Recipe Trade

Predominantly Paleo's Onion Loaf by Alex Boake

Today's post continues my theme of recipe trades! This week I'm swapping with the awesome Jen of Predominantly Paleo. She's the creator of the infamous (and reportedly life-changing) Yuca Dough! Actually, I originally was planning on making the aforementioned dough, but I ran into so many setbacks related to sourcing fresh Yuca that I eventually had to put that aside and pick another recipe. Many thanks to Jen for putting up with all my #yucaproblems. Don't let that put you off from trying it out, though. One day I will resume my Yuca Quest, and slay the Yuca dragon~! Predominantly Paleo's Onion Loaf, Illustrated by Alex Boake

So, as you can see in my illustration above, I decided to make her Onion Loaf, which looks amazing in her photos. Not only does it LOOK amazing, but it also tastes amazing. It can talk the talk and walk the walk.

...Maybe that's the wrong analogy, but the fact remains that this is delicious. Yes, it's delicious even if you're like me and you use tapioca flour instead of arrowroot. (Look, I think I've got some sort of cosmic problem related to yuca/cassava/tapioca.) Please note, however, that if you use tapioca flour this will be more of an onion goo, rather than become crispy like in Jen's beautiful photos. Either way, it will be addictive and highly edible.

Predominantly Paleo's Onion Loaf with minor adaptations by me


  • 1 large Onion, peeled
  • 1/4 cup Potato Flour
  • 1/4 cup Arrowroot Flour OR Tapioca Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 dash Granulated Garlic
  • Avocado Oil or Bacon Fat for frying
  • Additional Sea Salt to taste

If using a mandolin, cut the Onion in half, remove the hard core at the bottom, and slice thinly. If you have a spiralizer, use as directed. In a large pan, heat up your oil of choice to medium.

In a shallow bowl mix the potato flour and arrowroot flour (for a crispy onion loaf) OR tapioca flour (for a gooey onion loaf), along with the sea salt and garlic powder. Dredge the onions in the flour mixture, until fully coated. The tapioca version may become somewhat sticky or clumpy, but it will be fine.

Cook the flour-coated onions until browned on all sides. Place on a towel lined plate to soak up any excess oil. Tapioca version will be somewhat sticky, so just pat it down.

Serve crispy Onion Loaf with ketchup or your dip of choice, and maybe just eat gooey Onion Loaf with a knife and a fork. Whichever route you go--enjoy!

Check out Jen's blog post for her original version of the recipe, along with her tasty photos. Plus, she's got tons of other amazing recipes so don't miss those either. You can also follow her on Facebook for all the latest updates.

Also, as I mentioned on my previous post, Jen and Vivian of The Real Food Guide recently collaborated and released an e-book dedicated to ICE CREAM. Perfect for summer, am I right? Check that out if you like ice cream, and also allergen-friendly treats.


Head over here to get more information  "We can ALL scream for Ice Cream!"

The Real Food Guide's Autoimmune Paleo Spice Cookies by Alex Boake

Recently I decided to get inspired once again by taking on some more recipe trades. The deal is I team up with another blogger, take one of their recipes, make it, and then draw it! They take one of mine, make it, and take snazzy pictures! It's a win-win for everyone involved. Plus, then people can see that my recipes actually make food and are not secretly scams that I just draw and never make. ; ) This week's victim is Vivian of The Real Food Guide! Vivian is a Canadian blogger, recipe creator, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a super cool designer. That's pretty rad. Her blog has awesome recipes and a fresh look to boot.

The Real Food GuideWhile Vivian chose to make my Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs, as you can see here...I decided to try my hand at her Autoimmune Paleo Spice Cookies, and I'm so glad I did--they're delicious! If you're heading onto an AIP elimination diet, this might be a great option. Perfect for an occasional AIP-friendly treat. Great for the kiddos, and safe to have around in case 'temptation' arises. Again, win-win! I decided to take Vivian's tasty recipe and make an infographic out of it.

Autoimmune Paleo Spice CookiesIf you're more of a text-only recipe person, head on over to The Real Food Guide and her AIP Spice Cookie recipe for a Print-friendly version! The Real Food Guide can also be found on Facebook, if that's your jam.

Also, I should mention, Jen of Predominantly Paleo and Vivian recently collaborated and released an e-book dedicated to ICE CREAM. Perfect for summer, am I right? Check that out if you like ice cream, and also allergen-friendly treats. If you don't like ice cream we probably can't be friends, I'm just saying. IceCream_iPad2_flat400px

Head over here to get more information  "We can ALL scream for Ice Cream!"

