"Texas" Tri-Tip Roast

This is actually my first foray into Tri-Tip territory... crazy, right?

Growing up in Texas (now living in Southern California), you just don't see this particular cut of beef. Brisket is king there. But in California, you see Tri-Tip everywhere! And although I've lived here for many years, I had never tried it nor prepared it. However, last week when I was at my local farmer's market picking up my usual beef selections from the 5 Bar Beef stand, Frank, the proprietor, says to me, "Hey, I have a nice Tri-Tip today, do you want it?"

Without even thinking or asking any questions, I exclaimed "Yes!" Wait. What? I don't even know what it's supposed to taste like. What the heck am I going to do with it? Hmmm. On the plus side, I quickly reasoned in my head:  It's a good value, 100% pasture-raised and grass-fed from a rancher that I trust, and since I now consider myself a "Californian", I didn't want them to revoke my locals card, so I figured, I might as well give it a try.

Why all the fuss over one piece of meat? Well, you can take the girl out of Texas but you can't take the Texas out of the girl and beef is sacred to Texans. You just can't do any old thing to it and expect people to come back over the next time you want to host a backyard bbq. You have to respect the beef. Treat it well. Preserve all the goodness and natural flavor. I didn't want to mess this thing up. So I chose to make a simple dry rub to coat it, then cooked it low and slow.

Admittedly, I unintentionally cooked it to well done (it was still delicious!) when I would have preferred medium, but I've adjusted the cook time below to reflect "medium" rather than what you see in the picture. If you like yours well done, add another 25 minutes or so to the cook time.

"Texas" Tri-Tip Roast
Serves 4
Oven 225 degrees F

1 1/2 lb grass-fed Tri-Tip Roast
1 Tbsp organic onion granules or powder (I like Frontier Co-op)
1 Tbsp organic garlic granules or powder (I like Frontier Co-op)
2 teaspoons organic all-seasons salt (I like Simply Organic)
1 teaspoon organic smoked paprika  (I like Simply Organic)

Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix all of the dry spices together. Rub the spices on all sides of the roast and press on tightly.

Place the roast in a shallow cooking pan, ideally with a small rack inserted to elevate it from the juices. Cover the pan and place in the oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours for medium.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing (against the grain). Be sure to spoon all of the delicious pan drippings over it before serving.

Optional serving suggestion: Finish it with a pat of grass-fed butter and a light sprinkle of smoked sea salt (such as Maldon Smoked Sea Salt). I did this to the leftovers and it was awesome.


Italian Style Meatloaf (Low Carb, Paleo and Bulletproof Option)

Italian Style Meatloaf

I never get tired of meatloaf. There are endless ways to theme it, but one of my favorites is Italian style. And let me just say that any time I can get Italian AND it's low carb, I'm a happy camper.  Therefore, I make my meatloaf (and meatballs for that matter) sans any kind of breading or starchy filler - it's simply not needed.

Often times I will use a blend of different meats (beef, lamb, pork, etc.) but for this very simple version today, I used only beef (100% grass-fed). To complete my low carb meal, I paired the meatloaf with a side of Caulimash (steamed organic cauliflower, grass-fed butter, sea salt, organic sour cream and organic cream cheese blended together in a food processor until smooth - leave out the cheese and sour cream to make Paleo and Bulletproof) and a fresh salad of shaved raw organic zucchini with sea salt.

For plating, I spooned some of the drippings from the meatloaf over the dish along with a garnish of fresh oregano right before serving, and for a little extra punch (and mostly because it happens to be Hatch Chile Season right now), I added some roasted Hatch chiles as well - totally optional and not Italian but it worked.

To make this meatloaf Paleo and Bulletproof, leave out the cheese.

Lastly, this meal is entirely naturally gluten-free - always a good thing.

Italian Style Meatloaf
Oven 350 degrees F
Serves 4-6

1 3/4 lb. 100% grass-fed ground beef (as fatty as possible, see Cook's Note)
1 pastured egg
3/4 cup shredded organic Italian cheese blend, divided (I used Whole Foods 365 Organic Italian Blend which has provolone, parmesan, asiago and fontina) (omit to make Paleo and Bulletproof)
1/4 cup marinara (I use this one, or make my own)
2 Tablespoons organic Italian seasoning (I used this one)
3 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
2 sprigs fresh organic oregano, leaves only, optional for garnish

Be sure your oven is preheating to 350 degrees F.

