in the day. Needless to say, I’m using grass-fed butter instead.

This “Annushka” Russian cake is very typical of Russian cakes (tortes). It’s a layered cake with a Russian-style frosting made from butter, sugar, and nuts. The flour, sugar, honey, and condensed milk were substituted, of course. Ahhh, this cake is soooo good…quick and easy to make, too…why wouldn’t folks just bake low-carb desserts??!! The longest part is making a coconut-milk-based condensed milk using a low-carb sweetener, which can be made ahead. And that takes only 15 minutes!

“Annushka” in the Russian language is a diminutive of “Anna,” so it’s an endearing nickname for Anna, for those who are curious. I’m so glad that this cake can once again be part of my annual celebration!!! Enjoy 🙂

Annushka Russian Cake Slice
I can have my favorite cake for breakfast guilt-free!


For the homemade coconut-milk-based condensed milk:

1 (13.5 oz.) can of full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk (I use Native Forest brand, which typically has the cream and liquid already separated in the can when you open it, without requiring refrigeration)
2 tablespoons low-carb sweetener (I use Lakanto® Classic White or Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener, which is available on Amazon.com)

For the cake:

1 stick butter, softened (preferably grass-fed or French)
2 eggs, preferably pastured (I use pastured eggs from Vital Farms, which are available at most grocery stores in our area)
1/4 cup full-fat sour cream, preferably pasture-raised (I use Organic Valley sour cream from pastured cows)
3 tablespoons honey-flavored low-carb sweetener (I use All-u-Lose® Natural Honey Flavor Sweetener, which is available on Amazon.com)
1 cup blanched almond flour
3 tablespoons low-carb sweetener (I use Lakanto® Classic White or Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener, which is available on Amazon.com)
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:

3/4 cup homemade coconut-milk-based condensed milk
2 1/4 cup (200 grams) walnuts, chopped
1 stick butter, softened (preferably grass-fed or French)


For the homemade coconut-milk-based condensed milk:

  1. Separate the cream part of the coconut milk from the liquid part. Discard the liquid or save for other uses.
  2. In a small pot, bring the coconut cream to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally to prevent it from burning.
  3. Whisk in the sweetener.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the coconut milk is reduced to about 3/4 cup.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Let it cool completely.

For the cake:

  1. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix softened butter, eggs, sour cream, low-carb sweetener, and honey-flavored low-carb sweetener until a smooth consistency.
  3. Mix in almond flour and baking soda until well combined.
  4. Lightly grease two 9-inch by 9-inch round cake pans with butter.
  5. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  6. Place both cake pans in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown. Ovens vary, so start checking for doneness at around 12 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the cake — it should come out clean.
  7. Remove the cake pans from the oven, place on a wire rack, and let cool completely.
  8. Remove the cake layers from the pans once cooled.

For the frosting:

  1. While the cake is baking, make the frosting.
  2. In a bowl, mix softened butter and homemade coconut-milk-based condensed milk until a smooth consistency.
  3. Mix in the chopped walnuts with a spatula or a spoon.
  4. To assemble the cake, spread the frosting on top of the first cake layer.
  5. Place the second cake layer on top of the first.
  6. Spread the frosting on top of the second cake layer.
  7. Spread any leftover frosting on the sides of the cake.
  8. To make a 4-layered cake, double the recipe.
  9. Cut into cake slices and serve, or refrigerate in an enclosed container. Let the cake come to room temperature before serving.

Natural low-carb sweeteners vary. If you use a different sweetener, you may need to adjust the quantity depending on your sweetness preference.

To make this cake dairy-free, you could try using coconut milk yogurt instead of sour cream and coconut oil + palm oil shortening instead of butter. If you do, let me know how it turns out in the comments below 🙂

Looking for more Russian recipes? Check out From Russia With Love. Love guilt-free desserts? Find more here.

This is the closest you get to peanut butter cookies, for all of you peanut butter lovers out there, but a low-carb version, of course! I love peanut butter — a great American invention, in my opinion — but it’s not low-carb, lectin-free, Paleo, or Keto, so, how often do I eat it? Almost never. Now, I can make this flourless almond butter chocolate chip cookies recipe and enjoy these guilt-free cookies.

My sister-in-law Carrie, who is an avid home baker, shared her easy, flourless chocolate chip peanut butter cookies recipe with me a while ago. It was pretty basic — one cup of peanut butter, one egg, half-a-cup of sugar, and chocolate chips. I finally modified her recipe by using regular almond butter, monk fruit sweetener, and a few other ingredients. The cookies turned out yummy, but they tasted a bit gritty due to the texture of plain almond butter, and nothing like peanut butter cookies.

Then I had the thought of baking these cookies with blanched almond butter because my husband said that it has a similar consistency to peanut butter. Fortunately, Barney & Co. sells Bare Smooth Barney Butter, which is blanched almond butter with no added sugar or salt. This is the closest you get to peanut butter. Or you can make one yourself with blanched almonds and a food processor.

Grain Free Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blanched almond butter made all the difference! My husband, the chocolate chip cookie lover, said that these cookies have the look and consistency of Chips Ahoy! cookies, so this is a huge compliment 🙂 My little niece had a bite and kept saying, “More! More! More!” Needless to say, I’m very excited to share this super easy and quick almond butter chocolate chip cookies recipe with you.


1 egg, preferably pastured (I use pastured eggs from Vital Farms, which are available at most grocery stores in our area)
3 tablespoons low-carb sweetener of your choice (I use Lakanto® Monk Fruit Sweetener, which is available on Amazon.com)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Simply Organic® no-sugar-added Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup blanched almond butter at room temperature (I use Barney & Co. no-sugar-added Bare Smooth Barney Butter)
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I use Lily’s no-sugar-added Dark Chocolate Chips)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract, sweetener, salt, and baking soda in a bowl until mixed well.
  4. Add the blanched almond butter and mix well. You’ll need some strength to mix it in. Having the almond butter at room temperature helps a lot!
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and mix well.
  6. Place balls of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. I use an ice cream scooper to scoop the balls of dough, which makes about 17 cookie dough balls that fit onto 1 baking sheet. Lightly press with a spatula to flatten.
  7. Bake for about 12-15 minutes.
  8. Cool the cookies for at least 10 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack and cool completely, otherwise, they’ll crumble apart. Enjoy!

Low-Carb Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Feel free to try this recipe with regular, no-sugar-added almond butter instead of blanched almond butter, but increase Lakanto® Monk Fruit Sweetener to 1/4 cup. If you use a different natural low-carb sweetener, you may need to adjust the quantity depending on your sweetness preference.

Let me know how you like this grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, no-sugar-added almond butter chocolate chip cookies recipe in the comments below!

If you like low-carb treats, check out my easy Grandma Helen’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe.

One day we discovered lamb breast at a grocery store, and life was never the same again. I must admit that I love fatty, bone-in cuts of meat! The lamb breast cut is just that. Joel tried roasting it several different ways, with and without marinading the meat first, and finally perfected an easy and delicious roasted lamb breast recipe for you to enjoy. This recipe has only 4 ingredients, so it’s quick to throw together. The longest part is roasting.

In my pre-low-carb-high-fat days, I craved fatty cuts of meat — beef shanks, pork ribs, chicken thighs, beef short ribs, chicken wings, — you name it, but we didn’t eat them very often. We were fat-phobic because the low-fat trend was alive and well, and it still is, but not in our household!

I would painfully cut off and leave the yummy, fatty parts of the meat on my plate. I really wanted to eat them — my body was craving them — and sometimes I did, feeling guilty as hell afterwards. Joel was admittedly more fat-phobic than me because he’s an all-American boy. In the Soviet Union, we preferred fattier cuts of meat like dark chicken and pork belly, and we never threw away chicken skin.

Roasted Lamb Breast

In fact, I once heard an Armenian man from the former Soviet Union complain that American lamb was too lean. He would literally add pork fat onto the skewers when grilling lamb kabobs, so that the fat would drip on the coals and add more smokiness to the meat. Those were amazingly delicious kabobs!

If you’re following a Keto or Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) lifestyle, then you’re not afraid of fat, so the lamb breast is right up your alley. Fattier cuts of meat also tend to be less expensive. In any case, this roasted lamb breast recipe is sugar-free, dairy-free, lectin-free, low-carb, and Paleo. Don’t be afraid of fat and add some deliciousness into your diet!


2.5-3.5 pounds lamb breast, cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)
Chimichurri sauce for serving (optional)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 315° F.
  2. Cover all sides of the lamb breast pieces with salt, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
  3. Transfer the lamb to a roasting pan, fat side up, and cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake for about 2 hours.
  4. Cover a cooking sheet with aluminum foil. Remove the lamb from the roasting pan and place onto the cooking sheet.
  5. Turn up the oven to 450° F.
  6. Bake the lamb breast pieces, fat side up, for another 20 minutes, or until the meat gets browned and crispy on top.

The reason for removing the lamb breast pieces from the roasting pan and placing them onto a cooking sheet is because there will be lots of melted fat in the roasting pan. When you increase the oven’s temperature to 450° F, you don’t want the roasting pan to catch on fire 🙂

Try this roasted lamb breast recipe with dried rosemary instead of thyme.

Looking for easy roasting recipes? Try my Prime Rib Roast recipe. It has only 2 ingredients!

Sometimes you just get tired of eggs and bacon for breakfast. Sometimes you just don’t have time to make any of the quick and easy breakfast recipes I share on this blog. Sometimes you miss your I-can-have-cereal-for-breakfast days. On those days, you thank your lucky stars for a bag of Julian Bakery ProGranola® Vanilla Cinnamon Cluster in your pantry.

I discovered Julian Bakery’s granola at Natural Products Expo West 2018 while on a treasure hunt for healthy, tasty, low-carb products. Up to this point, I haven’t found a low-carb, Keto-friendly cereal or granola product, and I haven’t developed my own granola recipe yet. Needless to say, I was excited to sample this grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, low-carb, Keto, and Paleo granola.

Once I tasted this crunchy and delicious granola, I knew I had to buy it for my husband to taste. I just knew he would love it, especially because he misses morning cereal more than I do. I grew up in the Soviet Union — we didn’t eat cereal for breakfast. Joel is all-American, so he likes his Julian Bakery’s granola with heavy whipping cream diluted with water to create a milk-like consistency. I like it with coconut milk, or we eat it straight out of the bag (it’s addictive!)

Julian Bakery Low-Carb Granola

What I love about this granola is that it only has 2g of net carbs per 1/2 cup serving, yet 12g of protein and 12g of fiber. In the past, when I made my own dairy-free “cereal” at home, I used nuts with coconut milk, which is high in fat, but too low in protein and fiber. Afterwards, I would feel hungry pretty quickly. With Julian Bakery’s granola, however, I feel satisfied until lunch time.

Julian Bakery ProGranola® Vanilla Cinnamon Cluster has pumpkin seeds, so it’s not quite lectin-free, but I like to indulge in it from time to time. It is available on Amazon.com and the Julian Bakery website. Try this low-carb, Keto-friendly granola and let me know if you like it as much as we do.

If you like chocolate for breakfast, add some dark chocolate chips to your granola (I use Lily’s no-sugar-added Dark Chocolate Chips). When in season, add a few sliced strawberries for a slightly tangy flavor, or a few blueberries for that classic flavor, or another berry of your choice.

Joel loves savory snacks such as chips. He’s been known to eat a whole bag of tortilla chips in one sitting (in his pre-low-carb days, of course!) So, to find a savory, crunchy snack that is low-carb and isn’t fried in an industrial vegetable oil is a real win. The newly-launched 4505 Meats Pork Cracklins was one of my top low-carb finds at Natural Products Expo West 2018.

These crunchy, salty pork curls are Paleo-certified, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, lectin-free, sugar-free, zero-carb, Keto, made with humanely-raised pork that is free of hormones and antibiotics, fried in rendered pork fat (yum!), and are quite addictive.

We once thought of buying pork rinds (chicharrones) at a Mexican grocery store, but they were fried in soybean oil and had MSG. Yuck! Instead, we whipped up homemade guacamole and served it with these delicious, fried pork curly Qs. I personally like the sea salt flavor, which is lectin-free. If you like pork rinds, you must give these healthier pork curls a try!

4505 Meats Pork Cracklins Zero Carb Snack

Besides loving 4505 Meats products, something else that I love is the fact that the company was founded by a chef and butcher who is committed to whole animal utilization and sustainability. The popular nose-to-tail trend is a good thing, in my opinion. I respect chefs and butchers who find creative ways to utilize all parts of the animal. Why waste pork skins?

These new Cracklins are available on Amazon.com, the 4505 Meats website, and will be available in grocery stores this summer. 4505 Meats also offers a line of pork rinds (chicharrones), but these new pork curls are heartier, crunchier, more flavor-forward porkalicious rinds.

Try this zero-carb snack and let me know if you like it as much as we do. I plan to serve these pork cracklins with guacamole when I host Mexican-inspired dinner parties. Way better than chips 🙂

This fish hash recipe was one of those accidentally-discovered dishes when one of the ingredients doesn’t turn out quite right, but with a plan B, the dish turns into something quite amazing. I love accidentally discovering great recipes that turn into signature dishes and sharing them with you. What I love about this fish hash recipe is that it’s quick, easy, delicious, satisfying, and packed with flavor. It is also sugar-free, dairy-free, lectin-free, low-carb, Keto, and Paleo!

What’s very convenient about a flaky white fish, such as wild-caught cod, is you can buy it frozen, then bake it without thawing. You may, of course, thaw your fish first or buy fresh fillets. This recipe works well in all of those scenarios. For us busy foodies, we often stock up on frozen cod fillets for easy, longer-term storage, then pop them in the oven last minute to make a quick dinner.

In the past, we would just sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper, top it with butter or drizzle with olive oil once it was cooked, squeeze lemon juice over it, and serve with a salad or veggies. Simple enough. Then Joel started complaining.

He likes variety more than I do, so his complaint was that eating fish this way got “too boring.” Then one evening, I felt like having fish and decided to bake the frozen cod fillets. I had Joel’s complaint in the back of my mind as I was preparing the dinner. Then a funny (and serendipitous) thing happened — the fish got too flaky. It was literally falling apart on the baking sheet. I may have forgotten to grease the baking sheet. Oops.

Fish Hash Recipe

Hmm, what do I do now? Plan B! We were on a fried-onions-in-butter kick, so I had the idea to sauté some onions, fry a couple slices of bacon, and mix the fish in to make it into a fish hash! I love hash, so why not with fish? A simple Romaine lettuce salad on the side. Boom! Easy dinner. Plus, Joel gets to eat his fish in a new way.

The smokiness and crunchiness of bacon, the sweetness of cooked onions, the delicateness of the fish…this is probably my favorite way to eat cod or tilapia. Top the fish hash leftovers with an egg the next morning, and it’s breakfast! We now make this fish hash recipe quite often. Enjoy!


12 oz. wild-caught cod, or any flaky white fish, frozen, thawed, or fresh
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2-3 slices bacon (I like Niman Ranch No-Sugar Applewood Smoked Bacon)
1/2 teaspoon garlic power
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
Salt to taste (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)
Flat-leaf Italian parsley, minced (optional)


  1. Grease a rimmed baking sheet with avocado oil or grass-fed butter. Season the fish with salt on both sides and place on the baking sheet.
  2. If using fresh fish fillets, pre-heat the oven to 400° F. Depending on the thickness of the fillets, bake for 9-12 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork, and the center is no longer translucent.
  3. If using frozen or thawed fish fillets, bake according to the instructions on the package and until the fish flakes easily, and the center is no longer translucent.
  4. While the fish is baking, fry the bacon slices in a large sauté or cast iron pan over medium heat until crispy or to desired doneness. Remove the bacon and allow to cool.
  5. Cook the chopped onion in the bacon fat until golden-brown, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes, adding more cooking fat, if needed. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and mix well. Remove from heat if done before the fish.
  6. Cut the cooled slices of bacon into small pieces.
  7. Once the fish is baked, break it into bite-sized pieces with a fork and add to the onion in the pan. Add the chopped bacon, mix well, and allow everything to heat through.
  8. Adjust the seasonings as desired. Sprinkle with minced parsley, if desired, and serve warm.

