On our way home from Asheville, I was already missing it so much. The sights, the vibes, the weather, and the food! All were incredible, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mini-vacation to celebrate our two years of marriage! Yay!
Although we try to eat mostly Paleo/Whole30 at home, we treated ourselves to lots of foods with gluten, dairy, and sugar on this trip! (So this is your warning if pictures of those foods will tempt you!!) Let me just start by saying the food was some of the best I’ve ever had. The restaurants were all so unique, innovative, and had so many interesting flavor combinations.
First stop: 12 bones smokehouse! We made a stop at their Arden location on our way into Asheville. We had the pup with us, and they were very accommodating. We sat out back in their heated patio, and enjoyed some GOOD FREAKIN' BBQ. I ordered the half rack of pork ribs, mashed sweet potato, collard greens, & mac and cheese! It also came with a side of delicious corn bread. Mmmm!
Second stop: White Duck Taco Shop! (So good we ate here twice!)
First time I ordered 3 tacos: the Spicy buffalo chicken, Shrimp & Grits (my fav), and Thai Peanut Chicken. We also got some chips & queso, and a margarita. Second time I ordered two tacos: Crispy pork belly with watermelon slaw (My absolute fav), and the Ahi tuna. And of course more chips, queso and margaritas!
Their Biltmore Ave location is downtown and within walking distance of lots of cute shops, if you’re looking to do some shopping. Their Roberts Street location has an awesome dog-friendly outdoor seating section (We brought the pup and she got so many head rubs and kisses!) This spot is also in the River Arts district, and is near some cool graffiti so you can definitely get some neat pictures!
Third stop: Biscuit Head! Being from the South, and loving southern comfort foods, this place felt like home! My husband probably got annoyed with me because I said “omg this is so good” approximately 27 times during the meal, haha! But it really was THAT good. The place was packed with people, so we were fortunate enough to only have a few people in line before us. After we ordered, we filled up our coffee mugs and headed outside to the heated outdoor seating area.
They have a collection of unique and random coffee mugs...no one alike! I was given a pink NY Yankees mug and my husband a Christmas mug with candy canes. The coffee was so delicious and they also offered almond milk, so that was a plus! They have a “Jam Bar” that is filled with all kinds of jam and honey that they make in-house. We tried the hot pepper, berry bomb, sweet potato chai, and Siracha honey. All were delicious but we both agreed that the sweet potato chai was the winner!
Our food came out surprisingly fast.
I ordered the Asheville Benedict which consisted of "an open faced biscuit topped with charred scallion cream cheese, fresh tomatoes, 2 poached eggs, hollandaise, roasted red peppers, and a tossed kale salad." I still can't get over how incredible it tasted. My husband ordered the Pulled Pork Biscuit which was "a biscuit with pulled pork, jalapeño pimento, bacon, poached egg, and maple syrup." We also got a side of the “Bacon of the Day” which was peaches & cream, and a side of Moon fries, which were Home fries with shaved midnight moon cheese
Everything was absolutely delicious, the prices were great, the service was friendly, and the restaurant had such a cute vibe. It’s probably a good thing we don’t live in Asheville because I’d be tempted to go here every day!
Side note: hubby ordered their cookbook for me since I loved it SO much, and you can get it here.
Fourth stop: Vortex Doughnuts!
I. was. in. a. sugar. coma. But boy, was it worth it! This is such a cool little spot downtown with amazing coffee and doughnuts. I ordered a latte, a chocolate and bacon doughnut, and their signature "Vortex" doughnut which was sugar coated and topped with a chocolate drizzle. Hubby ordered a Nitro cold brew, strawberry sprinkled doughnut, and a Vortex doughnut, as well. We both agreed the signature was our fav! This place was packed but we were able to find a cute little table by the window. The coffee and doughnuts were both delicious, the atmosphere was cool, and the service was great. They have vegan options, free parking across the street which was convenient, and it was in a good area to walk around downtown.
Fifth Stop: Rosetta’s Kitchen & Buchi Bar!
Yes, you read that correctly...a KOMBUCHA BAR. This place is great for vegetarians or vegans, as they offer tofu, vegan cheese, and other vegan options. We ordered the nachos for an appetizer, but opted for the “real cheese.” They nachos were pretty average nachos, nothing too special. But I did really like the salsa that was on top. We both ordered the "Family Favorite", and I can see now why it has that name! It came with baked peanut butter tofu, sautéed kale, and mashed potatoes with a vegan/gluten free gravy. Everything tasted great, and was very filling. They also offer two sizes, and I would definitely recommend getting the smaller one, unless you’re insanely hungry! My favorite part? The kombucha. They offer Buchi kombucha on tap, which is actually a local ‘booch and brewed in Asheville. The flavor I got was called “Fire” and it was the best kombucha I’ve ever tasted. So light and refreshing! Rosetta’s had a chill, laid-back vibe and I would definitely go back!
