Tag Archives: healthy recipes

Spice-Roasted Acorn Squash

9 Sep

IMG_1952Just 1 cup of this cute little pumpkin (including all other winter squashes) is loaded with Vitamin A (60% of DV), C (26%), 5 grams of fiber and plenty of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Winter squashes are also shown to reduce inflammation and regulate blood sugar levels…. so how do you cook this delectable veggie? Well, while I love to use butternut squash in soup, I find simply roasting acorn squash in spices and herbs to be warm and comforting too!

 

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash

1/2 tsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

***you can also skip the spices and use herbs such as thyme, oregano and parsley with the sea salt

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°. Wash acorn squash thoroughly and pat dry. Cut off stem and bottom of squash, then slice in half and scoop out the seeds. You can discard the seeds or roast them. The skin is edible, so I don’t peel it, but you can if you want or if you’ve purchased a non-organic squash.

2. Cut the halved squash in half again, then cut into 1/4″ wedges (I follow the natural grooves of the acorn squash) so they resemble steak-size fries.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine coconut oil and spices (or the herb options with sea salt).

4. Place the acorn squash wedges in the coconut mixture and coat well. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 40 minutes.

Serves 2-4

Advertisements

Food Play: Back to School Snacks For All Ages

12 Aug
It ain't easy being green, but it sure is tasty! Use apple slices, a hard boiled egg and black olives for this healthy fun snack.

It ain’t easy being green, but it sure is tasty! Use apple slices, a hard boiled egg and black olives for this healthy fun snack.

One of my favorite memories is the snack my mom fixed me when I came home from school. It was just enough food, love and thoughtfulness to get me through the homework (or after school sport) crunch before dinner. I can still taste the homemade cinnamon applesauce I dug into as my little feet dangled from the kitchen table chair–a fitting thrown to share my elementary adventures of the day.

Here are some healthy snack ideas to munch on and share while you listen to your own little (or older) trooper’s woes and adventures.

Frozen Yogurt Pops: mix plain greek yogurt with chopped fresh fruit, place in a paper cup or popsicle mold with a popsicle stick, cover it, toss it in the freezer for 3 hours (or until frozen) and take it out for snack time. Add in vanilla, raw cacao or cinnamon.

Hummus and Veggie Sticks: yes, kids will eat hummus especially if you tout its yumminess. Serve it with your kids favorite veggie like carrots, celery or red bell peppers. Play Bonus: use the hummus as the center of a flower and the veggies as the stems and petals.

Guacamole and Veggie Sticks: Serve it with your kids favorite veggies, but watch the spiciness, unless, of course, your kiddos like spice. Play Bonus: use the guacamole as a monster face and the veggies for eyes, nose and mouth.

Awesome Sauce: mix almond/cashew/sunflower seed butter with plain (no sugar added) applause and cinnamon. You can add a couple of whole nuts for extra fun crunch.

Nuttin’ But Fruit: grab your kids favorite fruit and serve it with some nuts or nut butter a la apple with almond butter. Play Bonus: use the almond butter as the center of a flower and the veggies as the stems and petals.

Ants on a Log: An oldie, but a goodie… put almond or sunflower seed butter on celery and line it with a few raisins or currents.

Baked Apple Nutty Goodness: serve it with a little almond or coconut butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

 

Carrot Hummus

4 Aug

IMG_1884I’m all about eating more vegetables any way I can–it makes me feel like Popeye minus the pipe and overbite (because the sailor look is totally in right now). Serve it with red bell pepper sticks for a healthy sweet snack or on top of grilled chicken, taco salads or eggs for a power-packed meal.

Ingredients:

1 cup raw, unsalted cashews or walnuts

8-10 medium or large carrots

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 cup water or good quality extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Soak cashews or walnuts in filtered water for 6 hours. Drain, rinse and set aside. (QUICK TIP: you can also skip this process and use 3 Tbsp of cashew butter made with raw cashews and no other ingredients.)

2. Place 1 cup water in large stock pot and place a metal steam basket inside. Cover and bring to a boil while you peel and cut carrots into a normal stick size. Place all carrots in the steam basket, cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes until carrots are tender.

3. Using an oven mitt, pull steam basket with the carrots out of the stock pot when done, place inside metal colander and rinse with cold water. Let cool for 5 minutes and place carrots in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend on low until a hummus consistency is reached, adding more water or olive oil if needed.

4. Rock out on your carrot hummus!

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

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.

Swapping Grains for Greens: How to Use Collard Greens for Wraps

2 Jun

An easy way to increase your metabolic mojo is to swap nutrient-dense greens (and other yummy veggies) in place of grains and starches (like potatoes). Collard greens flourish when it comes to lowering cholesterol and they support detoxification and anti-inflammation in the body which studies show may contribute to cancer prevention. There is no better time than now because they are in season at your local Farmers’ Market and grocery store. Yum!

 

Check out the pictures below for a simple step-by-step guide to creating the perfect collard green wrap.

1. Soak and clean greens in water and apple cider vinegar.

Step 1: Soak and clean greens in water and apple cider vinegar.

Step 2: Rinse and pat dry. Then, cut the stem out.

Step 2: Rinse and pat dry. Then, cut the stem out.

Step 3: Store extras in an 8x13 glass baking dish, separating them with a paper towel.

Step 3: Store extras in an 8×13 glass baking dish, separating them with a paper towel.

IMG_1609

Step 4: Overlap leaves by 1/2 an inch and place the wrap filling towards the bottom. Fold the bottom edge up and over. Then, tuck in the sides and continue to roll until it looks like the wrap in the upper right side corner.

 

I’d love to hear from you! What health challenges are you facing? What fitness and food tips would help you get the life you deserve? Please post them below.

Joyful Rainbow Salad

26 May

IMG_1028I know… it’s hard to say “eat the rainbow” and NOT think of those tiny sugar pellet candies. This would be the healthy non-food coloring version, hence the word “rainbow” sandwiched between “joyful” and “salad.” Hit up your own garden or favorite farmer’s stand to create this quick burst of delicious energy.

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 bunch carrots, chopped

1/3 small red onion, coarsely chopped

1 jar green olives (pitted and stuffed with garlic)

1 jar kalamata black olives (pitted)

fresh basil and oregano to taste

1 tsp olive oil to coat

Directions:

1. Mix ingredients and enjoy!

2. May also add: radishes, broccoli, sugar snap peas, kale or other greens, feta cheese, balsamic or red wine vinegar–whatever inspires you!

For more food inspiration, check out these recipes. Yum!