Thanks for reading...until next time, pals!

Picanha (Brazilian Roasted Rump Cap / Top Sirloin) featuring US Wellness Meats Beef by Alex Boake

A few months ago I received an email from the awesome people over at US Wellness Meats commenting on how they enjoyed my illustrated recipes, and how they'd really love to send me some samples to cook with. Unfortunately, since I live in Canada, they couldn't ship to me at home. Luckily for me, I was coming down to the States and crashing with Russ and his wonderful family for a few days. US Wellness was kind enough to time the shipment perfectly so that we could work on some collaborative recipes! This basic and delicious recipe was Russ' plan. It was my first time tasting their Grass-fed Beef, so we chose something that would showcase the flavour of the product. There are no sauces or spices getting in the way, just the salt and the beautiful cut of beef. Definitely especially good with US Wellness' awesome Grass-fed Top Sirloin steak! This Brazilian BBQ staple we served along with last week's post, Couve a Mineira, aka Brazilian Collard Greens.

Be sure to check out The Domestic Man for Russ' version, which includes some tasty photos and more historical facts on this dish.

Picanha (Brazilian Roasted Rump Cap / Top Sirloin)


  • 2 top sirloins (~1.5 lbs each) or one rump cap (~3 lbs) |
  • 2 Tbsp extra coarse sea salt (or rock salt)
  • Sausages for grilling


As Russ explains, the Sausages are are used to season the grill before adding the Picanha. When it comes to choosing salt, look for the chunkiest salt you can find, as it makes it easier for the salty crust to form when cooking on the grill.

You can be badass like Russ and grill your Picanha over an open fire, or you can grill this on a plain charcoal grill or a gas grill on high heat. Either way, prep your grill and get it hot.

Let the top sirloin sit at room temperature for twenty minutes, then slice diagonally into four thick, long chunks. Try to get one big piece of fat in each of the sliced chunks, to maximize flavour. Curl the chunks and skewer with some sturdy metal skewers. Season generously with the sea salt on each side.

When the grill is nice and hot, place the sausages on the grill directly over the fire for a couple minutes to sear them, then move them to the edge of the grill to continue cooking. If you’re using fully-cooked sausages or raw sausages, the cook time will change. Either way it should take about 10-15 mins to cook them.

Then, move the sausages to the side of the grill. Take the main event, your expertly skewered beef, and place it directly over the hot part of the fire or grill, and roast for about four minutes per side. Watch out for flare-ups, but since we’re looking for a nice salty crust on each side of the meat, just keep them under control. Cook to your liking, testing for done-ness as you go. Remove from the heat, and slice to serve, along with greens and even cheese buns, if you're feeling ambitious!

Thanks to US Wellness Meats for letting me try out their awesome beef! Look for a couple more recipes featuring their products in the future. Shout out to Russ for cooking along with me, and if for some reason you’re not following him already, check out The Domestic Man on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss his recipes.


Couve a Mineira (Brazilian Collard Greens) by Alex Boake

Last month between Otakon and The Ancestral Health Symposium, I had the lucky chance to stay with Russ and his family for a few days, and we were able to cook up a few collaborative dishes while I was there visiting. You're probably already familiar with his awesome recipes from over on his blog, The Domestic Man. We paired this along with some meat courtesy of US Wellness Meats who were kind enough to ship some samples in time for my visit. You're going to have to wait on that; we're going to give you the details on that later. For now...the greens! Check out Russ' post for the awesome photos and the historical background of this traditional Brazilian dish, Couve a Mineira.

 Keep your eye out for more collaborations between us in the future! Of course, if for some reason you're not following Russ already, check out The Domestic Man on Facebook and Twitter so you don't miss his recipes.

Dark Chocolate Roast Garlic Primal Ice Cream by Alex Boake

The other day I was at the Dufferin Grove Farmer's Market in Toronto and I was looking at the table with all the pamphlets for local events when one just so happened to catch my eye. It was for the Toronto Garlic Festival, and it was printed up with 6 different recipes to promote Garlic consumption. The recipe that really stood out for me was the one about an ice cream with dark chocolate and...roasted garlic? Hey, I mean, I'm a fan of both of those ingredients, so out of sheer curiosity, I decided to make it, with some modifications to make it Primal-friendly. I also enlisted my sister, who blogs at Sweet Boake, to help me out! It came together very easily, and after processing it in the ice cream maker and freezing it, the time for the taste test was nigh. Well, let's say that it passed the test! The garlic flavour complimented the sweetness and richness of the dark chocolate, and wasn't overpowering at all. Definitely try this out if you're a garlic fan! I'm calling this the Anti-Count Chocula Ice Cream, for all your stealthy vampire-slaying needs!

