Tag Archives: dairy-free

Mediterranean Salad with Toasted Walnuts

30 Jun
Perfect summer side dish

Perfect Summer Side Dish

My muse for this dish was a Turkish recipe I saw in Organic Gardening magazine. I added more vegetables, replaced the parsley and dill with mint and chives and removed the sugar. However you choose to modify this dish, do not omit the toasted walnuts. Just saying…

 

Ingredients:

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 bunch asparagus

1 pint snow peas

3 chives, minced

1 scallion, chopped

4 zucchinis

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup raw walnut pieces

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

black pepper to taste

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

fresh mint, to taste

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 400°. Clean vegetables, place tomatoes in a large glass mixing bowl (after patting them dry) and set aside the remainder of the vegetables.

2. Fill large stock pot with 1 inch of water and place metal steamer inside. Bring water to a boil. While water is boiling, cut asparagus in half and chop snow peas’ tops off. Place in pot and steam for 6 minutes. Remove and place in an ice bath or run under cold water. Pat dry and place in mixing bowl.

3. While asparagus and snow peas are steaming, mince the chives and chop the scallions, placing them in the bowl.

4. Using a mandoline, slice the zucchinis in 1/8 inch thick rounds. Place in a separate mixing bowl and mix with 1 tsp sea salt. Let them sweat for 10 minutes. Pat dry and place in large mixing bowl with the other vegetables.

5. While zucchinis are sweating, place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Then, cut kalamata olives in half and add to the mixing bowl.

6. Add olive oil and black pepper to the bowl. Mix well.

7. Serve garnished with toasted walnuts and ribbon-sliced mint.

 

Serves 4-6

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Basil Walnut Pesto (pine nut and dairy-free)

23 Jun
Pesto!

Pesto!

Basil. Honestly, what’s not to love? Now is the perfect time to enjoy this beautifully blooming herb. I love it chopped fresh on sautéed vegetable salads and I love it in pesto. Since I’m allergic to pine nuts and dairy gives me a less-than-desired pubescent complexion, I opt for my own rendition–skipping the dairy, lessening the oil (most pestos are too oily for my taste) and adding in walnuts. Enjoy it drizzled on fresh vegetables, in place of salad dressing and topped on grilled chicken or scrambled eggs.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup walnut pieces

1/4 tsp garlic powder or 3 cloves finely minced

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 1/2 cups fresh basil

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

 

Directions:

1. Place walnuts, garlic, sea salt and 1/2 of the olive oil in a food processor. Blend until smooth.

2. Add basil, the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice to the walnut mixture. Blend until smooth. Add more olive oil, salt and garlic powder if you need to reach your desired taste and consistency.

 

For more ways to eat healthfully and deliciously, visit my recipe page.

Butternut Squash Stuffed Bell Peppers

18 Mar
My de-constructed bell pepper served with steamed asparagus and kalamata olives.

My de-constructed bell pepper served with steamed asparagus and kalamata olives.

Sometimes I feel sassy and I like to replace tomato-based sauces with a simple butternut squash puree. Tonight was a fancy-sassy-saucy night…

Ingredients:

4 red bell peppers

1 lb grass-fed ground beef or bison, or ground turkey

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 tsp sea salt

15 turns black pepper

2 tsp oregano, dried

2 tsp basil, dried

1 tsp fennel seeds

pinch of ground cloves

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 lbs butternut squash, cubed

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Place cubed butternut squash on a baking pan and lightly coat with coconut oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes.

2. While squash is cooking, brown meat and drain fat. Add onion, minced garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, fennel seed, apple cider vinegar and cloves to meat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. While meat mixture is simmering, pre-heat oven to 325° and chop the tops off of the bell peppers. (Save tops to make into strips for dipping into hummus or guacamole or chop them up to use in omelets, frittatas or egg scrambles.) Steam bell peppers for 10-15 minutes. Remove and place upside down on towel to drain any liquid.

