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Detox naturally with cilantro

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Detox naturally with cilantro

Want to have better digestion, energy, and lose weight but don’t want to go on a full on juice cleanse? 

Embrace the power of cilantro…

cilantro-de

Ok so there are more ways to detox other then just cilantro, but it helps a lot more then you may think. Did you know that cilantro has tiny ions that bind to heavy metals in a process called chelation that help flush them out of your system? 

Check out some other facts about this versatile powerhouse:

  • Cilantro is a remarkable heavy-metal detoxifier and is able to remove mercury and aluminum from where it is stored in the adipose (fat) tissues with greater results over long term use. 
  • Cilantro herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. However, its deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” while rising HDL or “good cholesterol” levels.
  • A study published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, demonstrated that cilantro was capable of preventing salmonella from causing ill effects. 
  • Cilantro is also very helpful with autoimmune disorders such as Fibromyalgia, Addison’s Disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, IBS, Multiple Sclerosis, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  • When juiced and consumed as part of a regular routine, cilantro is known to help reduce the amount of damaged fats found in cell membranes.
  • Cilantro is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K; providing about 258% of DRI. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones.

 Here are some quick tips on how to naturally detox without going on a specific “cleanse” or “fast”:

  1. Drink warm lemon water every morning before you eat, drink, or do anything else
  2. Add in apple cider vinegar to water and drink before meals to aid in digestion, weight loss,  and for a natural source of probiotics
  3. Cut out “white” products: white flours, white sugars, and yes white starches (this means paleo flours too like arrowroot and potato starch)
  4. Eliminate or greatly reduce intake of high mercury fish like tuna, mackerel, shark, swordfish, and mackerel. If you do eat these make sure to double up on your cilantro intake at that meal. When choosing fish make sure to pick wild caught, smaller fish that are not on the endangered list like salmon, sardines, and trout. 
  5. Sweating is a great way for your toxins to find an exit out of your body so get moving! Pick your poison: working out, sauna, dance contest in the backyard it doesn’t matter just as long as you work up a sweat.
  6. Add in high fiber foods to aid in elimination like chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, high fiber fruit and vegetables. Also make sure to take a high quality probiotic or increase your intake of naturally fermented foods like kefir, kombucha, pickles, and sauerkraut. 
  7. Crowd your plate with organic fresh, raw, and lightly steamed low starch vegetables. If you eat meat consider taking a short break and try some new plant based forms of protein like soaked quinoa, spirulina, chlorella, hemp, or soaked nuts and seeds to give your body a break from the acidic load of meat.  When you re-introduce meat make sure to limit your portions and only consume high quality grass fed meats and pastured animals. 
  8. Add in detoxifying foods to help continual kidney and liver cleansing: parsley, cilantro, dandelion root, licorice root, cayenne, turmeric, red pepper, garlic, lemon, lime, grapefruit, sea vegetables (seaweed salad, nori, dulse), artichokes, beets, cruciferous vegetables, wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella and milk thistle.

Check out my sweet and savory detox smoothie using cilantro as the main star!

Green smoothie with parsley on wooden table

Sweet and Savory Detox Cilantro Smoothie

Serves 2

vegan - raw - sugar free - gluten free - grain free - paleo - alkaline

Ingredients

  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 Tbl hemp seeds (or flax seeds would work)
  • 1 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 1/2-2 cups non dairy milk (almond, hemp, coconut, etc)
  • 1/2 juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 (about 3'') piece of cucumber
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  1. Combine the non dairy milk, the cilantro, and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth adding more milk to thin if needed.

Notes

  1. Note
  2. If you hate cilantro adding mint can help subdue the flavor or just add more pineapple or banana to reduce the cilantro taste.

 

Learn more: 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9529/16-ways-to-detox-every-day.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/044301_cilantro_health_benefits_heavy_metal_detoxification.html#ixzz3BVpW9LQY

http://www.resully.com/healthy-eating/amazing-health-benefits-of-cilantro/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cilantro.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/042100_cilantro_body_detoxification_herbal_medicine.html#ixzz3BVp5efol

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Nutrition on the go - Top 10 Raw Bars

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Nutrition on the go - Top 10 Raw Bars

If I hear one more time from someone that “they don’t have time to eat healthy” I’m going to lose it. 

Lets get serious guys about eating right, being prepared, and ditching the excuses!

Here are 5 NO BAKE, RAW, VEGAN recipes for bars or balls of delicious nutrient dense food that are made in minutes, can accompany you on your craziest of days, and be ready when you need some fast fuel. And for all of you out there who still “don’t have the time” I have attached 5 store bought bars that are approved by my standards (no gluten, no grain, no sugars, no junk!) 