I'm trying out a more painterly style in my illustration these days, let me know what you think!

Dark Chocolate Roast Garlic Primal Ice Cream Makes 6+ servings

  • 100 g Organic Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 3 cups Organic 10% Cream
  • 6 Organic Egg Yolks
  • 5 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 4 Cloves Roast Garlic, mashed

Wrap one head of garlic in tinfoil with some olive oil. Place in your toaster oven at 400 degrees and bake for 40 minutes. Place chopped chocolate and 1 cup of the cream in a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk until chocolate has melted. Add the remaining cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk egg yolks until pale yellow. If your coconut sugar is clumpy or coarse, pulse in a food processor first to refine it. Add the sugar to the eggs and whisk until incorporated.

Slowly add 1/3 of the cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This is to temper the eggs. Pour the rest of the cream slowly into the egg mixture, whisk to combine. Then pour back into the saucepan and place over low heat, stirring occasionally until it thickens slightly, at which point it should reach 175 degrees F. Add the 4 cloves of garlic. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool. Refrigerate for 8 hours or more.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process for 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately for a soft-serve consistency, or place in an air tight container and freeze. Enjoy!

You can use the leftover garlic to make my Whipped Cauliflower with Roast Garlic, and I suspect that you could make this Dairy-free if you substituted light Coconut Milk for the cream.

Be sure to check out my sister's post for her AWESOME pictures!

Peter's Strictly Paleo...ish Thai Shrimp Soup (Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free) by Alex Boake

The latest swap comes from another friend Paleo friend who I met mostly through Twitter. Though, perhaps it would be more accurate to call Peter a Paleo..ish friend, because he blogs over at Strictly Paleo...ish!; which is a mindset I can get behind. Though most of my friends are 'international' because I'm Canadian, and everyone seems to be from the United States, Peter hails all the way from Sweden! He comments in his profile that English is not his first language, but you've never know from his eloquent and thoughtful blog posts and clear recipe instructions. A very kind and supportive guy who always has a nice Tweet for everyone, he also has some very cool and tasty recipes. We were in Thailand for my last recipe trade, and we haven't left yet! When choosing this time I was thinking that I wanted to do one of my more classic illustrations rather than a step-by-step, so I specifically wanted something that had ingredients would look beautiful when composed. Then I spotted the Thai Style Shrimp Soup. Not only does it have fresh and colourful ingredients, it's also something I never fail to order when I go out for Thai food. Making it at home couldn't have been easier, and Peter's version had all the authentic flavours.

Thai Style Shrimp Soup Serves 6 as a main course

  • 4 Cups (1L) unsalted Chicken Broth (preferably homemade)
  • 2 Cans Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 Cups (350g) white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Cups (500g) cooked Shrimp tails, peeled
  • 3 Chinese Eggplants, 1/2 inch sliced
  • 3 Lemongrass stalks
  • 3 tbsp minced Ginger
  • Finely grated zest from 3 Limes
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh Thai Basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 Bird's Eye Chilis, de-seeded and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil


Preheat oven to 350. Roast eggplant until softened, and set aside. While they are roasting,  peel and cook the Shrimp in a bit of coconut oil if you're not using pre-cooked peeled shrimp.

In a large pot, heat up the coconut oil to medium-high. Crush the lemongrass stalks and let cook in the coconut oil for 5 minutes to infuse the oils with flavour.

Toss in the lime zest and then add the chicken stock. Add 1 tbsp of fish sauce, the minced ginger and the minced garlic, then bring the mixture to a gentle boil.

Let simmer for 10 minutes, then strain out the lemongrass stocks and any large chunks of ginger. After add the coconut milk, and bring up the heat again.

Add the sliced mushrooms, eggplant and green onions, giving them a bit of time to heat up. Stir in the rest of the fish sauce and the lime juice.

Add the shrimp, then remove the pot from the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Serve in bowls, sprinkled with sliced chili to taste and a generous amount of chopped Thai basil.

Check out Peter's version of this recipe over here on his site, as well as his lovely photograph that inspired me to do my illustration. He's also posting his version of one of my recipes over on his blog today, which you should definitely check out as well! Like I mentioned, he's also a great Twitterer, so check him out there too.

