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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sickness (and vampire) Fighting Creamy Garlic, Sweet Potato and Avocado Soup


Garlic soup. One of my favorite soups from my former restaurant. They were all my favorites, we rocked our soups. But something about the idea of a few dozen garlic cloves, some bread and water combining to make a super creamy, sickness fighting soup that warms the cockles.

The garlic soup urge hit me the other day after feeling a tickle in my throat - but I'm currently staying away from gluten so I needed a substitute for the bread.  Scrounging around my kitchen I found half a sweet potato, figured it might work. But it was the toasted, blended bread in the original recipe that created the creaminess, I wasn't convinced a little potato alone would cut it. So I tossed in an avocado- never hurts to add in a bit of good fat!

Absolutely delicious. Addictive really. We each ate two bowls and I wanted more. The toasting of the garlic deepens its flavor, the sweet potato offers a subtle sweetness while the avocado brings a rich and creaminess to the soup. It's again one of my new favorites; betting it becomes one of yours too.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Finger-licking, Stupidly Yummy Chocolate Pudding with Whipped Coconut Cream...and it's good for you!

Sitting at my computer with a belly so full from this pudding it's hard to breath, but so worth it. I wondered what to call this. I thought about how I licked the spoon two, three, eight-hundred times, then dug my whole fist into the blender to scrape out every last little drop. The whipped coconut beaters got licked before they were even off the blender (luckily I still had enough wits about me to unplug it before my tongue met the wrath that my morning eggs do). I thought I was in heaven at this point, but then, my spoon of chocolate fell into the whipped coconut cream and it was like I stepped into the VIP cloud.

Yes, it's that good. And the best part is that I don't even feel guilty- it's all good, clean food! We are talking avocado, raw cacao powder and coconut milk. No refined sugar, no funny chemicals or preservatives, no gluten, not even any dairy. Disclaimer- this should still be considered a treat and not eaten every day because we are still adding in natural sweeteners, and even those need to be kept in check. Plus if you eat anything every day it's will lose its appeal.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Cauliflower Rice with Middle Eastern Flare


January is the time of year to clean up our eating, ease up on our digestion system and undo some of that Holiday heaviness. Clean doesn't mean flavorless. Let me say that again - clean doesn't mean flavorless. It does mean you have to get creative.

Take a head of cauliflower- a very simple vegetable that can become a vessel to absorb other flavors. It's a great to thicken soups and even make a cheesy sauce out of. Today we are letting the cauliflower come alive with the addition of dried apricots for sweetness and toasted almonds for crunch.

It's so simple yet so satisfying and delicious. Perfect on it's own or serve it as a backdrop with grilled meats or a Moroccan tagine. Eat up, be delicious and get happy with no deprivation. The best part that you could use this happy healthy recipe year round!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Yummy Walnut Butter and Banana Toast


Seems 99% of know what peanut butter is, in fact many of us grew up with it in our cupboards. It's a simple formula, grind nuts to a smooth, spreadable paste. Maybe add a touch of salt, but nothing more is needed. A pretty simple concept really. But have you looked at the ingredients in PB lately?

Take a look and you'll find sugar and hydrogenated oil, both are terrible for our health. Hydrogenated oils are chemically altered, containing unsaturated fats that have had hydrogen atoms added to their structure, making them more solid and turning them into trans fats which are linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Our bodies don't recognize this as food, all it can do is try to fight the free radicals clogging your bloodstream and damaging your cells.

So, what to do instead? Make your own nut butters in minutes. The benefits of making your own nut butters far outweigh a jarred variety. You can control the ingredients and what goes into your butter. For instance, how much salt and sugar, if any. But even better, you can make nut butter from any nut. AND you can add additional flavorings - like cinnamon and raw cacao! Genius.

Today we are making a simple walnut butter and then slathering it on warm toast with touch of honey, cinnamon and a few banana slices. So good and nourishing- it's great as a snack or breakfast.
Blend up a walnut nut butter today, it's one small step to healthier and giant step to yummy!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Carrot and Fennel Risotto


Ever struggle with cooking for a crowd due to the variety of food allergies and requirements that come with it? Risotto is a perfect go-to option thanks to it's versatility, satisfying needs of gluten free, vegetarian and even vegan eaters. This delightful rice imitates pasta and makes a perfect background to carry vegetables or meat.


In this version, carrots and fennel take center stage to give an interesting warm fennel flavor with the slight sweetness of carrots. When cooked properly, risotto is creamy on it's own but I did dip into some manchego cheese for a bit of extra salty creamy goodness. Not only does it taste good, but it develops a gorgeous golden color.

There are keys to cooking risotto to help develop the creaminess are pretty easy to get down; toast the rice, preheat the liquid before adding it and use a wooden spoon to help determine when to add more broth (more on that below). Take your time and let the risotto develop, it's worth it.

This dish is great on its own or pair it with roasted meat as a side dish for a fat and happy crowd pleasing meal.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Raw Chocolate Crunch Energy Bites


Binge season is upon us; there is no reason to try to deny it. But you can fight it, deliciously.

These little raw chocolate balls are not new, but my version adds in crunch to help satisfy that crunchy, cookie need with popped millet. It takes a few extra minutes to pop the millet, but it's so worth it for the addition of gluten free crunch.

The bonus with these balls is that they don't just satisfy your sweet craving but they do it with natural sugar and energy from the dates, good fat from the coconut oil and antioxidants from the cacao and they help to regulate blood sugar with the cinnamon. Set these out but don't tell anyone what they are until after they try them and comment on how good these are.

Indulge if you must right now, but keep these babies in the fridge or freezer year round as your go to healthy, sweet, energy option.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Broil Roasted Squash with Chimichurri Dressing



I cannot stop coming up with squash recipes! Gotta get them in while we can right? One of the ways I've been enjoying squash these days is charring the skin, either on a grill or in the oven. It's delightfully crunchy and tasty, especially next to a slightly acidic sauce.

This dish plays like a warm salad but feeds like a hearty, meaty dish. I've used both acorn squash and butternut squash and they are both great in this dish; use both for the best variety. Any grain would work in this salad; try brown rice, farro or or wheat berries.

Grill, roast or broil your squash for a super delicious, healthy and hearty meal.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Leftover Turkey Pasta with Roasted Poblano and Avocado Tahini Sauce


Aside from the craziness of Black Friday shopping, the day after Thanksgiving begins the drudgery of what to do with the leftover turkey. Sure you could make a sandwich or eat them plain as is, I also highly recommend this Potato Cake with Champagne Mushroom Ragu, or this Turkey Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette. If you are looking for something a bit cheesier you might try this Horseradish Mac n Cheese dish.

But perhaps this year you want something a littler and healthier?  This is the dish for you. Loaded with veggies and topped with a super yummy poblano 'cream' sauce that is filled with the good fat that will keep you nourished from the inside. Toss in whatever veggies you have, from tomatoes to left over brussel sprouts.

The sauce is so creamy you won't believe that there isn't cream or cheese in it. Just healthy avocado, roasted pepper and raw pumpkin seeds. Yes, pumpkin seeds. I used them as my tahini base instead of sunflower seeds; it's a tasty way to get your zinc in. Once you make this sauce, you might start using this on your salads, as a sandwich spread or as a dip!

You'll be so excited for this pasta, you might just throw a another turkey in the oven~ who knew leftovers could taste soo good?

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