Place all of the ingredients, except 1/4 cup of the cheese (reserve to top the meatloaf with it), in a large bowl and mix well with your hands.

Press the mixture into a deep dish loaf pan or dish and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese evenly sprinkled across the top. If omitting the cheese, consider spreading a little of the marinara sauce across the top instead.

Bake in the oven for approximately 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest a few minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with fresh oregano if desired, and don't forget to drizzle all those good juices from the pan over the top!

Cook's Note: Shoot for the fattiest grass-fed ground beef you can find. If grass-fed ground beef is not available, go for extra lean ground beef and add 1-2 Tablespoons of a healthy fat such as unflavored coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, or even better - use this MCT oil, to your mixture before cooking. Grass-fed, pasture-raised beef naturally contains a good dose of healthy Omega 3 and CLA fatty acids which are good for you. Conversely, feedlot or factory farmed cattle contain high doses of unhealthy fats (often in addition to antibiotics and growth hormones), so choosing extra lean when eating this type of beef and then adding your own healthy fats is a better idea.

Out of the oven with a little fresh oregano added:



Asian Pork Salad - Bulletproof and Paleo

Asian Pork Salad
Sometimes you have a hankering for a particular thing, and lately I've had banh mi's on my mind which were the inspiration for this recipe. Since I rarely eat sandwiches, a salad seemed like a good idea. And while pork patties aren't what you'd expect to find on a traditional banh mi, this just worked. It's very simply, Asian-spiced ground pork formed into little patties (which conveniently cook up in a matter of minutes) over a salad of mild mixed greens. The dressing is light and fresh, reminiscent of a lightly sweet Thai chili sauce.

You can use whatever greens you like. I prefer this mild mix of tender baby greens blended with sweet pea shoots called "Sweet Pea" by organicgirl topped with organic Asian micro greens found at my local Whole Foods Market.

Asian Pork Salad
Serves 2 large portions or 4 light portions


For the Pork Patties
1 lb ground pastured pork
3 green onions, chopped small
3 Tablespoons micro cilantro or chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh lemongrass (see Cook's Note)
2 large cloves fresh garlic, pressed or finely grated
1/2 of a fresh Thai chili, finely minced (more or less depending on heat preference)
1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
3/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

For the Dressing
Juice of 1 small lime
1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
1 Tablespoon Bulletproof Brain Octane or unflavored liquid coconut oil
1/4 - 1/2 of a fresh Thai chili, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
pinch sea salt

For the Salad
1 large container of mild mixed greens (I like this one)
handful of Asian micro greens (optional)
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
pinch of sea salt

To make the patties:
In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together. Form into small, thin patties - approximately 14-16 patties - and set aside. Heat a large skillet to medium - medium high heat. Place the patties in a single layer, working in batches if needed, and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until fully cooked.

To make the dressing:
In a small bowl, place all of the ingredients and whisk together.

To make the salad:
In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.

To eat:
Top salad with warm pork patties and drizzle with the dressing.

Cook's Note: To prep your fresh lemongrass, remove the tough outer layers revealing the softer inner part of the stalk. Use a microplane grater to grate finely, as it's fibrous if not broken down.



My Top 3 Tips for Living Optimally

It's probably no secret, that at least one of my tips is going to involve food - so here goes...

#1 Eat the Right Foods at the Right Times for the Right Reasons

What are the "right foods"? Well, that depends. For me, I've found that a diet of anti-inflammatory, low toxin, all natural foods help me feel and perform my best. So, I eat a LOT organic veggies and a LOT of good quality fats, a moderate amount of high quality proteins, and a very small amount of starchy carbs, like sweet potatoes (I also get carbs from the other vegetables I eat). I go for whole, real foods in their natural state and try to eat seasonally. I stay away from things that inflame my system, like grains (especially wheat), sugars, processed foods, industrial seed oils, most dairy, farmed seafood, genetically engineered "Frankenfoods", etc.

When is the "right time"? Personally, I generally eat in the afternoon and evening, usually from 2pm - 8pm. In the mornings I start my day with a healthy dose of good fats in the form of a Bulletproof Coffee and avoid anything that will potentially spike my insulin and cause my body to start storing fat, such as the typical Standard American Diet breakfast foods of cereal, muffins, waffles, etc. These types of foods just set me up to be hungry the rest of the day, plus they don't provide my body and brain with the proper fuel it needs to perform optimally - a perfect recipe for weight gain. The right time of day might be different for you. Experiment till you find what works for you.

