Whole30 BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs

Here’s a nerdy fact about me: sometimes I watch Bon Appetite youtube cooking videos in my free time. Like, on a lazy Saturday morning in my bathrobe. Claire is my favorite. (Molly, too!) I’m truly obsessed with her attempts to make gourmet versions of classic candies and junk foods, like Snickers bars and Pringles.

So I was down the Bon Appetite rabbit hole one night a couple weeks ago, and all of a sudden I was watching Claire make St. Louis Style BBQ Ribs. Until that moment, I had no recollection of ever craving ribs. Like, I can honestly count the number of times I’ve eaten ribs on one hand. But watching her grill those things, I had a hard.core.hankering. 

The thing about whole30 is it’s not uncommon to crave foods that you usually don’t care about. I regularly had dreams about tuna melts this month. But after a full week of thinking of nothing else other than juicy BBQ ribs, I decided I had to attempt a whole30 version.

You guys. They did NOT disappoint. I made them TWICE this month (effectively doubling my lifetime count) and would happily do so again and again and again. Plus, how perfect are these for your SUPER BOWL PARTY TOMORROW?!



Everyone has an opinion on what style BBQ is the best. The whole30 BBQ sauce I made is vinegar-y, in the true and beloved style of the Carolinas. The ribs are bigger and fattier than baby back ribs, because of where they come from the pig. The smokey char is, like, divine. I can’t really verbalize how it feels to have meat just melt off the bone into your mouth, but I feel like the sensation should be bottled.


Whole30 BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs


3/4 cups balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup water

6 oz tomato paste

2 tbsp yellow mustard

3 tbsp coconut aminos

1 tbsp + 1 tsp garlic powder

3 tbsp + 1/2 tsp salt

rack of st. louis style ribs

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp cayenne

chopped parsley, for garnish


preheat the oven to 350 F.

combine 3 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl. take ribs and with your hands rub the spice mixture all over both sides of the ribs until they are completely coated. (if you need more rub, make more. it depends on how big your ribs are.)

get a big piece of aluminum foil and wrap the ribs in it so that they’re completely covered and none of their juices will be able to drip out. you can see claire’s method here.

cook the ribs in the oven for 2.5 hours.

meanwhile, make the bbq sauce! add the balsamic vinegar, water, tomato paste, mustard, coconut aminos, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp salt to a saucepan over medium heat. stir to combine and simmer everything together for 5 minutes so that all the flavors can marry. transfer the sauce to a mason jar for storage.

after 2.5 hours, remove the ribs from the oven. heat a large grill pan over very high heat.

coat one side of the ribs with some of the bbq sauce, then place that side down on the grill pan and cook so that the bbq sauce caramelizes. meanwhile, coat the other side of the ribs (should now be facing up) with more sauce and flip. repeat this process 3 or 4 times.

finally, remove ribs from grill/grill pan. cut the ribs for individual serving. top with parsley and serve with additional bbq sauce for dipping.



I’m forever changed. These ribs changed my life. Where I was indifferent before, I am now a very firm advocate. Ribs for dinner, regularly.

As for the super bowl tomorrow…I still don’t know where I stand. I’m beyond over the Patriots, but rooting for the Rams is also counterintuitive to me. I’ll probably just watch it for the commercials and Maroon 5. 😉

Jalapeño Peach Cornbread

Here it is, week two of tailgate-worthy recipes that are perfect for pairing with Sunday football! This week, it’s jalapeño peach cornbread (that you would obviously enjoy alongside your favorite spicy chili recipe)!


When I was growing up one of our family’s common weeknight dinners was vegetarian chili with cornbread. It was always so comforting and cozy. I really needed that type of energy this week because we had to say goodbye to our family dog on Wednesday, and it has us all feeling so sad!

Also, I thought I’d enjoy this as a “farewell” meal because I’m starting another round of Whole30. I’ve been in such a health slump. I’m not working out as much as I usually do and I’m eating so poorly, so it’s time for a reset. I hate doing it in October, but would rather do it now before the holidays. I’m looking forward to sharing more autumn/festive Whole30 recipes, though!



Back to the cornbread. It’s pretty simple to make, and if you like a really spicy chili like me the sweetness of the peach is a lovely addition.

Jalapeño Peach Cornbread


1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup diced peeled peaches

2 tbsp diced jalapeño pepper

1 thinly sliced peach

1 thinly sliced jalapeño pepper


preheat oven to 425. Brush cast iron skillet with butter.

In a large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until just combined. Fold in diced peaches and jalapeño.

Pour batter into cast iron skillet. Top with peach slices and jalapeño slices.

Bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy dipped into chili!


Panthers play the Giants today, so Mark and I are at odds for 24 hours. He was just visiting me here in Raleigh for my birthday, and I wish so badly he had stayed longer so we could have gone to this game together! We would have been the worst. May the best team win, babe! Can’t wait for when the Panthers play the Rams so LA and NC can duke it out 😉


Whole30 Spicy Ginger Chicken Drumsticks

Now that I’m back in the south, and especially so close to NC State and the football obsessed ‘pack, I’m really trying harder to get a little bit more into football on Sundays. I even plan on going to a game or two, if I can manage it! There’s something festive and nostalgic about watching football on a crisp weekend day, no?! Plus, tailgating is great and tailgate food is even better…

So I thought I’d try to share a recipe every Sunday of something that would be perfect to eat while posted on the couch rooting on your favorite team(s).

First up, these Whole30 approved spicy ginger chicken drummies!



Spicy Ginger Chicken Drumsticks


6 drumsticks

salt and pepper

1/2 cup coconut aminos

1/2 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp garlic, minced

pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp arrowroot powder

freshly chopped cilantro

freshly chopped green onions

lime wedges

everything-but-the-garlic seasoning from Trader Joe’s


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a cookie tray with aluminum foil, then set up a wire rack on the tray and place the drumsticks on top. Sprinkle some salt and pepper onto the drumsticks before placing in the oven for 30 minutes. Flip the drumsticks over and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine the coconut aminos, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Whisk together and heat on medium heat. Once the sauce starts to thicken a bit add the arrowroot powder, whisk together once more, and then remove sauce from heat and transfer to a new bowl.

Toss the drumsticks with all of the sauce until they’re completely covered. Transfer to a serving plate. Squeeze two lemon wedges over the drumsticks. Sprinkle some cilantro, green onions, and everything-but-the-garlic seasoning on top.



p.s I strongly suggest doubling or even tripling this recipe if you have company coming over. I easily ate all 6 drummies in one night.

p.p.s in two hours it’s my 26th birthday! how weird is that?! I keep forgetting about it a little bit. 25 was, in all, a really great year and I have a lot of hope that 26 will prove to be even better. 🙂