Tag Archives: gluten-free

Meal Planning Made Simple: Healthy and Delicious Dinners for the Week

8 Feb
Yum! I love prep day!

Yum! I love prep day!

More often than not, I’m daydreaming about my next snack or meal. The thought of fresh guacamole on my taco salad makes me giddy with joy (insert lots of smiles and hip shaken’). The thought of someone NOT looking forward to their next meal or making a fast food choice instead, makes me tear a tad. So, in honor of all of you full-time busy bees, here’s a 1-week meal plan. If you put forth a little planning and set aside some time on Saturday or Sunday, you can still make fresh, healthy and delicious meals in 30 minutes or less. Cheers!

Saturday or Sunday Plan & Prep Day:

1. Plan meals for the week, make grocery list, buy groceries.

2. Clean and chop bell peppers, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. Clean and dry salad greens. Roast broccoli and half of carrots.

3. Shred rotisserie chicken; brown 1.5 lbs of beef and simmer with one jar salsa and chopped garlic.

4. Thaw frozen raw shrimp Wednesday night.

 

Mexican Monday: Taco Salad

Warm taco meat in the skillet or toaster oven. While heating, fill salad bowl with 2 cups greens, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, black olives and sliced avocado or guacamole. Top with taco meat and more salsa if needed.

 

Curry Tuesday: Curry Chicken with Cauliflower

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, simmer rotisserie chicken, cauliflower, sweet potato (best to chop this fresh), bell peppers, tomato paste and sauce, curry spices of choice. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables and potato are done. If you want a creamier sauce, mix in a little coconut milk or plain greek yogurt.

 

Breakfast for Dinner Wednesday: Scrambled Eggs and Pancakes

Scramble eggs (2-3 per person). Make pancakes using 1 banana, 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp almond butter and cinnamon to taste. Mix and cook on 300° griddle like a regular pancake (this makes 2 servings). Serve with a little almond or cashew butter on the pancake (the banana already adds a yummy sweetness). Also serve with roasted broccoli and carrots–Heavens, I would never forget vegetables!

 

Stir Fry Thursday: Shrimp, Snow Pea, Asparagus and Cashew Stir Fry

Clean asparagus, cherry tomatoes and snow peas. Chop asparagus. Place in wok with coconut oil, coconut aminos and seasoning of choice (garlic, ginger, orange zest, etc.). Stir fry vegetables and add in thawed raw shrimp. Cook on high heat until done (about 10-15 minutes). Top with cashews.

 

Fish Friday: Salmon with Roasted Vegetables

Broil or steam Salmon in butter or olive oil; season with lemon, salt and pepper. Serve with roasted broccoli and carrots; top with sliced almonds.

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The Cleanest Sloppiest Joe

19 Jan

IMG_1996I love eating comfort foods when temperatures begin to dip. This Sloppy Joe recipe is one of my favorites during the winter months. It includes immune supporting garlic and oregano, plus this dish is quick, easy, and free from MSG-laden canned whatchamacallits.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lb grass-fed ground beef, bison, or turkey

2 garlic clove, smashed and minced

1 small red onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

2 1/2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp cayenne

2 Tbsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

8 oz tomato paste

15 oz diced fire roasted tomatoes

Optional: Bubbies pickles

 

Directions:

1. In a large skillet or dutch oven, brown meat and saute onion, bell pepper and garlic until soft and onions are translucent. Drain grease.

2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes

3. Serve topped with Bubbies pickles and roasted or sautéed vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, asparagus or bell peppers.

Serves 4-6

Chicken Vegetable Marinara with Spaghetti Squash

22 Dec
Serve the sauce blended, partially blended or chunky (like mine) for a healthy and fresh dinner.

Serve the sauce blended, partially blended or chunky (like mine) for a healthy and fresh dinner.

I’ll be honest, this dish does include some time in the kitchen (60-80 minutes) for prepping and cooking, but your health and taste buds will be justly rewarded! It is also a great dish for hiding vegetables from picky eaters and boosting everyone’s’ health. Either blend part or all of the vegetables with an immersion blender to make a thick spaghetti sauce or leave the vegetables whole. No matter what you choose, you’ll create a nutritious, preservative-free homemade spaghetti sauce.

 

Ingredients:

2 lbs chicken breast

1 spaghetti squash

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 acorn squash, peeled and chopped

2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets

6 carrots, chopped

2 red bell peppers, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced

1 24 oz jar of tomato sauce, low sodium

3 Tbsp dried oregano

3 Tbsp dried basil

1 bay leaf

1/2-3/4 tsp sea salt

20 turns black pepper

 

Directions:

1. In a dutch oven or glass baking dish, add a 1/4 cup of water and chicken breasts with a pinch of sea salt. Cover with the lid (or foil) and slow roast on 325° for 45-60 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes before cutting it into chunks. Set aside.

2. While chicken is roasting, chop the spaghetti squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut side up on a baking sheet with a little olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes or until finished. Allow to cool before using a fork to remove the spaghetti squash from the skin.

3. While chicken and spaghetti squash are cooking, chop the vegetables (acorn squash, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, garlic). When the chicken is finished baking, remove it from the dutch oven, pour out the water and add the olive oil. Then add the vegetables and garlic and saute for 15 minutes. (If you do not have a dutch oven, a large stock pot will work too).

4. Next add the tomato sauce, herbs and chicken and simmer for 15 minutes. If you want to blend the sauce, simmer first without the chicken, then blend it and add the chicken at the end.