4. Place meat mixture in a glass mixing bowl and set aside. Place roasted squash, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic powder in a food processor and blend until smooth.

5. Place the pureed squash in the bowl with the meat and combine. Spoon meat-squash mixture into bell peppers and bake for 30-40 minutes or until bell peppers are tender.

 

Serves 4

 

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell

Warm Cinnamon Nut ‘N Apples (grain, gluten, sugar and dairy-free)

30 Dec

IMG_1823I grew up on cinnamon applesauce and apples and peanut butter as snacks. When the temps drop, I love nothing more than smelling baked apples and eating a warm fuzzy kind of snack. It’s like a hug in a bowl for your tummy.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup raw pecans

1/2 cup raw walnuts

3 Fuji apples (or any sweet apple)

2 tsp cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup almond milk

Directions:

1. Soak the raw nuts in water with a pinch of salt for at least 7 hours.

2. Pre-heat oven to 325°. Cut apples in half and core them. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet  greased with coconut oil and bake for 45 minutes.

3. While apples are baking, drain and rinse the nuts until the water runs clear. Place in a food processor.

4. Add the baked apples, cinnamon, pinch of sea salt and almond milk to the food processor and blend until porridge consistency.

5. Put porridge in a pot and warm on the stove top. Add more milk if needed and top with crushed pecans and fresh fruit.

Serves 4

Thanksgiving: Enhanced

11 Nov
(photo courtesy of www.health.com)

(photo courtesy of http://www.health.com)

All good things in life need a little tune-up from time to time. Whether it is your car, upgrading software or buying new underwear, tune-ups  help things run more smoothly, look nice (who doesn’t like a new pair of tighty whities?) and save you time and money in the long run. The same is true for your body. When you make subtle little tweaks such as choosing nutrient-dense foods, your body will feel energetic, function efficiently and look foxy. So why not start adding simple twists to traditional Thanksgiving recipes that deliver taste and energy? Let’s just say Thanksgiving got a whole lot coco-nuttier.

 

Stuffing

Everyone uses different herbs in their stuffing, so stick to your base recipe and make these healthy swaps.

  1. Sauté veggies (plenty of celery, carrots and onions) in coconut oil or ghee. Olive oil can’t take the high heat and margarine and vegetable oils contain trans fat.
  2. Use Julian’s Bakery coconut bread for the bread cubes. This keeps stuffing low glycemic and high fiber.
  3. Use organic low sodium free range chicken broth to keep salt intake down.

 

Gravy

  1. Keep it low glycemic by swapping out all-purpose flour with coconut flour.
  2. If you want to up the flavor, use chopped onions a la Elana’s Pantry to thicken the gravy without flour.

 

Mashed Potatoes

I love making mashed fauxtatoes with cauliflower—and so does my body. It is a great way to up your vegetable game while keeping your blood sugar levels (aka good energy) balanced.

  1. Replace all (or half if you are afraid the texture won’t be the same) of the potatoes with steamed cauliflower, parsnips and/or turnips. (Note: 1 head of cauliflower makes about 4 cups of mashed fauxtatoes).
  2. Use ghee, unsweetened almond milk, sea salt and roasted garlic for a flavor kick.

 

Candied Yams/ Sweet Potato Latkes

I’ll be honest; I am not a fan of candied yams, but if Thanksgiving isn’t the same without them, then here are my thoughts below. However, I also wanted to add an alternative recipe that is yummy and fits anyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving and Hanukkah since they share the same wonderful day this year. Hence the Sweet Potato Latkes recipe below.

For the Candied Yams

  1. Use real sweet potatoes or yams or unsweetened canned version.
  2. Replace brown sugar with a lower glycemic coconut palm sugar.
  3. Skip the marshmallows and top with toasted hazelnuts and/or pecans.