Hope you've enjoyed the latest installment of my recipe trade series. The next one coming up will be an adapted traditional recipe from my Greek travels. See you soon!

Meatified's Thai Mini Meatballs [Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free] by Alex Boake

As you may have noticed, I've been doing a lot of recipe trades lately. It's a fantastic way to meet new friends and also have a good excuse to try other people's tasty dishes. I really can't complain, since everyone in the community seems to have awesome recipe crafting skills! My latest trade is with Rach over at Meatified. We met through Twitter! Her clean photography style is really appealing to me, and her recipes are inspired but not overwrought--nice! I was looking for something speedy and delicious, so her recipe for Thai Mini Meatballs really caught my eye. Plus, since we have a surplus of ground beef in the fridge, I can always use another recipe in my arsenal that uses it as the main ingredient! I pretty much followed her instructions exactly, except I switched up the curry pastes because my siblings have milder taste buds. Check it out!

There you have it! Comes together easily and cooks super fast! This got rave reviews from my family; we couldn't stop eating them. They would definitely go over well as a party appetizer with toothpicks, and no one would even know they were 'eating Paleo'! Ka-ching!

Be sure to check out more of her tasty recipes over on her blog. Today she's posted her version of one of my recipes and she made it look super professional and drool-worthy! She's also on Facebook and Twitter if you want even more ways to connect. : )

Brent and Heather's Bacon Jalapeno Bread [Gluten-free, Paleo and Primal friendly] by Alex Boake

Like I mentioned, I've been taking on some recipe trades lately to get things flowing. My latest effort on that attempt is this beauty! It comes from Brent and Heather over at Virginia is for Hunter Gatherers. I became aware of them through Russ, The Domestic Man. They have tons of delicious-looking recipes, with tasty photos! It was a bit tough to decide which recipe I should pick. Well, that's not entirely true, this one was a definite stand-out for me! Even the name is enticing: Bacon Jalapeno Bread. I must say that I didn't pick wrong; this bread was awesome, and paired perfectly with the slow cooker Chili I whipped up for the occasion. (I'll post that recipe soon.) Just a couple of tweaks on my end, like adding a bit of tapioca flour which I find improves the texture in 'Paleo' baked goods, and adding parchment paper for easier removal from the pan.

Well, enough blabbing, check it out! Click for full size!

Make sure you go and check out some more of Brent and Heather's recipes. Hope you enjoy it!

Latin Lasagna from She Cooks, He Cleans by Alex Boake

Lasagna. In my opinion, it's one of the ultimate comfort foods. It's also something that I hadn't been able to seek comfort in for quite a long while since I had gone gluten and grain-free over a year ago. That all changed when this recipe from my good friends over at She Cooks, He Cleans popped onto my radar. It combines scrumptious Latin flavours, a perfect balance of savory and sweet, a generous serving of cheesy goodness, and, in a stroke of pure genius, separates the layers with thinly sliced plantains. It's a bit of effort, but believe me, you won't be craving regular lasagna after you get a taste of this baby! Gluten-free or not, you'd be crazy not to make this! I made a couple of tweaks to suit what I had in the pantry, but the essence of the recipe remains.

Latin Lasagna with Beef and Plantains Serves 6 to 8


  • 4 Shallots, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil or Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 28 oz. canned Plum Tomatoes in juice
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 6 Dates, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 tsp Smoked, Hot Hungarian or Spanish Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 Extremely Ripe Plantains with black or heavily spotted skin
  • Coconut Oil or Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Tbsp Water
  • 2 packages Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
  • Fresh Cilantro, chopped, for serving


To prepare the Beef mixture, heat Coconut Oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped Shallots and Pepper. Cook until softened, stirring frequently. Add the Garlic and cook until Garlic is fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the Ground Beef. Cook until browned, breaking up large pieces as you stir. Drain off excess fat, leaving about 3 tablespoons or so.

Cut the whole Plum Tomatoes in the can. Pour in the cut Tomatoes, along with their liquid. Then add the Tomato Paste, chopped Dates, Vinegar, Oregano, Cumin, Paprika, Coriander, Salt, and Pepper. Reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally and break up large chunks of Tomato with your spoon. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings. The meat mixture should be moist and saucy. If it seems too dry, stir in some water or broth. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the plantains.

Peel plantains. Unlike Bananas, they don't peel very easily. Slice down one side of the skin with a knife, and then peel.