What are the "right reasons"? Well, this is going to sound so silly simple but it's something that took me most of my adult life to finally figure out and have it really sink in - eat when I'm naturally hungry, don't eat when I'm not. Duh! Eating the way I do now (see first paragraph), has effortlessly removed the "death grip" food has had over me my entire life. I'm a foodie, food blogger and private chef because I freaking LOVE food. But, it's always been a love/hate relationship. At its worst - obsessive, compulsive, addictive. At its best - blissfully happy and completely sated. It's incredibly freeing to eat the way I do now - based on necessity, instead of desire - the way I imagine our ancestors must have done.

#2 Get Good Sleep

Sounds easy, but can be hard to do. Further, I'm not always as successful at it as I'd like to be but I make "trying" a high priority. Probably, the thing that works the best for me is having a set routine. For instance, when it gets dark outside I start to look forward to laying down on a cozy bed in a (reasonably) dark room and resting my eyes. It's sort of like "Pavlov's dog" and it works. Also, I say "reasonably" dark because I like to keep the blinds open to encourage natural awakening with the sun when it rises in the morning. Yes, I set an alarm, too. Some people find it's best to have a completely, pitch dark room with no noise, though.

I also have other things I do for my nightly routine - like finish dinner early, do the dishes, then watch one of my favorite shows on the DVR. Lastly, I'll take all my vitamins along with my daily dose of collagen, either with or without a probiotic, and sometimes a little raw honey, then I get into bed and usually do a little reading before falling asleep. Do I sound like an old lady yet? I don't care! It works!

For reference, my collagen of choice is Bulletproof Collagen Protein (affiliate link), sourced from 100% grass-fed pasture-raised cows, my probiotic of choice in this instance is Maple Hill Creamery 100% Grass-Fed Plain Yogurt and my honey of choice is whatever is local and raw. I mix them all together and eat. Or I just have one of these: Bulletproof Vanilla Collagen Bar (affiliate link). I've found that having a small amount of good carbs in the evening helps me to sleep better, deeper, more restoratively.

#3 Get Physical Every Day

Take every opportunity you can to move around, lift heavy things, squat, flex, stand, stretch, etc. You can do pretty much all of these things throughout the day, even while you're at your desk at work. When you're not at work, get outside for fresh air and a walk, or even run if you like. I love to run. Even when I didn't feel like I was particularly good at it, it was still fun to just take off like a 5 year old as fast as I could till I ran out of breath. You can also go to the gym, pilates studio, do yoga on the beach, walk to the post office to mail something - seriously, there are endless ways to get moving. It's good for the body and for the mind.

My favorite workouts are running, including racing 5ks, 10ks and half marathons and Lagree Fitness pilates (I'm also a certified Lagree Fitness instructor). Ask me about my pre and post workout stacks (I'm always tweaking them)! You might be surprised to learn that I include nootropics by Natural Stacks in my pre-workout stack. More on that in a future post.

Lastly, please check out this infographic from Nuts.com with 5 Easy Tips, this handy list of suggestions for healthy snack ideas and be sure to share your tips in the comments:



Parmesan Crusted Halibut - Paleo, Keto, Bulletproof

This Parmesan Crusted Halibut is not only amazingly delicious and good for you, but it's also easy to make and cooks in about 15-20 minutes! Wild-caught halibut is a mild-tasting lean fish with lots of protein, zero carbs and it's a good source for heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. It's the perfect vessel for this rich and flavorful preparation.

This dish is Paleo if you tolerate cheese and if you don't, I've got a modification for you below. Bonus - the modification also makes it Bulletproof Diet friendly.

Here's how you make it:

Parmesan Crusted Halibut - Paleo, Keto, Bulletproof
Serves 4
Oven 350 degrees F
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

1 Tablespoon + 4 pats grass-fed butter to finish - optional (I use Kerrygold)
4 6-ounce pieces wild-caught halibut
Himalayan pink salt or sea salt
3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, divided
1/4 cup Bulletproof Mayo (watch how-to-make video), Primal Kitchen Mayo, or your favorite
4 teaspoons almond meal or almond flour (I use Bob's Red Mill)
4 teaspoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano (omit to make Bulletproof or if you don't tolerate cheese)
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese (omit to make Bulletproof or if you don't tolerate cheese)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter a large baking dish with 1 Tablespoon of the butter.

