I love entertaining, and I love cooking for friends.

Of course when I tell my friends that I do the Whole Life Challenge, which is basically grain-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, artificial flavor and preservative-free, they wonder what in the world I eat. Even when I first heard all the things I was going to try to omit from my routine I wondered what I would eat, but the truth is, there is so much to eat out there.

For the most part, my meals are simple. I try to cook with no more than 4-5 main ingredients plus a bit of seasoning. I have begun to enjoy the natural flavors of foods that are often lost under layers of cheese or other artificial flavorings. Overall, I have been pleasantly surprised.

I’m not too caught up in trying to find replacements or substitutes for foods that I would normally eat (e.g. ‘healthier’ alternatives for chips or pizza), however I do like to be creative and see what I can come up with. Tonight’s dinner party was just that. For D’s birthday I wanted to recreate one of his favorite meals from when we used to live in Kuwait. The meal itself was simple – a salad and mini sliders. However, the original salad had cheese and the burgers of course came in a bun, with some sort of creamy dressing/sauce, and shoestring fries on top of the burger.

My recreating of the meal Whole Life Challenge style was actually not difficult at all. We were pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The best part for me was when D saw the decorated plates and I asked him if he knew what this meal was he was able to identify it right away — score!! I was really happy 🙂 Below is a breakdown of the menu with a list of the ingredients. I hope to get the actual recipes up on my blog soon.

Here’s the menu:

Appetizer – Sweet Potato Croquettes

ingredients: sweet potatoes, peas, ground almonds, salt, cajun spice mix, extra virgin olive oil

Plum Cooks Sweet Potato Croquettes


Main Course 

Rocket Salad

ingredients: rocket leaves, sundried tomatoes, sliced black olives, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar

{The original salad had parmesan cheese shavings — I just did without for this salad and it tasted just fine.}

Plum Cooks Rocket Salad


ingredients: 100% ground beef, salt, garlic, sweet potato, parsnips, avocado

{Instead of the bun, I sliced and baked sweet potato rounds. Instead of the fries, I crisped strips of parsnips (even though potato was allowed on the kick start level, I wanted to try to make this meal compliant for performance). Instead of the mayonnaise/cream that was usually on the burger, I just put a dollop of mashed avocado.}

Plum Cooks Rotini1

We also tried adding a second sweet potato round to complete the burger. Yum!!

Plum Cooks Rotini2



Apple Cake 

{you can find the recipe here}

Plum Cooks Apple birthday cake