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Saturday, April 4, 2015

Savory Roasted Carrot Clafoutis


Eat the rainbow- this should be our mantras every day, at every meal, to help keep our bodies in tip top shape. There is a plethora of colorful vegetables available to us so why not? It's good for you and it makes food just flat-out more interesting.

Rainbow carrots are one such option - purple, red and yellow hues dance across the root vegetable to grab our attention. Is it the tantalizing color of these carrots that make us believe the taste is slightly better, more effervescent, than a typical orange carrot? Perhaps our mind plays trick on us but purple carrots are said to be a slightly sweeter while yellow carrots are more mild and less earthy. The resulting mixture of them is eye catching and inspiring- perfect for a Spring morning.

I was inspired by this recipe, mostly for the colorful layout of the vegetables. In my version, the final dish offers the intriguing line up of hidden color, only revealed after cutting and serving. Similar to a quiche, this savory clafoutis is less complicated, a bit richer and a bit more refined. Try adding a touch of sriracha or pesto to add a bit of punch.

Eat with your eyes and your mouth for a full sensory meal!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cardamom Honey Coconut Milk (it's an Aphrodisiac!)


A few weeks ago I was asked to put together an aphrodisiac platter for a Valentines dinner. The goal was to enlighten guests on how food can affect us while tantalizing their taste buds. Sure we had the essential oysters, but this was an opportunity go beyond and have fun with it.

Coconut milk is a lesser known aphrodisiac. Aside from being delicious, coconut milk enhances sexual desire. But plain milk is a bit dull so we took it a step further and added cardamom and honey to really boost the power.

Cardamom is a warming spice that heats up our sex drive and honey is one of the best re-generators of sexual energy.

Drink this lovely elixir as a warm tea, add it to your coffee or use it as a base for your smoothie. It's good for your and your libido!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Warm Grapefruit, Avocado and Wild Rice Salad



Simple foods are usually the best. I'll admit that I can get caught up in complicated recipe, creating exttra dressings or sauces for 'another layer of flavor'. Spring is the perfect time to let go of these coveringss and let food shine on its own.

When I put this salad together, I wanted the freshness of the grapefruit to play off the nuttiness of the wild rice - adding a heavy salad dressing would just drown the flavors out. Using the juice that drips out of the grapefruit while you are peeling and cutting it moistens the warm rice (along with a touch of coconut oil) with a clean dressing that highlights the flavors.

Toss in fresh parsley and greens at the end for a crisp, familiar salad crunch and a hist of coolness against the cozy rice.

An air of crispness over a blanket of warm- just like Spring. It's the perfect use for leftover wild rice  and a great reason to cook it if you don't have any leftover.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy, Healthy and Delicious Good-For-You Shamrock Shake Smoothie


Do I even need to recount how terribly bad for you the traditional McDonalds Shamrock Shake is? Yes, there was a time when I lived for them, longed for them and loved them! But that was a long time ago and I know better know.

I still crave that creamy minty taste though and there is no reason not to satisfy the taste buds, especially when we can recreated this the shake in a healthy way!

There is reportedly over 50 ingredients in the fast food shake version, many of those being versions of sugar. My rendition is just a creamy and even more minty than the original while making use of natural dates for the sweetness.

And I see no reason to limit this delightful smoothie to only one time a year - now you can have a bit of minty shake anytime and feel good about it!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Turkey and Mushroom Meatball with Olive Cream Sauce over Sweet Potato Pasta



I'm constantly tip-toeing the line between healthy food and food that others actually want to eat. For the record, my friends do like the food I create, but they also crave those classic fatty comfort dishes...especially during these blasted cold months.

In this comfort dinner redo of classic spaghetti and meatballs, swapping sweet potatoes for pasta may seem completely out in left field, but when quickly sauteed in a touch of butter these faux 'noodles' are delightfully chewy and satisfying.  Yes, I did say butter; once in a while a touch of high quality butter really does the trick (though ghee, olive oil or coconut oil would all work as well.)

To take the sweet potato linguine a step further I tossed in a garlic cream sauce made from cashews. I know it sounds weird but if you haven't tried making cashew sauces, you really need to. Cashews are the new bacon ... not quite. But they create an amazing base for desserts, mayos, dips and so much more.  My olive cream sauce has a bite from the raw garlic, but the salty spicy combo shines against the buttery sweetness of the 'spaghetti'.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

African Sweet Potato Almond Stew


I have fond memories of an underground dinner in Buenos Aires where the first course was an African Peanut Soup. It was creamy with a defiant touch of peanut butter. This recipe is a play off of what I remember that soup to be, subbing in almond butter for a healthier boost of good fat and protein and adding in sweet potatoes and kale to really add to the veggie count.

Served as a stew, my version is chunky and hearty with a rich and creamy sauce, slightly less sweet without the use of store-bought peanut butter. A blend of sun-dried tomatoes and an ancho chili pepper give more depth and flavor than using just plain tomatoes. A touch of vinegar at the end adds just a hint of brightness; sub a squeeze of lemon or just skip this step if it makes you nervous.

It's the perfect stew/soup for those still riding out freezing temperatures; just cup your mug, close your eyes and let the flavors take you to a warm sunny spot south of the equator.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Super Tasty and Yummy Acai Bowl

What happens when you add acai to your smoothie and make it thick enough to eat with a spoon? You get a super delicious Acai Bowl!

The Acai Bowl is increasing in popularity and rightfully so. The Brazilian acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry itself is a superfood filled with antioxidants, fiber and omega fatty acids. But are these bowls really good for you?

It depends on what you put in your bowl. Most recipes currently out there call for all fruit. Fruit in small doses is ok for you, but it is still sugar. If you approached those all-fruit bowls as a sometimes treat it would be ok, but if you are eating only a fruit filled bowl every day you are missing out an opportunity to for a nutritious meal. Let's break down the components for a balanced bowl or smoothie:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Turkey and Veggie Green Curry



There is something so tasty about curry and coconut milk. It's creamy with complex flavors of lemongrass, chilies and spices. And it goes with anything from veggies to meats to noodles.

It's true that homemade green curry is better and it's not hard to make, but I understand now that not everyone wants to make their own everything (yup, that was shocking for me learn!)... and sometimes we just want things to be just plain simple.

Enter this flavorful Turkey and Vegetable Green Curry. Cook the meat, add in roasted veggies with a few spoons of prepared green curry and coconut milk and you have a meal in less than 20 minutes. I do like to roast the veggies separately but you could just add them directly to the pan and skip that step. Use what you have on hand too- no broccoli? Add in squash, or sweet potato or zucchini - what ever you have. You could even skip the turkey and go straight veggies. If you like extra spice in your dishes, add a few slices of jalapenos to really bring zing.

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