Dark Chocolate Energy Ball by OhSheGlows.com

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Date-Cherry-Ginger-Orange-Coconut-Bars by OneGreenPlanet.org

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Superfood Energy Bars with Cacao by this RawsomeVeganLife.comIMG_3960

 

Chamomile Lemon Ginger Bars by OneGreenPlanet.org

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Lemon Coconut Cashew Pineapple Energy Bars by Bakergal.com

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Here are 5 Bars you can buy already made that are approved by the

Transform Your Food standards: 

NO GLUTEN!  NO GRAINS! NO REFINED SUGARS! NO JUNK!

Check out these Cherry Pistachio RAW Protein Bars by Dales Raw Foods

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.13.20 AM

The Bearded Brothers have 4 awesome flavors of these Raw/Vegan/ Energy Bars – Chocolate Maca, Raspberry Lemon, Vanilla Blueberry, and Coconut Mango…HELLO! 

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.24.38 AM

 

GO RAW Spirulina Energy Bar 

Go-Raw-Organic-Spirulina-Energy-Bar-Gluten-Free-859888000035

 

Cacao Hemp Walnut Bars by Thunderbird

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.32.30 AM

Paleo Energy Raw Bars for pre/post workout by Dales Raw Foods

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 11.20.45 AM

 

 

No more excuses! Pack a few of these in your bag so you are never without a healthy, easy option for staying fueled on the go.

 

 

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5 minute Vegan/Paleo Cereal

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5 minute Vegan/Paleo Cereal

Remember cereal? If you are grain/gluten free or following any sort of low sugar lifestyle cereal is a long distant memory….

Fear not!

I have a 5 minute recipe that you can whip together even in the foggiest of morning states, so you can sit down with bowl of cereal and feel like a kid again. 

5 minute granola mise

Simply toast the coconut and almonds in a a dry sauté pan until golden, add a pinch of salt, drizzle of maple syrup or stevia, little touch of coconut oil, cinnamon, throw in the flax seed meal and toss to coat. Cover in non dairy milk of choice, stand on your chair and you tell that box of wheaties to take a hike…you got this whole cereal thing covered. Try this version of Stevia for the most natural, purest form of this amazing plant!

5 minute granola with milk

5 minute Paleo/Vegan Cereal

Serves 1

vegan - low sugar - paleo - gluten free - grain free

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds (or nut of choice)
  • 2 Tbl flax seed meal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Small sprinkle of green stevia or Sweetener of choice to taste (maple syrup, coconut sugar etc see notes)

Optional add ins

  • dried fruit
  • cacao nibs
  • fresh chopped fruit
  • more chopped nuts

Instructions

  1. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, toast the coconut and sliced almonds until slightly golden
  2. Make a small well in the middle of the pan and add the coconut oil in the center of the pan and swirl around to melt
  3. Add the flaxseed meal, cinnamon, pinch of salt, sweetener of choice, and toss to coat so the spices stick to the nuts and coconut
  4. Empty the cereal into a large bowl and add non dairy milk of choice
  5. Top with any additional add ins at this point

Notes

  1. This recipe can be doubled/tripled etc and can be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place ahead of time.
  2. Feel free to play around with the nut choices and spice options.
  3. I like to use stevia to keep this sugar free (buy green stevia for the purest form) to keep my insulin levels down in the morning, but use whatever sweetener works for your dietary needs.

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Holistic anti aging/skin care interview  part 2

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Holistic anti aging/skin care interview part 2

I had the privilege of interviewing a fellow health coach who specializes in holistic skin care. Lizzie is an ACE certified trainer and coaches women to eat for boundless energy and glowing skin in her practice Lizzie May Wellness…check her out here!

Check out Lizzie!!!
Check out Lizzie!!!

This is part two of our interview going over the top mistakes, questions, and solutions for the best skin of your life! Check out the first part of the interview here

I know I shouldn’t pop zits but its so hard not to! Any suggestions on how to minimize a breakout?

Yes, try as hard as you can not to pop pimples as doing so often leads to scarring and excessive hyperpigmentation, which can take longer to disappear than the actual pimple. If the zit has come to a head you can follow this protocol. As far as minimizing a breakout, ice is a very effective tool to reduce swelling and redness. If I get a rogue pimple, I simply wrap an ice cube in a clean cloth or tissue and apply to the bump for 30 second intervals (30 seconds on/30 seconds off) for 5 minutes. I find that many women treat pimples so aggressively with harsh, drying spot treatments that end up doing more harm than good. It’s very important not to over dry your skin: it will only make breakouts worse. Instead, prime your skin for optimal healing with hydrating, calming, anti-bacterial spot treatments. I love essential oils for speedy healing of pimples and minimizing hyperpigmentation in one fell swoop. One of my favorite zit zapping combinations is one drop of lavender oil, one drop of frankincense oil, and a dime sized amount of pure d-alpha tocopherol vitamin e oil, applied directly to the pimple and left on overnight. Acnevir is another good gentle, homeopathic topical treatment.