For the Sweet Potato Latkes

    1. Mix 2 large grated sweet potatoes, 2 eggs, 1 small minced onion,  sea salt and pepper to taste and any other spice you like (cinnamon, garlic, cumin, etc.) in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Melt coconut oil on skillet or griddle, form “cakes” with latke mix and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Makes 10-12 latkes.

 

Pumpkin Pie

Ahhh—one of my favorite pies! The ultimate upgrade is to forget the pie crust (we all know the filling is the best part!) and serve in individual ramekins. Not only is it delicious and looks fancy, but it is also instant portion control on deserts.

  1. Replace sugar with coconut palm sugar for a lower glycemic option.
  2. Use real roasted pumpkin or unsweetened canned pumpkin.
  3. Unsweetened almond milk is also a great switch if your recipe calls for milk.
  4. Top it with toasted pecans.

 

Round out your meal with turkey (the “not deep fried” variety of course), roasted Brussels sprouts and sautéed green beans with shallots.

 

It can be scary to stray from tradition, but it can also be a healthy and rewarding act of gratitude for your family to start a new tradition. Nothing says good lovin’ like caring about what you feed your family and friends. Plus, they won’t even notice the difference. Yeah, I’m sneaky like that…

 

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so grateful to be surrounded by amazing and inspiring individuals (that’s you!) and a career that I love. Thank you for your support!

 

Pulled Chicken Taco Salad

28 Oct

IMG_1779Anything I can top with guacamole makes me happy. Use this pulled chicken recipe in chicken chili, over spaghetti squash or in butter leaf lettuce for tacos or collard greens for a spicy wrap.

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs boneless, skinless antibiotic and hormone-free chicken breasts

3 cups salsa (I like Whole Foods 360 Hot Salsa or Green Mountain Gringo Hot Salsa)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 red onion, thinly sliced

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

20 turns of cracked black pepper

Toppings: black olives, guacamole, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, cashew cheese, or broccoli slaw

salad greens (arugula is a nice choice for an extra peppery kick)

3 red bell peppers, sliced

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place chicken in a Dutch Oven. In a bowl, mix the salsa, garlic, red onion, cilantro, chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, sea salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper and place it on top of the chicken. (You can also make this in a slow cooker on low heat and cook for 6-8 hrs). Bake for 90 minutes.

2. Take out Dutch Oven, remove chicken, place on plate and shred with two forks. Place shredded chicken back in the Dutch Oven and bake an additional 45 minutes. (If using a slow cooker, place back in for another hour on low).

3. Serve on salad greens, bell pepper strips and use toppings such as broccoli slaw, black olives, guacamole, pico de gallo, cashew cheese or sliced avocado.

 

Serves 7-8

 

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell

Farmer’s Market Frittata

5 Aug

IMG_1665Frittatas are my lazy answer to healthy and inexpensive cooking. I throw in everything but the farmer in this protein, vegetable and fiber packed dish. Got something from your local CSA and you have no clue what it is? Chop it up and throw it in a frittata. Why not?

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers, diced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

4 baby zucchini, diced

2 carrots, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb spinach, chopped (or 1 lb package frozen chopped spinach, thawed)

2 T fresh basil, chopped

1 T fresh oregano, chopped

10 free range eggs

8 egg whites, free range eggs (or 1 carton of organic 100% liquid egg whites)

black pepper to taste

sea salt to taste

coconut oil

Directions:

1. Sauté bell peppers, green onions, zucchini, carrots and garlic in coconut oil for 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Use coconut oil to grease an 9×13 glass baking dish. (That’s right, this is a super lazy frittata. No fancy “cooking it on the stove, then placing it in the oven.” Some may categorize this as an “egg bake.”). Preheat oven to 325°.

3. Whisk eggs and egg whites together. Add remaining ingredients, making sure sautéed vegetables have cooled so they don’t cook the eggs. Pour into glass dish.

4. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

5. Enjoy plain or serve topped with sliced tomatoes, avocado, kalamata olives or a touch of goat cheese.

Serves 4-6

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell