Goodbye Gluten

by Koko on November 17, 2015 · 2 comments

in Cooking, Gluten-Free, Recipe

IMG_7151My last night of gluten :(

Yes, it’s true, it is time for gluten and me to part ways. Here’s how the sad story all started: about two years ago, I started getting what felt like food poisoning once a month. It sucked. So last month I went to a food allergist, who said that after 52 needle pricks on my back, there were no conclusive results. He thought maybe I had a sensitivity to yeast, and probably histamines (red wine, strawberries, chocolate), but he wasn’t totally sure. I was upset, but didn’t feel like I had a good answer as to why my tummy was so upset.

So I researched, asked around and found a fantastic nutritionist: David Allen. I met with David, told him all of my issues and he set me up right away by pulling 13 vials of blood from me and doing a saliva test (and some other gross ones). He came back a week later with my results: highly allergic to gluten. WHAT?! Yup. My body just doesn’t like gluten and apparently doesn’t process it well. I pouted the whole day, and then got to researching. Did you know gluten is in soy sauce? I didn’t! Also all the good stuff like pasta, bread, tortillas, baked goods. :(


Lunch looks a lot more like this now.

David also left me with this fun 2-week cleanse to clean out my gut (post on that coming up later this week). Cleanse = no carbs. So that made the transition to being gluten free that much easier. I’m on day 8. It’s been less than fun, although I have had a lot of help with food ideas from a chef at work. So yup, there’s that. Depressed Koko who can’t have gluten anymore (minus my birthday and maybe special occasions because let’s be honest it is ME, the gluten lover here). Q even looked at me over the weekend and said, “This couldn’t have happened to a worse person.” And I believe it. But I am keeping a good attitude about it and hoping to see changes all around without having gluten in my life. And hey, at least it isn’t histamines that I am allergic to- so red wine, you and I are besties again!

Oh, and all the air popped popcorn I can eat on this cleanse. WIN



Acai Bowls

by Koko on October 12, 2015 · 0 comments

in Breakfast, Cooking, Recipe


Acai bowls are both ruining and ruling my life right now. Each morning last week I woke up, went to the gym (whatever ClassPass class I pick that day) and immediately followed my workout with an Acai bowl from Backyard Bowls. This fun routine lasted exactly a week, at which point I realized I had spent $50 on fruit smoothie bowls. Face palm to the face. (Quincy don’t be mad!).

After 5 smoothie bowls in a row, I decided to try my own at home to save my bank account and some time in the mornings. And for the hefty amount of about $2.50 per homemade bowl, my inner frugal self was happy again. It’s really not much different than my usual protein shakes, just a little thicker and with fun toppings (ohhh toppings!). Have some fun with your bowls with different fruits and toppings!



Blue Apron

by Koko on September 23, 2015 · 0 comments

in Cooking, Recipe


There is nothing I love more than cooking for Q, but sometimes the planning and prep kills my passion. I also fall into ruts easily: turkey chili/Mexican chicken bowls/grilled chicken and rice become weekly staples without me meaning them to. Doesn’t everyone?

Recently when I flew home to Tennessee for a weekend, I knew that I wanted to cook every night, but I didn’t want to think about what to cook. Q and my solution: Blue Apron. Blue Apron is a a meal delivery service, but instead of sending you pre-made, pre-packaged meals, you get the ingredients and recipes to make your own meals.

We had used Blue Apron once before a few years ago and loved it (first review is here), so we thought it would be fun to do again this time. We love it because it takes the thinking out of meal planning and makes cooking fun and easy. We always split the prep work and cook together, which I love, and the meats and produce are of a super high quality.

The food is interesting and delicious and we are constantly rating our favorite meals (it’s always a tie). This week we made:

*Spiced Meatballs with Garlic Toasts & Summer Squash Salad

*Stir-Fried Ginger-Basil Chicken with Tinkerbell Peppers and Coconut Rice

*Seared Salmon & Panzanella with Corn, Shisito Peppers & Thai Basil




We love it so much we are considering ordering it once a month to the house to make cooking and meal planning that much more fun and easy.

In a nutshell:
* Every week, Blue Apron delivers a box with ingredients and recipes for three meals.
* You can choose between six meal choices (some vegetarian/fish/red meat/chicken/etc.)
* There’s no commitment, so you can cancel anytime.
* A box with three meals for two adults is $59.95 with free delivery.

The good news is: if you want to try Blue Apron, you can get your first two meals free with this discount link!




In my attempt to be a very Southern woman, I decided to make some kick-ass cornbread for Q and myself the other week. Yes it was the middle of summer and I made cornbread and chili, but so what? I LOVE the ease of making cornbread- no big kitchen tools needed, simple ingredients, and a quick took time. The only ingredient you may not have on hand is buttermilk, but there are some easy fixes if you don’t. This cornbread is extra special because of the topping: honey butter and scallions (also super easy to put together). I made this whole recipe, we had about 1/4 of it for dinner and I froze the rest for the fall (or when I’m gone and Q needs some food!). Enjoy!

Skillet Cornbread with Honey Butter & Scallions

Serves 8-10


  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

3. Whisk egg, buttermilk, and 4 tbsp melted butter in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

4. Heat a 10″ cast-iron skillet on high heat with 1 tbsp melted butter. Pour batter into pan. Transfer to oven and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25–30 minutes.

5. Just before the cornbread is done baking, make the topping: Combine honey and 1 tbsp melted butter. (If the honey is too thick, microwave it for 10 seconds to loosen it up.)

6. Remove cornbread from the oven and immediately brush on topping, then sprinkle with scallions. Serve warm.