Tasty Travel Dinners

Tasty Travel Dinners
Planning a vacation and wondering how to keep your family well-fed and happy? Addressing dietary needs and preferences can be challenging on the road, but I've found a fantastic solution that ensures everyone enjoys delicious, home-cooked meals without the added stress. By bringing along a slow cooker or Instant Pot and following my simplified meal plans, your family can indulge in wholesome, budget-friendly dinners like melt-in-your-mouth shredded Pork Verde or fragrant Ropa Vieja no matter where your travels take you.

To make things easier, I've designed recipes that use whole ingredients without any waste, such as a full bag of frozen vegetables or a can of tomatoes. This strategy minimizes leftover groceries, saves time, and maximizes convenience. Whether ordering groceries for pickup at your destination or packing easy-to-carry seasoning packs, the planning and preparation are straightforward, allowing you more time to relax and enjoy your trip.

Not only are these meals tailored to accommodate various dietary needs like paleo, gluten-free, and dairy-free restrictions, but they are also kid-approved and easily customizable to suit your family's preferences. With my free printable meal plan and grocery list, you can embark on your travels with confidence, knowing that healthy, tasty dinners are just a cooker away. For a seamless vacation dining experience that saves both time and money, download my meal planner today and start cooking up wonderful memories!

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes
It's pumpkin season every season at my house, for a few reasons. 

1. We live in Florida so we never really get "fall," so I'm never over it. 
2. It's delicious. 
3. Pumpkin is a health food.

I'm not a big fan of PSL, but I do love everything else pumpkin spice!

Recently my children wanted to make a fun treat, and I had a box of Simple Mills Pumpkin Muffin Mix on hand. 

Simple Mills is a hero food brand in our house, because it's always clean and they have so many paleo friendly options...AND it tastes delicious every time. 

This recipe came out so moist and tasty, and the donut holes held up great to being gently tossed in organic powdered sugar. 

You can totally skip this part, but we wanted to make it extra pretty and fun. It was a great job for the children to do after the balls were baked. 

Pumpkin Spice Paleo Donut Holes
3 eggs
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup milk
1 tbs coconut oil
1 drop each of Young Living Cinnamon Bark, Clove and Nutmeg Vitality oils (you can use 1/2 tsp of dried ground if that's what you have)

Fill a well greased cake pop pan almost to the top with batter, then bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
 Let cool slightly, then remove from pan after removing lid by banging against the counter.
 Any that don't fall out can be carefully scraped out with a spoon.

We love using Young Living Vitality oils in baking, because they're super convenient, have a broader range of amazing flavor than dried versions, and offer their own wellness benefits.

And look how moist and amazing these came out!

Let them cool to warm to the touch, then roll in powdered sugar if desired.
 Store in the fridge since they don't have any icky preservatives in them! 


If you love the look of these, you might also want to make my Pumpkin Magnesium Muffinsthat are nourishing, crowd-pleasing and pack 100mg of magnesium in each one!


Magic Magnesium + A Chocolate Pudding recipe for the whole family!

Magic Magnesium + A Chocolate Pudding recipe for the whole family!

I could talk a long time about a LOT of things, but few things more than the importance of adequate mineral intake. 

And one of my favorites to park at and chat about is: Magnesium.

Now magnesium is ESSENTIAL. It’s one of the seven essential minerals that your body must have.

Linus Pauling, double Nobel Prize winning chemist, famously said, “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”


Our children are often deficient and we often don’t even realize it!


What are some of the signs? They include (but aren’t limited to):

  1. Grumpiness/Irritability
  2. “Growing Pains” or cramps
  3. Anxiety/Stress

Are you kids experiencing any of these?

As they hit major growth spurts, childrens’ bodies gets really depleted of magnesium which can lead to growing pains, night terrors and trouble settling down at night in general.

Magnesium is one of 60+ minerals that I, and my children, take every single day. 

In my opinion, it’s more important (and beneficial) than a multivitamin; it’s essential for hundreds of biochemical pathways!

And what about safety? Great news. It’s water soluble, and easy to spot when you’ve had enough (your stools will be loose). 


The known benefits of Magnesium are too bountiful to even list in their entirety, but I’ll share a few. 

  • Fights depression (better than drugs in many cases)
  • Balances mood
  • Supports bone growth and health
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Support healthy bowels
  • Improves sleep
  • Stops headaches
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Brain support

Basically…you want magnesium and you want enough of it-for you and your family. 

When sick, it’s invaluable. 

Amazingly, a protocol of magnesium has even shown effectiveness against viral illness.

If you or your child is very deficient, it can take a few days, weeks or even months to replenish. Give yourself time to see the benefits. You deserve it! 

So how can we get some?

Pumpkin seeds are super high in it, followed by almonds and spinach. 