Slice the Plantains in half lengthwise, and then lay each half flat side down on the cutting board. Slide the knife along horizontally to cut each half into about 3 thin slices. In a large flat pan, heat a generous amount of Coconut Oil or Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Saute the Plantain slices in batches until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. If they begin to stick, add more oil. Transfer the cooked Plantain slices to a plate covered in paper towels to absorb any excess oil.

Now you're ready to put the whole thing together!

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a large lasagna pan or large casserole dish.

In a small bowl, whisk the Eggs and Water until blended.

Place about 1/3 of the Beef mixture in the bottom of the pan as a base. Top with half of the Plantain slices, and then about half the shredded Pepper Jack Cheese. Add another 1/3 of the Beef mixture, then pour half the Egg mixture into the pan, spreading it out over the ingredients. Layer with the remaining Plantains and the last of the Meat. Cover thoroughly with the rest of the Cheese. Pour the last of the Egg mixture over the top of the casserole, distributing it evenly.

My Lasagna Pan was full to the max, so I tented it with aluminum foil, making sure the edges were sealed tightly. Bake, covered, at 350 until hot and bubbly, which should take about 45 minutes. Remove foil, and bake for 10 or so more minutes to brown the Cheese on top. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes so that it can set, and will keep its shape once you cut it. Serve sprinkled with fresh Cilantro.

Aw yeah, doesn't that sound amazing! This reheats really well leftover for lunch the next day.  Make sure you go check out She Cooks, He Cleans for more of their great recipes and tasty photography. Everything I've made from them is a surefire winner. You won't be disappointed!

Jan's Meatloaf Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting by Alex Boake

While I'm always brainstorming and coming up with recipes of my own, I'm also an avid follower of many different food blogs. They inspire me to try different things, to experiment with new ingredients, and they tantalize my eyes with delicious food photography. Not all of these blogs are created equal, I have to admit that I do have some particular favourites. One such favourite is Jan's Sushi Bar! Her food photography and plating is top-notch, and her consistent flow of new recipes are always mouthwatering and inspirational. Plus, she makes really cute headers for each month. Yup, I'm kind of a big fan. After my recent trade with The Domestic Man, I was on the hunt for a new swap, and luckily for me, Jan was game!

The only trouble was that Jan has way too many good recipes. It took some hard consideration, but I finally settled on her recipe for Meatloaf Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting. The unique presentation of this dish made for a fantastically fun illustration. Plus, it was super fun and delicious! Last time I showed you my initial process from sketch to ink, check out the end of this post for some insider step-by-step shots of my colouring method!

Jan's Meatloaf Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting Serves 6 to 8.


  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 1 small Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash Steak Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup homemade BBQ Sauce
  • 1 large Sweet Potato
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 cup Half and Half Cream
  • Salt and freshly-ground Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350F. Melt Butter in a small pan over medium-low heat. Cook the diced Onion and Bell Pepper until they are both soft and the Onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the Ground beef, Eggs, the cooked Onion and Red Pepper, Salt, Black Pepper and Seasoning. Mix well with your hands. Divide the meat into 8 equal portions about the size of a baseball and then place each portion in the cup of a standard-size muffin tin.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the BBQ Sauce over the top of each Cupcake. Place the muffin tin on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, and bake the Cupcakes for 35 to 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove the Cupcakes from the tin, and place on a paper-towel lined plate.

While the Cupcakes are baking, bring two quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Peel and cube the Sweet Potato and drop the cubes into the pan; reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil until the potato is tender. This should take about 10 to 12 minutes.

Drain the Sweet Potato and return it to the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, shaking the pan occasionally, so that the excess moisture evaporates. Remove from heat and add the Butter and Half and Half Cream then, using an electric hand mixer, whip until fluffy, but still thick. Add more Cream if necessary, to get a nice Frosting consistency. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Keep warm until you remove the Cupcakes from the oven.

Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a large round or star tip, with the mashed sweet potatoes and pipe onto the tops of the Meatloaf Cupcakes. Serve immediately to your anxiously awaiting diners!

Super Special Colouring Insider Step-By-Step So, I on my last recipe I showed you my process from sketch to inks. My process for each illustration is the same; It's quite efficient and streamlined, at this point. It works! Once I get to that point, I scan all my inks into the computer, and drop out the blue sketch lines. Now, I know I said I work in Photoshop, but there is one step that I do in Illustrator. I use the Live Trace tool to take my lovely inked lines and turn them into sexy clean vectors like you see here!

