Yeast Free


Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Baking 2

Baking 1

Baking 2


My sister and I frequent this local coffee place and they always have the best pastries and desserts. I remember coming here on highschool mornings and hoping the scone man wasn’t running late. And then how silly happy I’d get when he’d pull up in his car with the fresh (and hot!) scones for the day. If I have one food weakness, it’s dessert! Everything about it – the presentation, the taste, the preparation. I’ve been missing it throughout the initial phases of my yeast-free life and was excited when my sister suggested trying to re-create yeast-free versions of some of the local sweets ourselves. My sister is always up for a cooking date and has been incredibly supportive and enthusiastic with every curve-ball thrown my way on my health journey. She’s kind of the best!

So these are no-bake chocolate/coconut/oatmeal macaroons. Any they’re totally addicting and guilt-free. I may or may not have made them twice in a week.

The best part about them is that by tweaking the ingredient proportions they can be either protein balls or cookies!



8 Oz. Cashews (unsalted)

1/2 Cup Steel Cut Oats

1/3 Cup Raw and Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1/3 Cup Cacao Nibs

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup Honey

*There really is no wrong way when it comes to ingredients. Maybe you prefer a stronger honey taste than coconut oil. Maybe you want more shredded coconut than cashews. Maybe you like salted cashews, or carob chips. Play around with it!


Grind the cashews in a mixer (we used a nutribullet) until pulverized.

Depending on what type of chocolate you use, you may want to throw that into the mixer as well so it is finely chopped.

Add the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir until blended.

Heat the coconut oil until melted and add to the dry ingredients.

Add the honey as well and mix until the dry ingredients are evenly coated and start to clump together.

Using a tablespoon, scoop rounded balls onto a baking sheet and let cool in the refridgerator or freezer until the coconut oil and honey has hardened.

Dig in to these macaroon balls of goodness that taste like samoas!

xo Alina








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Food, Health Posts

One Pan Salmon Roast



One pan dinners are my jam! Seven years in a postage stamp sized NYC apartment will do that to you. They’re easy to prepare, easy to clean up, don’t require a lot of cooking gear, and are easy to prepare with limited space. They’re also great for using up ingredients before they go bad.

On a separate note, this whole yeast free diet is pretty restrictive and daunting. Home cooked, simple meals like this are no brainers because there’s nothing processed or canned involved. I don’t have to worry and wonder about mystery or unlisted ingredients.

For this dinner, I picked up a 2lb salmon at Sams Club and used the broccoli and fingerling potatos already in my refridgerator.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan with olive oil. For the rub, I combined salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. I drizzled olive oil and squeezed the juice of half an orange on the salmon and then applied the rub. Feel free to add as little or much as you like.


Cut the potatos in half. It is best to use small potatos when cooking in the same pan as fish since the cook time is low. If you choose bigger or more fibrous potato types, make sure to cut them into small enough pieces that they’ll cook through fast enough.


Chop the broccoli into florets.


Toss the chopped potatos and broccoli in a bowl with olive oil and the same rub as before. Then arrange evenly on the pan. Lastly, I covered the salmon in lemon slices.

alina3 alina2

Cook time for this one pan dinner is roughly 30 minutes. Done! An easy, healthy, and stress free meal!



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Natilla de Cumpleaños




Natilla conjures up images of my Abuela’s kitchen and nights where my Cuban family would linger at the table hours past dinner was over, chatting away and slurping up this creamy treat. Two things we’re great at: talking and eating. Especially when it’s something sweet!

It’s something that feels so old world cooking and decadent but in reality is quite simple to make. I bet you have the ingredients in your kitchen right now! And there’s something so unassumingly dreamy about that combo of milk, citrus and cinnamon. It’s rich and creamy yet fruity and light. Writing about it has me thinking about the leftovers downstairs…

But back to the point. It’s delicious and easy and festive! The perfect treat for my birthday dinner!


1 liter of milk (I used 2%)

1 large piece of lemon rind

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups sugar (I reduced this to 1 cup)

4 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine the milk, lemon rind, cinnamon and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Let cool. Mix the cold water and cornstarch until dissolved. In a separate medium to large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar and the cornstarch mixture. Add in the milk and mix until blended. Pour back into the pot and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until a pudding consistency. You will be stirring and then from one second to the next it changes from liquid to a thicker pudding texture. This is what my family calls “el punto.” Once you reach el punto, take the pot off the burner and continue mixing for another minute or so.

When it comes to serving the Natilla, it is up to your discretion. We chose to serve ours in individual dishes and make little parfaits. My Abuela always lays out lady fingers in a glass pan and pours the natilla over them and leaves them to soak. Whatever floats your boat!

Recipe source: Cocina al Minuto by Nitza Villapol (the blue version with an hourglass on the cover)

This book is a staple in my house. It’s kind of the Cuban version of Julia Childs’ “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” And it is in Spanish. There is an english version, though I’ve been told it is hard to come by. My suggestion would be, use a Spanish/English dictionary and take a stab at it!




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