Chia seeds are PACKED!

Choose sprouted raw seeds/nuts when possible! 

An ionic supplement will also get you all you need, and my favorite is Young Living.  In my opinion, it's the best one on the market-it’s blended with 60 naturally occurring and derived trace minerals (like selenium, copper and ZINC) plus herbs that help with absorption. It's called Mineral Essence.

It even assists with hydration of cells, making your water-drinking more efficient! 

To be honest, it doesn’t taste great (although all of my children take it without struggle, so it must not be SO bad). 

I bribe them with a Lily’s chocolate chip

Here are some great ways to get extra “magic magnesium” in your body with!

Dark Chocolate


Pumpkin Seeds

Chia Seeds

Flax Seeds


Fatty Fish (like salmon)




Want a recipe to make your kids super happy, and give them lots of magnesium to boot? 

How about two recipes?

Keep reading!

This Chocolate Pudding  packs tons of magnesium in each bite (but the kids won’t be able to tell!). 


  • Magic Chocolate Pudding

1 cup avocado (the less “ripe” the less avocado taste)

1 ripe banana (the riper, the better)

4 Tbs raw cacao powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbs Maple Syrup 

Place ingredients at room temperature into a high speed blender. Blend until completely smooth and combined. 

Chill for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving. 

Here are some of my tips for making this pudding spectacular.
  • The riper, the better on the banana
  • The less ripe your avocado is, the less avocado taste
  • If your produce is more firm, you may add up to 3 tbs of liquid water or your milk of choice
  • You may sub any sweetener for the Maple Syrup
  • A little almond extract is also yummy-it's strong so just a couple drops!
  • Add a drop of Young Living Orange Vitality oil or Young Living Peppermint Vitality oil for a variation
  • Top with any fruit/seeds you like! Chia seeds, crushed pistachios + sea salt, berries, and grain free granola are some of our favorites!

If you liked this recipe, head over to my post for my super cozy and convenient Pumpkin Mag Muffins to delight everyone in your house. 

Are you inspired to get enough Magnesium now?
Tell me what benefit you could use the most!

Pumpkin Magnesium Muffins

Pumpkin Magnesium Muffins

Before being “crunchy,” I baked all the time and was known for it.

Anytime I went to an event, friends would ask me to bring one of my elaborate cakes.

But when a health crisis hit our home and we started cleaning up our nutrition to get well, the sugar and white flour had to go.

One of the things I made often that was always a hit was a delicious pumpkin loaf.

Friends asked me to make it even in the summer….in Florida! 

Seems sort of wrong to eat pumpkin when it's 102 degree heat index outside, but here we are.

Living our best peninsula life, and eating autumn squash with reckless abandon.

When I went to clean eating, I didn’t want to give up my favorite treat, so I found a great recipe for a grain-free, refined-sugar free pumpkin goodness.

Then enter kids, and we needed quick, easy snacks that would nourish their bodies, so muffins became a thing.

If you have been around little ones, you know sometimes getting enough nutrients in them can be a challenge.

Their varying appetites, growth spurts, moods and preferences can affect their nutrient intake greatly.

Sometimes they only wanted a microscopic few bites at dinner. I felt like they were living on air!

So, my goal became finding nutrient dense foods that bite-for-bite were going to provide solid fuel for growing brains and bones and all the rest.

The idea of nutrient dense food isn’t unique to me-many families are realizing the importance of making each bite count, especially for children!

We soon discovered that muffins are pretty much magic kid food.

They’re perfectly sized and portioned (little ones can hold one with two hands…meanwhile my oldest son grabs 3 at a time!), fairly un-messy, easy to transport, freeze well for make-ahead, and come in every variety you can dream up.

That’s why I have tried many ways to pack even more nutrients into the muffins that come out of my kitchen.

Chia seeds, ground flax seed and grassfed beef collagen often find their way into my mixing bowl, just to name a few.

My love for pumpkin loaf and desire to make nutrient dense foods for my children that they’d enjoy is how we arrived at these muffins.

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals to your body for so many things. 

I am constantly talking about the benefits of Magnesium.

So I pumped up these muffins to make them magnesium-packed as well…..hence the name Pumpkin Mag Muffins!

Each muffin has 100 mg of magnesium in it-how about that!

The recipe uses a variety of food sources that are known for being full of magnesium, along with other powerful nutrients like omegas - chia seeds, flax seeds, and almond flour to name a few.

If you want to use a boxed mix, like my favorite one from Simple Mills, you can add up to ½ cup of magnesium rich seeds like chia and flax, and even substitute some of the liquid in the recipe for pureed pumpkin to do a semi-homemade version.


This recipe originally appeared in and has been adapted from Paleo Running Mama.

