Tag Archives: sugar-free

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!

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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

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

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!

Mexican Spaghetti (grain-free)

31 Mar
My half-eaten plate of Mexican Spaghetti served with roasted broccoli.

My half-eaten plate of Mexican Spaghetti served with roasted broccoli.

If you love Mexican and Italian food (or food in general) as much as I do, you will devour this healthy dish that marries the flavors of both. Mangia!

 

Ingredients:

1 lb grass-fed beef

1/4 tsp sea salt

10 turns black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp oregano

1 Tbsp chili powder

1/2 lb bag frozen or fresh sliced bell peppers

1 bag Explore Asia Organic Black Bean Spaghetti (or use spaghetti squash)

1 cup salsa

Garnish: avocado, black olives, fresh cilantro

 

Directions:

1. Brown beef, drain grease and add salt, black pepper, garlic, oregano, chili powder and bell peppers. Simmer for 15 minutes.

2. While taco meat is simmering, cook spaghetti according to box. Drain and place in large serving bowl.

3. Add taco meat, and remaining ingredients to bowl, mix and eat!

 

Serves 4

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