Dairy and eggs are two things that are not often a part of my diet. I’m gluten-intolerant and have a slight sensitivity to both dairy and eggs. This is why most of my recipes use unsweetened almond milk and I generally only eat cheese sparingly and only eat eggs when they are cooked inside baked goods. However, during pregnancy, I’ve noticed that I’m not as sensitive to dairy and can get away with eating more cheese and ice cream than I could before. I’m trying to enjoy it while it lasts (wondering if it will go back after pregnancy?) and since the growing baby needs calcium for bone formation and I need to be getting in more protein, why not indulge a little more? I particularly love cream cheese and have been enjoying it as a snack throughout pregnancy. (Interestingly, most of my pregnancy cravings have been for foods from my childhood, cream cheese as one of those! I ate a lot of cream cheese as a kid — with celery, pretzels, crackers, etc. Other cravings have included potatoes (every kind really, but particularly mashed, as I ate those constantly as a kid at my Mamaw’s house!), oranges/orange juice, lemon/lemonade, breakfast cereal, and sweets!)

One day midway through my pregnancy, I was at Tulane’s Newcomb Art Museum for a Friday Collections tour of their Newcomb Pottery. I had walked there from my house (it isn’t far) and had been standing for the tour (about an hour). As it was ending, my vision went completely white and I felt dizzy and thought I might pass out. I didn’t know anyone else on the tour and didn’t want to pass out in the Newcomb private collections room (!!), so I felt my way along the wall and out the doors and sat down in the hallway for a few minutes until the feeling passed. I drank lots of water afterwards and called my midwife to let her know. I believe it was just a low blood pressure episode from standing so long with limited blood circulation during pregnancy (it gets harder for your body to pump blood back up to your heart/etc from your legs). My midwife recommended in the future I try not to stand for such long periods, change my position when I am standing, drink lots of water, and try and get more protein in at breakfast to help give me energy for longer and to keep my blood sugar at a good level as well. I also tested slightly anemic during pregnancy, so I’ve had to take iron supplements and try to get as much protein in as possible. On the weekends I occasionally have bacon or sausage with breakfast, but on a regular basis, I find it a little harder to get meat in first thing in the morning. So I was thrilled when I came across this recipe for protein pancakes that included cream cheese and eggs — both good sources of protein other than meat!

Not only do these Cream Cheese Crepes contain good protein, they are great served sprinkled with lemon juice and topped with strawberries — both high in vitamin c, which your body needs to absorb the iron in protein-rich foods. I’ve been calling these my pregnancy pancakes — as they check off many boxes: extra calcium for baby from the cream cheese, extra protein for breakfast with the cheese and eggs and added nuts, vitamin c for iron absorption with the lemon/strawberry (plus I usually drink a little orange juice with them as well) — all good for getting in good nutrients for baby and keeping me from being anemic! I’ve been eating them so often lately, and not that they are the reason, but I haven’t had any more dizzy, low blood pressure episodes! They are delicious and also super simple and quick and easy to make!

Cream Cheese Crepes
makes 1-2 servings or about 10 thin pan-crepes, but I eat them all myself!

-1/2 block cream cheese (4 oz)
-4 eggs
-butter, for greasing griddle
-fresh lemon juice, fruit, powdered sugar, nuts, etc for serving

1. In blender, blend together cream cheese and eggs. (I use my smoothie maker/blender and it is perfect for this!)
2. Let batter sit for a few minutes (reduces bubbles) while griddle heats up (~350 degrees).
3. Lightly grease non-stick electric griddle with butter and pour batter in about 3 Tbsp-fuls onto hot griddle. Batter is thin, so it will spread (remember these are more like crepes than pancakes!).
4. Cook until edges are dry and bubbles form on top, then flip and cook on other side. (These cook pretty quickly!)
5. Serve with fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar, fruit, nuts, etc.


P.S. I’ve said it many times before, but I strongly recommend using a non-stick electric griddle for these! I’ve found with crepes, pancakes, arepas, tortillas, etc. it just works so much better than cooking on the stove! More even heat and more room for flipping! I use mine all the time!

Growing up, my mom would occasionally make homemade pasta with us. It was always a welcome meal and so delicious (and fun to make!). Several years ago for Christmas, Drew got me a pasta machine and I was so excited to finally make homemade pasta myself! It was only a few days later that my nutritionist suggested I stop eating wheat to see if it cleared up my digestive issues and the first thought I had was “oh no! what about my new pasta maker!” I did turn out to have an intolerance to gluten and was thrilled to finally be feeling better. However, it took me a while (several years!) to try making homemade pasta gluten-free, and while it is a little trickier, it is still delicious! This recipe is simple and easy and I’ve found it to work really well gluten-free!

Homemade Gluten-Free Pasta 
makes two servings, original recipe from here

-1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Gluten-Free all-purpose flour (Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour works particularly well in this recipe)
-3 large eggs
-additional GF flour for dusting work surface

1. Mix flour and eggs together in food processor until a dough forms.
2. Remove dough from food processor, form into a ball, and place on lightly floured board/counter. (If dough is sticky, you can knead slightly, sprinkling in a little extra flour, but I generally find this isn’t necessary.)
3. Cut dough into four sections and flatten each on floured surface.
4. Run flattened dough sections through pasta machine, starting with the largest setting (0), then (1), then (2) until you’ve formed lasagna strips. If dough starts to pull apart, you can fold it back onto itself and roll through whichever setting twice. You can also cut dough in half after running through the machine to make shorter strips.
5. Run lasagna strips through the fettuccine cutting section of your pasta maker.
6. Cook noodles in boiling salted water for a couple minutes. They will cook quickly and float when done.
7. Drain pasta from water and serve with your favorite sauce, cheese, herbs, etc!


This is a delicious recipe, a twist on my original White Cheddar Mac and Cheese, just loaded with lots of extra goodies like chicken, tomato, and spinach. A great way to take Mac and Cheese from a side dish to an entree! Enjoy!

Chicken Florentine Mac and Cheese (Gluten-free)

-1 (12 oz) box penne or other shaped pasta (I like this or this GF kind)
-6 Tbsp butter
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 shallot, diced
-1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-4 Tbsp flour (I use GF all-purpose flour)
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 1/2 cups milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
-2 1/2 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese (or you can use a mixture of cheeses if you prefer – I usually use at least one 8 oz block of white cheddar, then add a bit of Gruyere, Parmesan, Mozzarella or whatever else I have in the fridge. You want a good bulk of the cheese to be a sharper kind for the best flavor!)
-1 large chicken breast (or more), cooked and sliced
-handful of San Marzano cherry tomatoes, sliced
-2-3 cups fresh spinach
-salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions (I like my pasta al dente).
2. In large skillet, melt butter (over medium/high heat). Stir in garlic, shallot, mustard, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 1 minute.
3. Whisk in flour, stirring and cooking another minute or so until golden.
4. Whisk in broth and milk and stir constantly for 10 minutes or so, until sauce bubbles and thickens slightly (turning heat down to medium if needed).
5. Stir in cheeses until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. (I sprinkle in a little Italian seasoning as well). Stir in cooked pasta.
6. Stir in cooked chicken, tomato slices, and fresh spinach. Cook, stirring, for another minute or so until spinach starts to wilt slightly.
7. Enjoy as is or place in glass baking dish, sprinkle with toasted GF breadcrumbs, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for another 30 minutes or so until nice and bubbly!


P.S. If you do decide to bake afterwards, I would suggest only cooking the pasta on the stove until it begins to soften, but is still slightly crunchy. Otherwise baking it might overcook the pasta and get too soft/mushy. As it is baking, the pasta absorbs more of the sauce and it is delicious! But, let’s be real, I’m usually ready to dive in and eat it and don’t have time for that!

I love nothing more on weekend mornings/afternoons than waking up slow and having a nice home-cooked breakfast together. More often than not, this ends up being bacon, eggs (for Drew), and pancakes (mostly for me). However, I expect a lot from my pancakes, I don’t want to simply be eating flour and sugar for breakfast. Since I’m gluten-intolerant and eat a mostly paleo diet, this means healthier pancakes are the only ones that stick in this household. I have several ones I like (see Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes and Maple Pecan Pancakes) but I’m particularly excited about these as they resemble a regular fluffy pancake more than the others (Drew approves!). I hope you enjoy!

Practically Paleo Pancakes
makes about 10 pancakes

-1 cup almond flour
-1/3 cup white corn meal *(or another 1/3 cup almond flour)
-1/4 cup arrowroot flour (could probably also sub for tapioca flour or cornstarch but I haven’t tried this)
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
-(optional) lemon zest (for extra lemon flavor)
-3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
-1 tsp vanilla
-3 eggs
-1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
-additional coconut oil, for greasing griddle
-fresh fruit, nuts, whipped cream, maple syrup, etc for serving

*Omit corn meal and sub with additional almond flour to make completely paleo. I add corn meal because I like the slight extra crunch/crisp it gives the pancakes and it reminds me of the cornmeal pancakes my grandmother used to make.

1. Mix together dry ingredients (almond flour, corn meal, arrowroot flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt).
2. In separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients (almond milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, coconut oil).
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until smooth (batter will thicken as you mix together).
4. Heat griddle (I heat mine to ~350 degrees) and grease lightly with coconut oil.
5. Pour 1/4-1/3 cupfuls of pancake batter onto hot greased griddle, allowing to cook until edges are dry and tops of pancakes are bubbly before flipping over and cooking on the other side. (If you want to add blueberries, bananas, nuts, etc to the pancakes themselves you can add on top of the batter once poured onto the griddle.)
6. Serve with fruit, nuts, etc and enjoy!

P.S. I strongly recommend cooking these on an electric non-stick griddle. I use mine all the time for pancakes, arepas, tortillas, etc — it’s one of the hardest working appliances in our house and something I consider a necessity for successful pancake cooking/flipping!

I liked guacamole but was never a huge fan until living in Savannah for grad school and being invited over for a get-together at my Colombian friend’s house. Her and her sort-of grandparents had prepared a lovely spread of arepas and toppings, salsa, guac, chips, and sausages on the grill. I’m not sure if it was just the lovely Savannah courtyard, the beautiful weather, and the company of lovely people and friends, but I became obsessed with the fresh guacamole they served! I ate so much of it and was craving it in the days and weeks afterwards. So I started making my own and ate so much of it that year! I love it best with Fritos corn scoops, but it is also great on arepas, tacos, etc. Enjoy!


-3 ripe avocados
-2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicier)
-sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
-2-3 Tbsp diced onion
-1 large clove garlic, minced

1. Scoop out avocados into bowl, lightly mash, and toss with fresh lime/lemon juice.
2. Add other ingredients (salt, cumin, cayenne, pepper, onion, garlic) and stir until combined.


P.S. The lime/lemon juice will help keep the avocado from browning, but I still recommend storing in an airtight container and smoothing the top layer down to minimize air exposure.

I remember making pumpkin bread in class one day in elementary school and my mom making it several times at home. I’ve always enjoyed it, although I’d kind-of forgotten about it for many years. I recently was craving it and put together this recipe. I love that it is sweet, but not too sweet — perfect with raspberries or strawberries, chopped nuts, even a garnish of powdered sugar. Would be perfect enjoyed with coffee or tea for a relaxing morning! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Bread
makes one 9x5in loaf

-2 eggs
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 can pumpkin (puree, not pie filling)
-1 1/2 cups flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill cup for cup gluten-free)
-1 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/2 tsp allspice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x5in loaf pan with parchment paper.
2. Mix together wet ingredients (eggs, sugars, vanilla, pumpkin).
3. Separately, mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, allspice).
4. Mix dry ingredients into wet until combined.
5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for ~70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.


This is a recipe I’ve been meaning to post for a long time and have just never gotten around to it! It probably would be better suited to the fall when people go crazy for anything pumpkin, but I think pumpkin is perfectly suitable to eat year round (although, it gets harder to find!). Pancakes have long been an occasional weekend staple in the Rowland household, but a year or two ago, I decided to try my best to stop eating unnecessary carbs. Since there is literally nothing healthy about a traditional pancake, I stopped eating them. Since I generally stick to as much of a Paleo diet as possible, this is a great occasional weekend breakfast treat! (I usually drink green smoothies for breakfast every day, recipe here.)

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
makes 10-12 pancakes

-1 (15oz) can pumpkin
-6 eggs
-2 tsp vanilla
-4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
-1 cup almond flour
-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or alternatively, 1 tsp nutmeg & 1 tsp allspice)
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp baking soda
-coconut oil, for cooking
-pure maple syrup, for serving
-optional extras for serving: Kerrygold butter, chopped pecans

1. In mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and maple syrup.
2. Add almond flour and combine.
3. Add spices and baking soda and stir to combine.
4. Melt coconut oil on an iron skillet or electric griddle.
5. Scoop out in 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle, spreading out slightly.
6. Cook on both sides until done (this will vary on temperature of your pan, I cook on a 350 degree griddle for a couple minutes per side).
7. Serve warm with butter, maple syrup, and pecans. A side of bacon and a cup of orange juice are also lovely additions!


P.S. This does make a lot of pancakes! I’ve made many half batches before, but I hate that a half batch only uses 1/2 a can of pumpkin, and I never end up using the other half for anything. So I’ve started making full batches and then reheating leftovers for additional breakfasts. If you’d rather make a half batch (5-6 pancakes) here are those measurements: 1/2 can pumpkin, 3 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp nutmeg & 1/2 tsp allspice), 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking soda.

P.P.S. The original recipe that I started this from doesn’t call for the almond flour and I’ve made these many times without it. They are still great that way, however, they are really delicate and hard to flip without completely falling apart.

Shredded pork Carnitas (stuffed into arepas, on tacos, or in burrito bowls) is one of our favorite meals! So delicious and simple to make.

Shredded Pork Carnitas

-~3 1/2 lb pork butt or shoulder roast
-2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
-1 onion, chopped
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-juice from 1 lime (or roughly 2 Tbsp)
-juice from 1 orange
-2 cups chicken broth
-2 tsp dried cumin
-1 tsp dried oregano
-salt and pepper, to taste
-serving ingredients, as desired (tortillas, arepas, lime wedges, avocado, sour cream/crema, cheese, cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, etc..)

1. Melt butter or olive oil in dutch oven on the stove.
2. Salt and pepper pork on both sides and brown both sides in melted butter/oil.
3. Add onion and garlic to sides of roast, cooking slightly in remaining butter.
4. Add lime juice, orange juice, chicken broth, cumin, and oregano and stir until combined.
5. Put lid on dutch oven and place into oven. Cook at 350 degrees for ~3 1/2 hours.
6. 1 1/2 hours through cooking, flip roast. After another 1 1/2 hours (~3 hours total), roast should be tender enough to shred. At this point, I shred the meat up with a fork, removing any large bits of fat and the bone (if it has one). Stir shredded pork into juices, place back into oven, and cook for a remaining 30 minutes or so until tender and flavors are combined.
7. Enjoy on tacos, in burrito bowls, or stuffed into arepas!