Pumpkin "Mag" Muffins

3 large eggs

1 cup organic pumpkin puree

1/3 cup organic coconut milk (The fattier the better! Full fat coconut or raw cow are my faves)

1/3 cup organic coconut sugar

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups blanched almond flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot

3 tbs whole chia seeds

2 tbs ground flax seed

1 Tbsp coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

½ -1 tsp cinnamon

small pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a muffin pan with parchment liners
  2. Whisk wet ingredients and sugar until very smooth
  3. Add dry ingredients to the wet and beat by hand until very smooth and blended
  4. Fill each cupcake liner ¾ of the way with batter. *sometimes I like to put a couple of pumpkin seeds on top to decorate them!* 
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, checking with a toothpick for doneness.
There you have them! They're delicious, nutritious, and convenient. 

These muffins store wonderfully in the freezer for grab-and-go breakfasts or travel, and they’re great “help yourself” snacks for bigger kids (and grown-ups!).

If you liked this recipe, you'll love my Magic Chocolate Pudding recipe, also full of natural magnesium!

Do you like having baked goods on hand for quick snacks? What’s your favorite thing to make? I would love some more ideas!

The Perfect Quiche (Customizable!)

The Perfect Quiche (Customizable!)
For years, I had an old, yellowed, stained recipe card in my recipe box for Crab Swiss Quiche. 

It's one of those perfect, "impressive" recipes that everyone loves (assuming they like crab, of course) that I would make for guests and parties. 

I didn't know where it came from but I always used it! So much, that I know many of the stains are from my heavy use. 

I finally got around to asking my mom where the recipe card came from. 
"That's from the first person who knew you existed!" she replied. 

As the story goes, my mom's friend Maryse was proudly French and wrote the recipe down for her. 

Apparently, one day when they were together my mom mentioned she had not been feeling well, and Maryse was certain it was because my mom was pregnant. She encouraged her to go to her doctor to check. 

Turns out, she was right!

My mom made the recipe many times, as did I as I got older, and it ended up in my recipe box collection. 

I've changed the filling in this recipe countless ways, but the egg base is pure perfection and I wouldn't dare make a single change to the ratios. 

In addition to the original crab and quiche filling, I've made just about everything else you can think of. 

Some of our favorites remain bacon-mushroom-swiss-spinach and ham-cheddar-broccoli, but you can literally use any vegetables and herbs you prefer!

I recommend that any "strong" vegetables, like onions and peppers, and leafy greens like kale, take a quick trip in a sauté pan before being mixed into the quiche, so that they are soft and creamy when eaten! 

No matter what filling you choose, this quiche base will never let you down!

It's the perfect ratio of mayonnaise, milk and egg that cooks up into a creamy, stable/sliceable, purely delectable quiche that makes a statement on the table and plate. 

Something excellent about this recipe is that you can confidently make ingredient brand/type substitutions, as long as your ratios stay the same. 

For example, I've successfully used almond milk and cashew milk instead of cow's...although my favorite result is raw cow's. 

I've used many brands of mayo, too....even homemade, but my favorite remains Primal Kitchen. 

Do you hate scraping mayo out of the measuring cup like I do?

Here's a trick I've learned: Pour your milk into the measuring cup first (1/2 cup), then spoon mayonnaise into the same cup until the combined contents reach the 1 cup line. 

The mayonnaise will float in the milk and never stick to the measuring cup! 

Ready to make your own perfect quiche?

Based on Miss Maryse's original French recipe, here is the Perfect Quiche Base recipe, with ratios for you to add your favorite "fillings." 

Perfect Quiche Base 
5 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 milk
Whisk ingredients together until well incorporated and use to make your perfect quiche.

The Perfect Quiche
Deep dish pie crust, or "crustless" alternative (see below)
1.5 cups vegetables + herbs, chopped into 1 inch or smaller
1 cup shredded cheese
Perfect Quiche Base

Preheat oven according to crust package.
Pierce pie crust with fork a few times along bottom, then bake for 1o minutes. 
Preheat oven to 350.
Evenly distribute prepared vegetables into the crust. 
Sprinkle cheese evenly over vegetables. 
Pour Perfect Quiche Base into the crust over the filling. 
Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes, until "set." 
Allow to sit 10 minutes before slicing. 

In case you're wondering, the original recipe used 1 cup of shredded crab meat, 1/2 cup chopped green onions, and 1 cup of shredded swiss cheese....and it's absolutely heavenly!

Want to make your quiche "crustless?" 
I've made this crustless many times! 

Line an 8-9 inch pan with with greased (I use a paper towel dipped in olive oil to grease) parchment paper. 

Alternatively, you can pour your quiche contents directly into a seasoned cast-iron skillet. 

What is your favorite quiche filling?

If you try this recipe, please let me know how you like it!