While it’s been nearly 15 years since Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County first premiered & subsequently changed reality T.V. forever, the last 5 or so years have held quite a bit for L.B. alumni Kristin Cavallari. She’s now written two New York Times bestsellers: the latter of the two which we’ll get into later on, moved to Nashville full-time, launched Uncommon James: jewelry & household pieces with a brick-&-mortar in Nashville, all while raising 3 kids & putting dinner on the table nearly every. single. night. This modern day Wonder Woman attributes organization as the key to her success & juggling it all, “I’m just incredibly organized and on top of things.” notes Kristin, a characteristic of a true entrepreneur, “I can’t relax when I have unopened emails. I have a handwritten to-do list everyday with things as small as ‘get garbage bags’ or whatever it may be. If it’s not on my list, I’m probably going to forget. I get joy from completing a do-to list, as ridiculous as that sounds!” I’ll give you a minute to go buy a new notepad…
So we know it takes a little type A to get through a day in her life but what about Cavallari’s secrets for having the same, if not better, body than she did on her reality days. Kristin credits her 80/20 lifestyle where 80% of the time she eats healthy (i.e. no GMOs, no heavily processed foods, majority gluten-free, & organic as often as she can) & then 20% of the time totally let’s loose eating whatever she wants & enjoying every second of it. Based on the titles of the recipes in her latest cookbook, True Roots, you’d be surprised to hear she saves the latter more for going out to eat & traveling. However a deep dive into the ingredient list & you’d be shocked to realize Cavallari somehow is able to make all your favorite dishes actually healthy. Finally, a way to enjoy what you always have without guilt & food comas🙌. When following Cavallari’s recipes, it’s easy to avoid the not-so-good ingredients as she clearly lays it out for you. However when you’re on your own (you brave soul) Kristin recommends looking for one or two added ingredients that you know you want to stay away from (corn syrup, added colors, whatever they may be) & focusing on those until they become second nature. Kristin adds, “I only ever read ingredients on a food label – never calories, fat, or sugar. So if an item has the 1 or 2 ingredient you are trying to stay away from, then don’t get it. Eventually it will be mindless.”
True to her Italian roots (punny, right?!) Cavallari’s favorite cheat meal is any type of pasta, noting that her last meal on Earth would definitely be gnocchi in brown butter. However sticking to her 80/20 rule, she’s a huge fan of healthy grocery stores that allow her to choose clean ingredients, “Erewhon in LA is my heaven – everything in that store is good for you. I shop at Whole Foods in Nashville. I also like Thrive Market for healthy items delivered to your house.” This way at least she knows the labels will be free of harmful ingredients & she can indulge in delicious recipes such as her caramelized blackberry-glazed duck & zucchini almond butter blondies that she’s known for amongst friends & family. That duck is one of Kristin’s favorite recipes from True Roots along with her summer grilled chicken with peach chutney & lemon custard cakes for dessert. Husband Jay Cutler loves her stuffed pork chop with apricot glaze while her kids love the butternut squash pancakes, BLT pasta salad, chickpea fries, gummies, & zucchini almond butter blondies. Once again, I’ll save you the Google search time, here is a direct link to all those bad boys!
Kristin was generous enough to share her secret recipe for chocolate chip cookies that you would never believe are healthy. Made with oat flour & coconut sugar, these better-for-you cookies are freakin’ delicious & super simple to make. You might remember the almond butter cookies Kristin shared with PLSR after her last book launch & knowing how much y’all loved those I just know you’re going to go crazy for these! The biggest difference between those two books actually is with these recipes. Kristin admits, “When I wrote Balancing in Heels, I used spelt flour occasionally. Now, I never use it. All the flours I use are gluten-free (oat flour, coconut flour, almond flour).” Another cookie recipe, another reason to love all Kristin shares.
5 (More) Minutes with Kristin:
Who is someone you’d love to spend a day “in the kitchen” with?
“My grandma! – My dad’s full Italian mom. I was always too small (& didn’t care as much) to learn from her growing up. I would kill to go back & learn her secrets now. I have some of her recipes but it’s not the same.”
What are your 5 pantry must-haves?
“oat flour, pink Himalayan salt, canned coconut milk, raw almonds, & coconut oil”
What are your 5 fridge (& freezer) essentials?
“eggs, lemons, frozen fruit, maple syrup, & goat yogurt”
One food you’d never eat?
Favorite food for great skin?
“We all know it but drinking a ton of water helps skin. Water & sleep. I also love pearl powder from Moon Juice. I put it in smoothies or coffee & think it helps the skin.”
“I would love to do another cookbook with heavier dishes aimed around the fall time. I’m continuing to grow Uncommon James (I recently launched Uncommon James Home- salad tongs, measuring spoons & cups, etc.) & just opened my first brick-&-mortar so that’s taking up most of my time.”
- 2¼ cups oat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1½ cups coconut sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, & salt until combined.
- In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter & sugar together. Add in the vanilla & eggs until combined. Add the mixture from the dry ingredients into the bowl with wet ingredients. Mix well. Add in the chocolate chips.
- Spoon small dollops of batter onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave space in between each cookie. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to cooling racks & let cool completely. Serve & enjoy!
large mixing bowl
medium mixing bowl
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*”Pin For Later” photo source: Instagram.