A brunette in front of a brick wall.

Welcome! We are Kari and Michael and we are Southern Bytes.

We are computer geeks that love to cook, eat, rock climb, and create things around the house. We love traveling to try new food and unique beers – then we try to recreate the food at home. We love New Orleans so be prepared for Cajun cuisine overload!

A man and woman both with brown hair and sunglasses eating beignets on a bench at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans.

New Orleans is one of our favorite places to visit. We always make sure to eat beignets at Cafe du Monde when we visit.

After posting a picture of beignets, I must touch on the point that I used to be overweight. I developed a passion for cooking after completing a Whole30 and losing a lot of weight from it. (I have completed several since, but now just integrate Whole30 meals into my Food Freedom.)

I learned to love making food from scratch and eventually started learning to grow my own food. This sparked my desire to become a health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned a lot about nutrition and balance. (Find out more about my experience about a health coach here!) A lot of what I learned in school is incorporated into my approach to meals and planning. At home, I still cook mostly Paleo, but we still enjoy some goodies in moderation.

A man and a woman in a car wearing flannel and sunglasses in black and white.

Michael and I love to take weekend trips to explore hole in the wall towns and try unique restaurants and breweries. (And we love to make goofy faces!)

I cook a lot of food from scratch as well, because I do have some strange food “intolerances.” I call them “intolerances” because they are not quite allergies, but they can be pretty horrible. If I eat whey, poblano peppers, and the occasional mystery ingredient at a restaurant – I can end up hunched over in excruciating pain, with extreme nausea. It is pretty severe and can often be totally random!

Michael on the other hand, well – I think he has a hollow leg. He is a great partner to have in life and in the kitchen because he is very agreeable.  He will try anything, but he will also tell me if something doesn’t taste good. If you ask him about arrowroot powder he will be happy to tell you his opinion about my accidental booger sauces 😉

We are excited for you to join us in our kitchen and on our adventures!

About My Blog

What You’ll Find Here

  • Recipes that are Easy to Make at Home using everyday ingredients. We like to embrace the philosophy of true Louisiana cooking – taking the simplest of ingredients and making something extraordinary.
  • Recipes that can be adapted for most dietary restrictions. (I try to include variations for Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Vegetarian diets in my recipes.)
  • Southern Classics that have been tested and tasted by the toughest critics.
  • Italian Classics that I have learned from my mother (that had to be written out as recipes from “a handful of this, a splash of that!)
  • Cajun and Creole Classics that have been passed down through several generations.
  • Quick Meals and Instant Pot Favorites to help you make the most of your time.
  • Takeout Copycats because cooking with your family and knowing what is in your food is so much more enjoyable.
  • Tips for how to make basic dishes perfectly every single time – Chicken Breast, Hard Boiled Eggs, Biscuits, Cheese, and Yogurt.


What You Won’t Find Here

  • I don’t believe in counting calories, low-calorie, counting macros, Weight Watchers, etc. That kind of dieting works for some people, but for me, it caused a lot of anxiety, extreme thinking, restriction, and negative thoughts.
  • I try my hardest to not use things like $25 Vanilla Beans or $30 cuts of steak. I can’t afford that and I don’t expect you to either. My recipes are here to show you how to make a $5 piece of meat taste like a million bucks.
  • I don’t have a professional photographer. I’m sorry. My pictures are real. Taken in my kitchen.
  • You won’t find tofu. I will make suggestions for substituting tofu for meat in recipes, but processed meat substitutes, tofu, tempeh, etc. make me VERY SICK. I will assume that if you are a vegan or vegetarian, that you have experience properly cooking these foods. Iosune at the Simple Vegan Blog and Julie over at the Simple Veganista can help you with some good Vegan recipes!



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