When you use the fish hash leftovers for breakfast, it’s very similar in texture to a typical hash loaded with potatoes, but without all of the carbs!

What helps to make this fish hash recipe even quicker is cooking things in parallel — frying the bacon while the oven is heating, cooking the onions while the fish is baking — you get the point. I also like to use a broiler pan instead of a rimmed baking sheet when baking frozen fish to allow the juices to drip into the bottom tray.

Feel free to omit the bacon, but it gives this dish a very nice, smoky flavor and crunchy consistency.

Looking for more quick and easy seafood recipes? Check out my Buttered Seafood Shirataki Noodles with Baby Greens. This recipe is so quick and easy, you can make it for lunch!

I woke up early this morning and told my husband, “It’s National Coffee Cake Day!” He got a giant grin on his face and said, “Does this mean you’re going to bake coffee cake?!” I said, “No, it means I finally want to post grandma Helen’s sour cream coffee cake recipe on my blog.” He said, “You can’t tell me it’s National Coffee Cake Day and not bake the coffee cake. It’s like telling a kid it’s National Candy Day and giving him carrots.”

Well, it’s lightly snowing outside (a perfect day for baking a coffee cake!); it is National Coffee Cake Day; this recipe is so easy to throw together; and hopefully, I can finish writing this blog post by the time the coffee cake is done. It’s starting to smell so good in here!

Years ago, in my pre-Paleo and pre-Keto days, we visited Joel’s grandparents in Kansas. This was the first and only time I met grandma Helen. She was a mighty fine lady who lived a full, exciting life with Joel’s grandpa, filled with lots of travels and love for each other. Sadly, she developed Alzheimer’s disease by the time I met her, which scientists now call “Type 3 diabetes.”

LowSour Cream Coffee Cake

At some point during our visit, I asked to look at her recipe notebook and jotted down a few recipes I liked. One of them was her sour cream coffee cake recipe. Funny thing is I never baked it before I adopted the Paleo lifestyle. Then I also learned that Joel absolutely loves coffee cake, so one Christmas morning I tried modifying the recipe for the Paleo diet. I must say that it didn’t turn out too well due to the ingredient substitutions that I was playing around with at the time. It was too dry and had the consistency of a brick, but we ate it all anyway because it was a rare treat for us to have a baked good.

So, the recipe went back into a pile of recipes until a couple of months ago. I’ve been following a Keto / low-carb Paleo lifestyle for a year and a half now, and Keto allows the use of dairy and natural low-carb sweeteners that are 1:1 substitution for regular table sugar, so I’ve been baking a lot this past winter 🙂 That’s when I came across grandma Helen’s sour cream coffee cake recipe in my pile of recipes.

You know how they say that timing is everything in life? This was one of those moments. I realized that I only have to substitute 3 ingredients this time around, and one of those ingredients is simply the type of oil to use. I would have to play with the quantity of these ingredients and the baking time and temperature, but that’s the fun part! I replaced flour, sugar, and corn oil with healthier ingredients. Modifying grandma’s coffee cake recipe to be grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, lectin-free, low-carb, and Keto-friendly was quite satisfying.

Grain Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake

But the best part was people tasting it and asking for the recipe. You know you’re on to something when you bring it to share with others, and people seek you out to ask if you’d be willing to share the recipe. That, plus seeing the kids sneak a piece (or two!) extra. So, after numerous modifications, adjustments, and tests (my husband wasn’t complaining!), grandma Helen’s modified sour cream coffee cake recipe is ready for prime time!