Lay the 4 pieces of halibut evenly spaced across the bottom of the dish.

Sprinkle each filet with a light dusting of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt.

Sprinkle half of the dried Italian seasoning evenly across each filet, reserve the other half.

Spread the mayo evenly across each filet.

Sprinkle each filet with 1 teaspoon of the almond meal or almond flour.

If omitting the cheese, sprinkle each filet evenly with the remaining dried Italian seasoning. Otherwise, continue by evenly coating each filet with the Parmigiano Reggiano and Asiago cheeses, then top with remaining dried Italian seasoning.

Place the dish in the oven uncovered and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the fish is opaque white in the middle and the top is lightly browned. If using cheese, you may wish to place under the broiler for about 1 minute to get a nice crispy crust.

Remove from oven and serve with a pat of grass-fed butter atop each (optional).

Serving Suggestion: I like to plate my fish atop a bed of greens (like the baby arugula pictured) and drizzle everything with a little Bulletproof Brain Octane (or you can use MCT Oil or unflavored coconut oil) and additional sea salt. The heat from the fish lightly wilts the greens and the addition of healthy oils are satiating and good for keeping my brain and body fit and performing optimally.


Nuts About Nuts - Nut Butter Recipes and Nutrition

Check out this cool infographic with awesome nut butter recipes you can make at home - which is way more cost effective.  It also includes the health benefits and nutrition information for each variety.  My recommendation would be to not use industrial seed oils such as canola due to their inflammation-causing properties, but rather replace it with coconut oil, MCT oil or better yet - Bulletproof XCT Oil, a higher concentrated form of MCT oil.  Personally, I also avoid peanuts and peanut butter since they are mostly sourced from GMO crops, generally contain high amounts of aflatoxins (mold) and lectins (anti-nutrient).

My favorite nut butter is almond butter made with XCT oil (or use MCT or coconut oil).  What's yours?

Source: eReplacementParts.com


2 Ingredient Low Carb Bread - Bulletproof, Keto, Paleo

If you have been following a low carb or grain-free eating plan and thought you had to give up on bread, this two-ingredient version will make you lose your mind.

It has NO GRAINS or flour of any kind - just eggs and whey protein. That means practically ZERO CARBS (just the ones coming from the whey, about 4g for the whole loaf).

And it's fabulous.

Here's a quick one-minute video to show you just how easy it is to make:

Low Carb Bread with Only 2 Ingredients (Bulletproof, Keto, Paleo)
Recipe Adapted from The Ketogenic Cookbook

Makes 1 Loaf

Oven 325 degrees

6 pastured eggs, separated
1/2 cup grass-fed Bulletproof Whey Protein (or your favorite grass-fed plain whey protein)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use middle rack and remove any racks above as bread will expand while baking.

Generously butter a loaf pan/dish (I use a ceramic one).

Beat 6 egg whites until stiff peaks form - a hand mixer on high works well.

Add the whey and the 6 yolks, blend gently on low just until fully incorporated. Batter will be fluffy.

Pour batter into prepared dish and place in oven.

Bake for 40 minutes.

Remove and allow to cool completely. Loaf will sink to a normal height.

Once fully cooled, release from dish, slice and serve.

Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days.

Reheating recommendation: Heat a skillet to medium-high and add ghee or grass-fed butter, sear bread slices in skillet until lightly toasted on each side, about 30 seconds per side. Do not overheat.

Go ahead, have a sandwich!

A Slice of Vegas Featuring Gluten-Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

A Slice of Vegas

I was inspired by the folks over at Vegas.com to create a special pizza and participate in a virtual pizza party in honor of The International Pizza Expo coming to the Las Vegas Convention Center March 7 - 10, 2016. And who doesn't love pizza?

I picked my personal favorite Las Vegas hotel and themed my pizza after it. My hands-down favorite hotel is The Palazzo. A simple stroll around the expansive and luxurious property transports me to the streets of Venice with quaint little shops, the Grand Canal and gondolas floating by. It's classically elegant and definitely a different experience than almost anywhere else on the strip. So I instantly thought of my Margarita Cauliflower Crust Pizza. It's simple, yet elegant and certainly not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill pizza. Which hotel is your favorite?

