Be sure to check out my Happy Eats Healthy site to see upcoming classes, seminars, for more information on Health Coaching, nutrition information and more!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Eats Healthy


We haven't gone away, we are just creating recipes that are a little lighter, a little healthier and with a lot more flavor over at Happy Eats Healthy.  This blog still has a lot of great recipes (some healthy, some not as much) and is worth perusing.

But if you are looking to clean up your diet or just to start adding in a few healthier options, check out Happy Eats Healthy for recipes, tips, blog posts, classes, dinners and events focused on all things healthy and in moderation.

As a Food Network featured chef and certified health coach, I believe that food can tantalize the senses while still being healthy.  I specialize in creating recipes that are based on whole, clean food with a focus on anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Being healthy is finally delicious!

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.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Roasted Veggie Tortilla Pizza with Kale Lime Pesto



Pizza is a funny thing - most people love it and would say it's their favorite thing ever in the whole world! And there are a few who actually don't like it. What's left is someone like me. I like the idea of pizza, but prepackaged, sugar laden sauces, cheap cheese and mile hi crusts don't do it for me.

A thin crust loaded with veggies and bursting with flavor sauces are more my style. One of my most popular cooking class is my Grilled Flatbread class. But the grill is not always accessible (especially it it's covered under 19" of snow!) and sometime you need an even quicker back up. Enter the tortilla. Tortilla's aren't just for tacos anymore. I've been making a pizza crusts out of them for years and it's time you started too.

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!

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