For the dough:

2 eggs, preferably pastured (I use pastured eggs from Vital Farms, which are available at most grocery stores in our area)
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 cup sour cream, preferably pasture-raised
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I use Simply Organic® no-sugar-added Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract)
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/3 cup low-carb sweetener (I use Lakanto® Classic White or Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener, which is available on Amazon.com)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan pink salt for its mineral content)

For the topping:

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I use Spicely® Organics True Cinnamon)
2 tablespoons low-carb sweetener of your choice (I use Lakanto® Monk Fruit Sweetener, which is available on Amazon.com)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix eggs, avocado oil, sour cream, sweetener, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Mix in almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  4. In a small bowl, mix chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and sweetener.
  5. Grease an 8-inch by 8-inch or similar-sized baking dish with avocado oil. Pour half of the dough mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle half of the topping mixture on top of the dough mixture.
  6. Pour the second half of the dough mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the second half of the topping mixture on top of the dough mixture.
  7. Bake for about 40-42 minutes. If baking at high altitude, bake for about 45-50 minutes. Ovens vary, so start checking for doneness at around 40 minutes (45 minutes at high altitude). Insert a toothpick into the cake — it should come out clean. I also loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil in the last 5-10 minutes of baking, so that the nuts and cinnamon on top don’t get too dark, while the batter reaches its doneness on the inside.

Sugar Free Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I didn’t get a chance to finish writing this post before the coffee cake was done. You want to eat it warm, right? Plus, Joel was giving me a puppy face 🙂 We sat down to have a slice or two for breakfast and talked about grandma Helen’s and grandpa Dena’s life and the love they shared. I am grateful I got a chance to meet her and write down this recipe before she passed away. I am grateful for the knowledge of and access to healthier ingredients that allow us to enjoy her legacy guilt-free.

Try this sour cream coffee cake with some grass-fed butter on top. Let me know how you like grandma Helen’s sour cream coffee cake recipe in the comments below. Enjoy!

If it isn’t sweet enough for you, use 1/2 cup of Lakanto® Monk Fruit Sweetener. If you use a different natural low-carb sweetener, you may need to adjust the quantity depending on your sweetness preference.

Don’t like nuts, or they don’t like you? Omit them!

Looking for more breakfast recipes? Check out my pancakes recipe. We finally figured out the best pancakes that are grain-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, lectin-free, low-carb, Keto, and Paleo!

Although most people celebrate Easter by serving a ham, I know there are beef lovers out there who prefer to impress their family and guests with a prime rib roast. This roast, technically known as “standing rib roast” or commonly referred to as “prime rib,” has the same tenderness as ribeye steaks. This prime rib roast recipe is flavorful, super easy to make (only 2 ingredients!), and a great centerpiece for your holiday table.

A standing rib roast isn’t for holidays only, of course. We’ve served it to guests on special occasions or just because it’s easy and impressive. Plus, think of all of the leftovers!

Prime Rib Roast Recipe

I got this prime rib roast recipe from my sister-in-law Carrie, who is an avid home cook. She found this particular cooking method online. I performed a quick online search and found several websites that use this cooking method in their recipes. I believe that Chef John of Allrecipes.com might be the originator, but I’m not sure. If it’s someone else, let me know and I’ll give you credit 🙂

Standing Rib Roast

I like to serve my prime rib roast with horseradish or a horseradish sauce.


Prime rib roast (cooking time depends on how many pounds it weighs, so figure out how many pounds you want per person and follow the directions below)
Steak seasoning or rub (I use store-bought ones that contain coarse salt, black pepper, garlic, paprika, and other spices)
Horseradish or a horseradish sauce for serving (optional)


  1. Bring the prime rib to room temperature. This is important!
  2. Preheat the oven to 500° F.
  3. Generously cover all sides of the prime rib roast with seasoning. Place the roast on a broiler pan.
  4. Multiply the exact number of pounds and ounces that the roast weighs by 5 to calculate how many minutes to cook. For example, a roast that weighs 5 lb. and 2 oz. would cook for 26 minutes (5.2 x 5 = 26). Bake at 500 degrees for the figured out time.
  5. Turn the oven off and leave the prime rib roast in the oven for 2 hours without opening the door. This is important!
  6. Remove from the oven, let it rest, slice, and enjoy!

You might need an electric knife to cut your prime rib roast.

Looking for more beef recipes? Check out my Russian-Style Beef Cutlets with Liver recipe. These Russian-style beef cutlets are tender, moist, and delicious!