This lusciously thin crust made from only cauliflower, Asiago, an egg and some seasoning holds up nicely to its basil, tomato and mozza toppings. It's melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The perfect taste of Italy.

Margarita Cauliflower Crust Pizza (gluten-free, grain-free)
adapted from Food Network

makes one 13-inch round pizza

Oven 425 degrees, place pizza stone in oven while preheating

Ingredients for Crust:
1 small to medium size head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces with leaves and stem removed
1 1/2 cups shredded Asiago cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

Ingredients for Toppings:
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup marinara sauce (I use Rao's Marinara)
1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
fresh basil

Special Equipment:
You'll need a pizza stone and a pizza peel. You'll also want to have on hand some parchment paper, a food processor fitted with the cutting blade and a clean, dry kitchen towel that you will use for removing the moisture from the cauliflower.

Step One
Make sure your oven is preheating to 425 degrees with your pizza stone inside of it.

Step Two
Gather up your special equipment and ingredients to make your crust.

Step Three
Place the cauliflower in your food processor fitted with the cutting blade and pulse until you achieve a grain-like texture, the finer the better.

Step Four
Place the cauliflower in a clean, dry kitchen towel, wrap tightly and wring out the moisture.

Keep wringing it out until no more moisture comes out. This is a very important step which will help keep the crust together.

This is what your cauliflower will look like once the moisture is removed:

Step Five
In a large bowl, place the cauliflower and add the other crust ingredients (cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper) then mix with a large spoon or your hands.

Step Six
Line your pizza peel with a sheet of parchment paper. Place your crust mixture in the middle and form a large circle by pressing and patting with your hands. Make sure it's an even thickness (about 1/4 to 1/2" thick).

Step Seven
Now it's time to bake your crust. Carefully slide the parchment paper and crust off of your peel and onto your hot pizza stone in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.

Using your peel, carefully slide the parchment paper and crust off of the hot stone and onto the peel. Leave the oven on and the stone in as you will be baking for a few more minutes after you top your crust.

Step Eight
Immediately top the crust with your shredded Asiago and shredded mozzarella cheeses. Do this FIRST so that it will help hold the crust together.

Next, spoon the marinara sauce onto the cheese-covered crust and spread evenly. This will be a very light coating. Too much and it will make your crust soggy.

Lastly, top with thin slices of tomato and buffalo mozzarella.

Step Nine
Slide your parchment paper and pizza from the peel back onto the stone and bake for about 4 minutes or until hot, browned and bubbly.

Remove from oven, garnish with fresh basil and enjoy!


Bulletproof Cupcakes

Bulletproof Cupcakes {special thanks to my husband for being my hand model}

Believe it or not, these cupcakes including the frosting and filling are completely all natural, grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free and basically flourless (there's 1 TBSP of sweet rice flour in the whole recipe for over a dozen cupcakes). And they taste amazing! So, regardless of whether you follow a Paleo, Ketogenic or the Standard American Diet, you can enjoy these delicious treats guilt-free.

The recipe for this cupcake, plus over 120 more dishes that are equally amazing, may be found in "Bulletproof: The Cookbook" which releases on December 1, 2015 but thanks to the kind folks over at Bulletproof, I get to share it with you now and also let you know how you can enter a GIVEAWAY to win a signed Cookbook and a Bulletproof Coffee Starter Kit. Scroll to the bottom to see how to enter (it's easy, just leave a comment). I was inspired to make the recipe into "Hostess Cupcake" lookalikes, complete with a vanilla creme filling but these fudge-y, dark chocolate cakes are equally delicious just plain, the way the recipe is written in the cookbook. If you'd like to make just the cakes without the creme filling or ganache topping, simply follow the recipe for just the cupcakes below.

Bulletproof ("Hostess"Inspired) Cupcakes
makes 14-15 cupcakes

Oven 350

Cupcake Ingredients:
6 Tablespoons non-GMO erythritol
6 Tablespoons 100% American hardwood xylitol
12 ounces of 85% or darker chocolate
6 Tablespoons grass-fed unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Tiny pinch of fine sea salt
6 eggs at room temperature, yolks and whites separated
1 teaspoon ground vanilla powder (like BP VanillaMax) or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cocoa powder or raw cacao powder (like BP Chocolate Powder)
1 Tablespoon sweet rice flour (do not use normal rice flour, which is gritty)

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
4 ounces of 85% or darker chocolate
1 5.4 ounce can coconut cream
Pinch of instant coffee (do not use ground coffee beans since they will not dissolve)

Vanilla Creme Filling and Piping Ingredients:
1/3 cup grass-fed unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup erythritol or xylitol, finely powdered like confectioner's
Heavy pinch of ground vanilla powder or 1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
Tiny pinch of fine sea salt

For the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a muffin tin with individual cupcake liners. You will have enough batter for a few more than a dozen so you may use a second tin or just wait and bake the additional ones in a second batch.

