Spicy Cocoa Rubbed Venison Steak Lettuce Wraps

In honor of the hottest week I think central New York has ever experienced, twentysomething and paleo presents a deliciously paleo and cold dinner fit for any active and sweaty young adult – and the best part is: before it wound up in my freezer, it was romping around in the wild and eating naturally germinated plants. Thank you again to Coach Craig, Crossfit Partner-in-Crime Maria’s hunter and my new running group leader! Where he finds time to catch wild game between triathlons, training, and listening to maria gush about crossfit I just don’t know…

Spicy Cocoa Rubbed Venison Steak Lettuce Wraps:

Venison Steak (or any steak of your choosing)
5 tbsp baking cocoa
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp coconut/olive oil
Iceberg lettuce
Tomato, Avocado, and any other fixins you may want

Pound thawed steak to tenderize.

Mix 4 tbsp cocoa, chili, cayenne, and black pepper.

Rub steak in oil, followed by the pepper-cocoa mix.

Cover in plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for at least an hour, no more than 4 hours.

In a skillet, heat another tbsp oil and sauté steak over medium heat for about 2-2.5 minutes (to get the perfect medium rare… mmm)

Set steak to the side to rest (don’t cut! Don’t cut! Don’t cut! Those juices are like gold…)

Slice steak or cut into portions for the week and slice into smaller pieces the day you wrap.



Post-workout Protein Frosty

I can’t get enough of these Frosty’s after crossfit in the afternoon.They’re just the perfect cool refreshing and filling treat for the hot early summer evenings and they’re remarkably similar to Wendy’s Frostys – but without the chemicals.
Post Workout Protein Frosty, perfected:
1 serving 216 cal/ea : 3g fat : 30g carb : 19g protein

1 banana, frozen (I peel and pop one in the freezer in the morning)
1 cu almond milk
1 scoop organic whey protein, chocolate (or add 1 tbsp baking cocoa)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
5-8 ice cubes

In blender or food processor, blend ice and frozen banana first until finely ground ice crystals.

Add almond milk and protein powder and blend for 30 seconds.

Add cinnamon and vanilla extract and continue blending until desired consistency.

ABSOLUTELY drink through a straw… for added effect.

Paleo Cocoa Puff Cereal

If you don’t know, now you know, that cereal was a staple in my daily food consumption regime before becoming paleo. Still health conscious, I’d have cheerios or rice krispies, but the favorite: cocoa puffs. What did I find on pintrest one day? A recipe for PALEO COCOA PUFFS! This twentsomethingandpaleo is about to get her coo-coo on with icy cold almond milk poured over top.

Paleo Cocoa Puff Cereal: 5 servings @ 110 cal/ea (F 6g; C 11 g; P 4g)

½ cup almond meal
½ tbsp coconut oil
pinch of salt
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 egg white
1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 350F
Mix almond meal, salt, coconut flour, and cocoa until well combined.
Stir in egg white, honey, and melted coconut oil.
Start pinching into the dough and rolling out cocoa-puff sized balls.
Lay on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Paleo. Cocoa. Freaking. Puffs.


Summer Suntan Butter

I tried my hand at homemade sunbutter when sunflower seeds were on sale the other week and OH MY GOODNESS – why don’t we do this all the time? Of course, it’s not as creamy but it’s just as delicious and way cheaper. Now my co-worker and I go home and try out different combos. Guess what everyone’s getting for Christmas this year… In light of the gorgeous spring into summer weather here, and anticipation for my beach vacation in 3 weeks I give you: Summer Suntan Butter.

Summer Suntan Butter: 16 tbsp @ 32 cal/ea (F 4g; C .8g; P 1g)

1 cup shelled sunflower seeds – raw, unsalted
½ cup cashews nuts – raw, unsalted
3 tbsp 100% baking cocoa
1/2 tbsp coconut oil

In food processor, pulse cashews until grainy.
Add the sunflower seeds (for the sun) and leave spinning for 5-7 minutes until creamy, stopping to scrape the nuts down the sides of the bowl. (this is the pre-tan pale butter)
Add cocoa (for the tan) and blend until fully incorporated.

Now we just have to hope and pray our sunbutter doesn’t get melanoma.


Blue Cocoa 4 PM Protein Bars: (6 bars @ 150 cal/ea)


I don’t know about you but 4pm is when my will is at its weakest. Running on a morning-people circadian rhythm makes afternoons rough. Once i start working out after work I’m good to go but I definitely need to start incorporating a protein power boost. Larabars have been rocking my world but its time to go home made. Blue cocoa protein bars are a lovely start.

1/3 cup seeds (pumpkin/pepitas, sunflower, sesame)
1/6 cup raw coconut shreds (unsweetened)
2 tbsp nut butter (I use Justin’s chocolate hazelnut)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp almond flour
1 tbsp 100% cocoa powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 scoop Hemp protein powder
1 egg white
¼ cup dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F.

Toast seeds on a cookie sheet until golden brown (shaking the tray periodically).

Dump in blender/food processor and pulse until slightly larger than the consistency of bread crumbs.

Melt coconut oil and nut butter together in the microwave (aprox 30 seconds on high).

Stir in vanilla extract and a dash of salt if you’re the salt type.

Stir in seed mix, almond flour, cocoa powder, and protein powder until well blended.

Stir in egg white and blueberries last.

Press into a muffin tin or an 8×8 pan/baking dish.

Sprinkle extra blueberries or coconut on top if you’d like.

Bake for another 10-15 minutes until coconut starts browning.

Let cool and slice it up!


Sunday Special: EMS Fudgesicles (6 servings @ 33 cal/ea)

These “Emergency Munchy Snack” Fudgy Sickles are just what the doctor ordered for midway through your first Paleo month. I bet you missed ice cream (No? Ok maybe just a little – and all those other paleo bloggers have a VitaMix for ice cream making, psh)



EMS Fudgesickle
6 servings @ 33 cal ea.

1 cup almond milk
½ cup coconut milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp agave/honey
1 tsp cinnamon

Blend or Mix in food processor (to make it consistent but you could stir as well in this order: cocoa+cinnamon, agave, coconut+almond milk)

Pour into the most creative receptacle you can find. There’s no need to run out and get a popsicle making tray: it is a unitasker after all.

If you don’t have popsicle sticks – don’t fret! There’s plenty of “sickles” you can use such as: tooth picks scotch-taped together.

Here is my creative (and festive) alternative to a popsicle tray:



Freeze 2-3 hours or overnight.

Mmmmm… Chocolate with a hint of Easter drenched in Paleo…