5. Serve chicken marinara over the spaghetti squash and enjoy!

Options: additional vegetables (onion, zucchini, eggplant) or top with chopped green onions, olives and/or goat cheese–just have fun with it!

Serves 4-5

Bison and Black Lentil Chili

3 Nov

IMG_1973A bowl of chili on a crisp night with a classic book soothes my soul–bonus points for a crackling fire. I like my chili hearty, so it’s loaded with vegetables and can easily be made vegan/vegetarian by replacing the ground bison with an extra cup of lentils.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground bison (or grass-fed beef, turkey or chicken)

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 small red onion, diced

6 carrots, chopped

2 red bell peppers, diced

2 heads broccoli cut into florets

5 celery stalks, chopped

1 cup dry black lentils, rinsed

24 oz jar crushed tomatoes, low or no sodium

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, low sodium

1 tsp sea salt

20 turns cracked black pepper

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 Tbsp dried oregano

2 Tbsp chili powder

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

 

Directions:

1. In a large stock pot or dutch oven, brown the bison and drain the fat.

2. Add the remaining ingredients, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Allow the soup to simmer for 40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Serves 6-8

Spaghetti 2.0

13 Oct

IMG_1969Sometimes traditional recipes just need a little nutritional upgrade that doesn’t downgrade the flavor. Mangia!

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

5 cloves garlic, skin on

4 heads of broccoli

1 lb ground bison (can also use grass-fed beef or turkey)

1 small yellow onion, diced

24 oz jar tomato sauce (I like Bionaturae brand)

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp dried basil

1/2 tsp sea salt

20 turns cracked black pepper

optional garnish: toasted squash seeds, fresh basil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Cut the top stem and bottom off of the spaghetti squash, then cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds (rinse and pat dry for later if you want to toast them), coat the skin with olive oil and lay each half cut side up on a baking pan. Also, coat the garlic cloves (skin on) in olive oil and place them on the sheet too. Roast for 20 minutes.

2. While the squash is roasting, chop the broccoli into florets and steam in a steam basket for 15 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water to cool.

3. About now the timer will go off on the squash and garlic. Remove the roasted garlic and place the squash back in the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes or until done.

4. Then, brown bison (or meat of choice) in a large skillet pan. Drain grease. Peel the cooled garlic, mince it and add it to the skillet along with the diced onion, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Allow the squash to cool while the meat sauce is still simmering. Once cooled, use a fork to remove the spaghetti-like strands. Plate the spaghetti, then broccoli and top with the meat sauce. Add additional toppings such as the toasted squash seeds (the toasting method is described in this recipe) or fresh basil.

Serves 4-6

Hearty Chicken Soup with Basil Oil

15 Sep

IMG_1956Soup is the ultimate comfy cozy food. This healthy take on an old-fashioned favorite, Chicken Noodle Soup, is Danielle Walker’s recipe (her recipes and her story are amazing, so please check her out). I added more vegetables and topped it with basil oil for dimension. When I’m in a time crunch, it helps to buy a rotisserie chicken and let it cool before shredding it (which is a perfect time to chop the carrots, celery and onion).

Chicken Soup Ingredients:

1 roasted free range chicken or 3 chicken breasts, hormone and antibiotic free, cooked and shredded

8-10 celery stalks, chopped

8 carrots, chopped

1 small white or yellow onion, diced

6 cups low sodium chicken broth (I like Pacific Foods brand)

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp dried thyme

2 tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

2 lbs zucchini

 

Basil Oil Ingredients:

2 cups basil, tightly packed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

 

Directions:

1. Shred cooked chicken into bite size pieces or cubes and place in large stock pot. Then, add cleaned and chopped celery and carrots, diced onion, chicken broth, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, oregano and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes.

2. While pot is simmering, use a mandoline slicer to julienne cut cleaned zucchini (you can peel the zucchini prior to cutting if you want it to look more like noodles). Set zucchini “noodles” aside.

3. Now make the basil oil, adding basil, olive oil, salt and garlic to a food processor. Blend, place in an air-tight container and set aside.

4. Once the 25 minutes is finished, add the zucchini and continue simmering for another 8 minutes.

5. When soup is finished (total of 33 minutes on the stove), remove the bay leaf, spoon soup into the bowls, drizzle with basil oil and feel all warm and cozy!

Serves 6-8

Simply Delicious Beef Tacos

20 Jul

IMG_1946Me gusta tacos! This meal is perfect for health conscious awesome people like yourself who want to quickly put a meal on the table. This entire meal took less than 30 minutes (45 if you make a more difficult side dish) to make, so don’t let the ingredient list fool you, it’s mostly just dried spices. And, if you have a set of extra hands, it will take you even less time.

 

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs grass-fed ground beef

4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp paprika

20 turns cracked black pepper (or 1/4 tsp)

1 tsp cilantro, chopped (or to taste)

2 scallions, chopped

8 chives, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup water

1 container butter leaf lettuce (organic, triple-washed)

Garnish: avocado, salsa, black olives, mango salsa, guacamole, etc.

 

Directions:

1. Brown the meat in a skillet and drain the fat. Add all of the spices, cilantro, scallions, chives, lime and water to the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While the beef is browning, throw together your side. I made a salad of chopped zucchini that I let sweat and patted dry (learn how here), chopped red bell pepper, avocado and Whole Foods mango salsa (for a homemade recipe, try this). Rinse and pat dry the butter leaf lettuce so it is ready to go.

3. Layer the ends of two butter lettuce leaves and fill with the taco meat and any garnishments you like.

4. Enjoy with friends, family or in solitary peace on your porch.

 

Serves 6