I've been cooking from recipes for a while now, and I want to start creating some of my own. I'm not a classically trained chef, so the only way to do this is to draw inspiration from others. Inspriation can come from all kinds of sources - you can tweak a ZoLeo (Zone + Paleo) recipe to better suit your palette, or you can "ZoLeo-fy" a favorite recipe from your pre-health-conscious days. So, don't shun a blog or sinfully delicious Pinterest picture because it doesn't fit the ZoLeo mold - save it and get creative!

Today's meal was inspired by The Tasting Table (a non-ZoLeo site!). I showed my edits to the original recipes, so you can see how easy it is to adapt a recipe to your lifestyle. I also don't have a grill, so I used my oven's broiler (upside down grill) and a grill pan. It serves 2 people.


2 4oz grassfed ribeye steaks
Salt and pepper
Coconut oil

1. Let steaks come to room temperature (about 30 minutes out of the fridge); this allows the steaks to cook more evenly.
2. Heat up the coconut oil in the grill pan on the stove at med-high.
3. Season your steaks liberally with salt and pepper.
4. Grill for about 3-4 minutes/side.

Charred-Pepper Steak Sauce

1 small red bell pepper
⅔ cup tomato purée
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses raw honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground allspice

1. Adjust an oven rack to the top position and heat the broiler to high. Place the red pepper on a baking sheet and cook until charred on all sides, using tongs to turn it often, about 8 minutes total. Remove the pepper from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
2. Place the pepper in a fine-mesh sieve* set over a blender jar. Open the pepper with a knife (the blender jar will catch the juices) and remove and discard the seeds. Add the roasted pepper and its charred skin to the blender along with the tomato purée, orange juice, Worcestershire, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, molasses honey, salt, mustard, ginger, pepper, onion powder and allspice and blend until smooth.
3. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, add the sauce and cook until bubbles start to break on the surface, 5 to 10 minutes. Cool and serve alongside the steak. (For a very smooth consistency, strain the sauce before serving.)

*If you don't have a sieve (like me), just removed the seeds and stem from the red pepper before placing under the broiler. After it cools, remove the skin by hand - the skin should peel off easily.

Creamed Spinach

½ tablespoon unsalted grassfed butter (I like Kerrygold)
1 garlic clove, smashed and thinly sliced crosswise
1½ tablespoons heavy cream coconut milk (stiff cream)
6 cups baby spinach
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1. Place the butter and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the butter is completely melted, 15 to 20 seconds. Add the cream coconut milk cream and continue to microwave to warm the mixture, about 10 seconds longer. (Alternatively, if your grill is already hot, add the garlic, butter and cream to a disposable foil pan, cover and place on the grill. Warm until the butter is melted.)
2. Place two 10-inch-long sheets of aluminum foil on the counter. In a medium bowl, toss the spinach, butter-garlic mixture and salt. Place equal amounts of spinach in the center of each sheet of foil and fold and crimp the ends of the foil together to seal, making two airtight packets.
3. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium. Place the foil packs on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Use tongs to remove the packs from the grill. Carefully tear open the packs, place them on plates and serve.

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