This allows me to separate the lines, and each element. It allows me to easily make the white transparent, so I can lock the transparency on the black lines and give them lovely colours to match the colour inside.

Some pieces get pretty complicated, so every different ingredient has it's own folder, and sometimes sub-folders, depending on the complexity of the ingredient. Photoshop lets you have as many layers and folders as you want, so you might as well take advantage of it!

The great thing about working with food and real ingredients is that the fact that the foods are the colours that they are makes it interesting to try and be creative in making harmonious or intriguing colour schemes. Usually I do all the flat colours first so I can figure out if everything is working well together. Then I move on to the shading and highlights!

I knew that these Meaty Cupcakes were going to need an awesome texture injection, so I quickly created a new document and popped out some scattering brushes in different colours and textures. I also wanted to tie in the red from the Red Pepper, so I added some diced Pepper chunks into the image as well. Then this gets pasted into the flat area of the Cupcake that I already laid out.

I warped the texture to match the curve of each Cupcake, and then I added on extra highlights and shading to give each one the Three-Dimensional oomph it so rightfully deserved! I always play with the different layer styles like Multiply, Overlay and Soft Light until I get the look that I want. It's not an exact science, it's more like an art. ; )

For ingredients that are fairly spherical, I generally start with a circular gradient. That's a little basic to leave it just at that, so I inject a little more style by adding some extra highlights with a little more texture.


I love playing with ingredients that have a little transparency and flow to them. They really allow me to add some fun energy and depth to the piece. I'd done some poached eggs before, but I had a lot of fun with the transparent whites on the egg in this particular piece.

Colouring red things can be difficult. Remember that you don't want your Red Peppers to look pink! I try to keep my highlights in the yellow tones to avoid this problem. When doing more graphic shading like this, I use the Lasso Tool to select the areas, and then use my personally made gradient brushes to add in the shading and highlights. The final pops of shine are added with the Brush Tool!

See, that wasn't so hard, right? If anyone has any questions about my work, feel free to comment here! Now, don't forget to check out Jan's Sushi Bar, and her awesome recipes, like this Meatloaf Cupcake delight!

The Domestic Man's Korean Short Ribs by Alex Boake

If you're looking for mouthwatering food photography and traditional recipes that cater to the Paleo and Primal Diet, then look no further than The Domestic Man's blog! A few weeks ago, I received an email giving me some positive feedback on my current food illustration work, and I was surprised to see that I knew the sender! By which I should say that I knew of the sender--I'd actually been a follower of The Domestic Man's delicious recipes and photography for some time now. After a little back and forth, I proposed the idea that we do a recipe trade where I would make and illustrate one of his recipes, and he would cook up one of mine and work his photography magic. Lucky for me he agreed to this crazy plan!

After looking through his posts, I decided to attempt his Korean Short Ribs, also known as Kalbi! I'd never cooked this cut at home...although I have cooked it for myself many times when I have eaten Korean BBQ. Looking at the mix of ingredients in the marinade sealed the deal. Picking this recipe allowed me to use and illustrate a few ingredients I otherwise wouldn't have used, try my hand preparing a new cut of meat, and expose my taste-buds to an awesome flavour combination. I was not disappointed, and you won't be either!

Korean Short Ribs


  • 3 lbs Beef Short Ribs, Flanken Cut
  • 1 Asian Pear, Grated (I had to cheat and use a Golden Delicious Apple!)
  • 1/2 Cup Gluten-Free Tamari Sauce
  • 1 Cup Club Soda or Carbonated Water
  • 1/4 Cup of Lime Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Cup Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chili Flakes

Directions Combine all of the ingredients and marinate them, refrigerated overnight in a ziploc bag. Remove the Short Ribs from the bag, and lay them on a tray to make transferring them to the grill more efficient. Preheat your grill to medium-high, and then grill the Short Ribs for about 3 minutes per side. This is a thin cut, and they cook up nice and quickly!

When I saw how much marinade this recipe produced, I didn't want to just let it go to waste. I decided to take the marinade and transfer it to a small pot on the stove. I then added the juice from half a Lime, and another pinch of Red Pepper Flakes. Bringing it just up to a boil, gently heating it for a few minutes, and then taking an immersion blender to puree the ingredients. This created a nice sauce, which I served warm with the ribs.

This is a great recipe! The only thing I was missing was the kimchi! It was a hit with my whole family, so I think I can convince them that I should make it again. Then next time I'll make sure to have some kimchi on hand too.

Make sure you check out The Domestic Man for this recipe and many more.