Other things we did:
Explored the Blue Ridge Parkway! This was awesome free entertainment. It was so nice just to cruise along the winding roads with my husband and our pup, stopping to enjoy the views.
We saw the band Slowdive at The Orange Peel, and it was so awesome! Such a cool venue downtown and they put on a great show. We really enjoyed it.
Although we only stayed 3 nights, we packed in a lot of things. We visited all of the restaurants on our checklist, took the pup to the off-leash French Broad river park, explored downtown, explored the Blue Ridge Parkway, met up with an old friend, went to the WNC farmer's market, and still made time to relax in our cozy little cabin. Now, the memories we made in Asheville will hold a special little place in my heart, and I can't wait to go back.
I was never much of a pesto-person. Growing up in the south, pesto isn’t all that popular and I guess I just never had it much, or never cared to try it.
When changing to a paleo diet, I realized there weren’t many dips or sauces that I could have, so I decided to make my own!
This pesto is Paleo, whole30, and Vegan friendly! It’s light, refreshing, and packed full of flavor. It’s also an easy way to sneak in some veggies.
You can mix it with a baked spaghetti squash and some chicken for an easy weeknight dinner, or use it as a sauce for your paleo or cauliflower pizza crust. My favorite way to eat it? Straight out the dang jar! I love dipping Siete tortilla chips or Cassava Crunch chips right into it for a guilt-free snack!
Bring it to a dinner party or put it out as an appetizer when you have friends over. I promise it won’t disappoint! Even my picky husband (who before Whole30 basically lived off pizza and burgers) thought it was “so good”!
What you need:
What you do:
Toss everything into a blender or food processor until you get a thick and creamy texture!
Yes, it’s that easy! Enjoy!
After changing my diet, and especially after completing my first Whole30, I can proudly say, there’s not too many “bad” foods I miss.
But since I was little, one of my favorite foods has always been crispy, juicy fried chicken tenders. There’s not much better than fried chicken tenders, especially down here, in the south.
The awesome thing about doing Whole30 is that it forces you to be creative and think outside the box. I started brain storming what I could make to give me that crunch, but still have a juicy center with tons of flavor...And then the pecan-crusted chicken tender was born. (At least in the Goodcuff house!)
I’m sure someone has created something like this before. But I wanted to make a clean version that was both paleo and whole30 compliant!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know this is one of my favorite things to make. It is fairly easy, and seriously SO delicious. I love making a big batch so we can toss the leftovers on top of a salad for lunch the next day. They re-heat really well and taste SO good paired with my homemade ranch! Hope y’all enjoy!
What you need:
What you do:
I make my own mayo just about every week. It’s easy, simple, creamy, & delicious. The best part? It is made with clean ingredients that are both Paleo and Whole30 compliant!
You may be wondering “what the heck would I eat all this mayo with?” But believe me, there are so many amazing (and health-conscious) things you can make with it! Are you doing Whole30 and need something quick and easy for lunches? Egg salad,
Chicken salad, and tuna salad will do the trick! Going to a block party later and need something to bring? Potato salad! What about a side dish for Thanksgiving dinner? Deviled eggs!
I used to make my mayo in a regular blender, but recently got an Immersion Blender and it was life changing! Using an immersion blender cuts the time in half! It is so quick and easy. But it’s totally okay if you don’t have one yet— I’ll include directions for both a regular blender and an immersion blender!
My favorite thing to make with this mayo, you may ask? RANCH! It is a weekly staple in our household. My husband and I put this on just about everything! (I will work on posting my Ranch recipe for y’all later!)
IF USING AN IMMERSION BLENDER:
*you can double this recipe, if you wish. I have tested it multiple times and it works out just as well!
What you need:
What you do:
IF USING A CLASSIC BLENDER:
What you need:
What you do:
1. Crack the egg into the bottom of your blender.
2. Pour in the 1/4 cup of olive oil.
3. Add salt and mustard powder.
4. Blend on a low setting until egg and oil are combined.
5. While you are blending, VERY SLOWLY, pour 1 cup of olive oil into the mixture (I do this so slowly it takes 2-3 minutes. Be patient!)
6. While you are still blending, add your lemon juice!
7. You did it! ENJOY!
Hey y'all! Growing up in the South, the traditions, lifestyle and personality have always spoken to me. I am dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the holistic food, drink, and culture of the world through the eyes of a true Southern belle.