Gather your ingredients for the cupcake batter:

separate your yolks and whites

Place the erythritol and xylitol together in a blender or spice grinder and pulse until reasonably fine, being careful not to let it get too hot or it may melt. It does not have to be superfine like confectioner's for this batter, just powdered. Set aside.

pulse until powdered

Place the dark chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and melt stirring constantly until smooth then remove from heat and set aside. Make sure to stir occasionally so it does not separate while you make the egg yolk batter.

heat and stir until smooth
Place 6 Tablespoons of the powdered erythritol/xylitol mixture into a large bowl along with the 6 egg yolks and beat using a stand or hand mixer on medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 3 minutes.

beat yolks with powdered sweetener mixture until thick and pale yellow

Add the yolk and sweetener mixture to the melted chocolate mixture along with the vanilla powder, chocolate powder and sweet rice flour. Using a spatula mix until blended and set aside.

Place the 6 egg whites in a large bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Then slowly add the remaining 6 Tablespoons of the powdered sweetener mixture and beat on high speed until medium-firm peaks form.

Gently fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture a little at a time until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners to the top. My batter was pretty airy and somewhat gooey so I lightly filled each liner completely full to the top but was careful not to press down on the batter.

Place in the oven and bake for 11 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for 11 minutes more. Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire cooling rack. Cool completely. You can eat them as is now or proceed to the next steps for frosting and/or filling.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

Gather your ingredients for the chocolate ganache:

Add about 2 inches of water to the bottom of a small saucepan fitted with a heat-proof bowl or smaller saucepan (like a double boiler) over low heat. Add chocolate, coconut cream and instant coffee to the bowl or top pan.

Stir until melted and creamy.

The ganache should be loose like a thick sauce. Set aside (stirring occasionally to keep it well blended) while you prepare the cupcakes and creme filling.  Optional:  IF you would like to skip the creme filling part, you may dip the cupcakes upside down into the ganache now to coat or drizzle the ganache atop and allow to set for a few minutes before eating.

For the Vanilla Creme Filling and Piping:

Gather your ingredients for the vanilla creme filling:

If you cannot find or do not have confectioner's erythritol or xylitol, you will need to powder it yourself. A spice blender works well for the small amount you will need for this. Keep pulsing until you have a very fine powder being careful not to let it get hot so it doesn't melt. This may take several minutes but is critical to getting a smooth and creamy texture to your filling.

In a medium bowl, place the powdered sweetener, softened butter and vanilla powder. Using a hand mixer set to low, incorporate the ingredients then mix on high until creamy. Set aside.

Cut wells into your cupcakes. This nifty cupcake corer by Cuisipro works nicely:

Fill each well with some of the vanilla creme. You may do it by hand or use a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Be sure to reserve a small amount of the creme filling for the top decoration.

Place these into the freezer for a few minutes to set up before dipping into the chocolate ganache. Then carefully dip and roll each cupcake into the chocolate ganache and let set up for another few minutes before piping on the top decoration.

Place the remaining vanilla creme into another piping bag fitted with a very small round tip.

Pipe the design onto the tops like you see on a Hostess Cupcake:

These are now ready to enjoy or you can store them briefly (1-2 days) in a plastic container with a lid. They do not need to be refrigerated but can be. After a day or two the ganache will start to break down so these are prettiest when eaten very soon.

*******GIVEAWAY Details!*********

****Dec 1, 2015: This giveaway has ended and the winner has been notified. Please stay tuned for more recipes and giveaways.*****

Leave a comment below letting me know your favorite dessert to be entered automatically! Be sure you are logged in (not posting as anonymous) so I can contact you if you win. You may also visit my Instagram and/or Facebook page for additional entries.

Winner will receive:

  • Bulletproof: The Cookbook personally signed by Dave Asprey
  • Bulletproof Coffee Starter Kit

Winner will be notified on December 1st.