Lately, arepas have been my newest food obsession! An everyday food in Columbia and Venezuela, arepas are a cross between a tortilla, cornbread, and a biscuit. They are naturally gluten-free, so I’m finding them to be the perfect quick and easy bread for sandwiches! We have a really great arepas restaurant in New Orleans (Maïs Arepas if you are in the area) and I found myself missing it while in Savannah. But out of limitation, comes innovation! I’m so happy I decided to try making my own arepas at home. So quick, easy, and delicious!

makes four ~4 inch arepas (or 6 ~5 inch arepas with amended P.A.N. recipe)

– 1 cup Donarepa precooked white corn meal (There are several brands of this, I just buy Donarepa at my local grocery store. Goya and Harina PAN are others. Make sure you buy precooked white or yellow corn meal, as regular corn meal or masa harina are not the same.) ***see update below
– 1/8 tsp salt (closer to 1/4 tsp if using regular butter)
– 1 Tbsp Kerrygold salted butter (I use this for its extra salty and delicious flavor, and that it is softer and incorporates easily into this recipe. If you use regular butter you will need to up the salt content slightly.)
-1 cup warm water
-coconut oil, for cooking
-toppings/fillings, as desired

***UPDATE: My local grocery store stopped carrying Donarepa so I switched to using P.A.N brand arepa flour instead (I actually like it better and I’ve found it to be more universally available). I’ve found that each brand of arepa flour needs slight adjustments to the flour/water ratio, so best to follow the directions on the back of your arepa flour. With P.A.N. arepa flour, I use: 2 1/2 cups warm water, 2 cups P.A.N. arepa flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp or so Kerrygold salted butter. This makes 6 larger (~5 in) arepas. 

1. Measure arepa flour into a medium sized bowl.
2. In large measuring cup, measure out warm water, then add salt and butter and stir until dissolved. (One reason I love Kerrygold, other than its delicious salty flavor, is that it is softer and melts easily in warm water when sliced! If you replace with regular butter, you might have to melt it first.)
3. Stir wet ingredients into arepa flour until thoroughly combined and a soft dough forms.
4. Let dough rest (allowing the arepa flour to absorb more of the liquid) while electric griddle heats up.
5. Form dough into a ball and separate into four quarters (or six parts if using the larger P.A.N. recipe).
6. Shape each quarter of the dough into a ~4 inch thick flat circle (or ~5 if you want larger arepas).
7. Cook arepas on both sides in coconut oil on a flat electric griddle (at 350-400 degrees) until slightly golden on each side. Arepas should be soft on the inside and slightly crisp out the outside.
8. Enjoy as is, with cheese and melted butter, cut open and stuffed with meat, cheese, etc, or however you’d like!

I love them stuffed with white cheddar, shredded pork carnitas, avocado, and crema!

P.S. I strongly recommend using a non-stick electric griddle for making arepas. I’ve tried making them both on the stove in an iron skillet and in the oven instead and neither way has turned out very well. I’ve always had great success with these on an electric griddle and I use it all the time for making pancakes, tortillas, and other things as well!

Roasted cauliflower is my latest vegetable obsession. I can’t get enough of it roasted with herbs, onions, and garlic. So delicious! I love that it is healthy, but also hearty. It is substantial enough to almost be a meal by itself!
cauliflower 2 color edit1

Roasted Cauliflower with Onions and Garlic
adapted from this recipe, makes 3-4 servings as a side dish

-1 head cauliflower
-1 medium onion, sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
-1-2 tsp thyme or Italian seasoning (I just throw in a little of both)
-6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
-3 Tbsp olive oil
-salt & pepper to taste
-fresh Parmesan cheese, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Wash and remove leaves from cauliflower. Place cauliflower head on a cutting board and slice top-down into 1/3 inch slices. Break up cauliflower slices into florets and place into large bowl.
3. Add sliced onions, whole garlic cloves, herbs, olive oil, salt, and pepper to bowl with cauliflower. Mix well.
4. Spread cauliflower mixture into a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
5. Roast in 425 degree oven, tossing occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned at the edges, or about 30 minutes.
6. If desired, sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top and return to oven for another 5 minutes to melt.