Is there a way to tell why I break out in certain areas on my face and not others ?

In my opinion, yes. While not all people agree with the concept of Chinese face mapping, I have found it to be very accurate in terms of troubleshooting skin problems and more importantly, identifying potential health problems that are causing those skin problems. I really like this guide for determining the cause of breakouts.

acne-face-map1

Does the food I eat really make a difference for my skin?

Yes! The old adage “you are what you eat” is true! We are what we eat-our cells and organs are literally made up of the foods we eat. What we eat affects our hormones, and our hormones affect our skin, so if we are eating junk, we will more than likely be setting ourselves up to have problematic skin. Many dermatologists are now realizing the important role of a clean diet in the health of the skin, and there have been a few good studies published in medical journals about diet and acne. I find these developments very promising! The tricky part of prescribing a diet to someone is that due to bio-individuality, no one diet works for everyone. That said, there are basic rules you can follow to ensure flawless, healthy skin. I recommend eating lots of nutrient-dense, whole, organic, unprocessed foods and drinking plenty of filtered water. I also recommend eating low-glycemic foods and avoiding cow’s milk if you are struggling with acne. Research has shown that dairy is inflammatory, and leads to redness, pus, and can worsen breakouts. Even if you choose organic milk, free of Bovine growth hormone, you must realize that all dairy products contain intrinsic cow proteins that can wreak havoc on your hormones and your skin, resulting in increased oil production and clogged pores. It is also important is to steer clear of commercial oils, which are high in Omega 6 fatty acids and can be very inflammatory. Examples of commercial oils include vegetable oil, canola oil, soybean oil, margarine, shortening, or other chemically altered fats. Instead, opt for fats like real, grassfed butter, olive oil (do not heat), and eat plenty of fatty fish (if you eat fish), which is high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3’s. I am currently writing an ebook that includes diet tips, recipes, and more in-depth food and supplement recommendations for clear, radiant, youthful skin. It will be sold on my website later this year.

Five-things-to-keep-in-mind-to-have-a-glowing-skin

Can fine lines and wrinkles be reversed?

Yes! I have personally witnessed many cases of fine lines and wrinkles disappearing, without the use of any topical products. In my opinion, the most effective and rewarding way to reverse fine lines and wrinkles is through diet and proper supplementation. When I say “supplementation” I’m not talking about synthetic vitamins, but rather highly bio-available, pure supplements and herbs that the body recognizes and assimilates instantly. As I’ve mentioned before, the health of our skin depicts our internal health so if we eat foods to optimize cellular health and glowing skin, we’ll feel more energetic, happier, and beautiful skin will be an added bonus! The benefit of addressing fine lines and wrinkles from the inside out is that you won’t only look your best, you’ll also feel your best and truly have an “inner glow.”

How can I fight wrinkles and saggy skin?

There are quite a few ways to do this, which is exciting! For some people, the range of anti-aging techniques out there can also be overwhelming, a sentiment I understand completely. Beyond the basics of avoiding too much sun exposure, staying away from cigarettes, and minimizing alcohol and caffeine consumption, here are a few of my favorite wrinkle-fighting tips: From a topical perspective, Retin-A can stimulate collagen production and can reverse fine lines and wrinkles. It is the only product approved by the FDA to do so. Retin-A, a vitamin A derivative, works by increasing cell turnover within the skin, stimulating collagen production and exfoliating the top layers of skin to reveal younger looking skin underneath. However, Retin A is not without side effects and if you are looking to take the topical approach, I think rosehip seed oil  is a great, natural alternative. Rosehip seed oil has been extensively studied for many of the same functions attributed to Retin-A, and has been shown as effective as the chemically formed, Retin-A but without Retin-A’s harsh side effects, like redness and over-drying of the skin. First and foremost, silica, known as the “beauty mineral” is my secret weapon for wrinkle reversal and prevention. If I had to suggest one thing to prevent wrinkles and saggy skin, I would recommend taking Bamboo extract, which is the richest known source of silica. Bamboo extract contains over 70% organic silica and is 10 times more potent than horsetail silica. If our bodies are deficient in silica, our skin’s elasticity will become impaired, leaving us much more susceptible to wrinkles and sagging skin. Unfortunately, as we age, the body retains less and less silica, leaving us much more prone to wrinkling and sagging. Silica prevents and reverses wrinkling of the skin by supporting collagen production. Bamboo extract, due to its high silica content, is such an amazing skin rejuvenator and I have not seen anything work as fast or as effectively in naturally plumping and smoothing the skin. Finally, in order to fight wrinkles and prevent saggy skin, you want to have good circulation in your face at all times. One fun tool that I use to improve circulation in my face is inversion therapy. I use an inversion table and try to spend 10 minutes upside down every day. If I don’t have my inversion table, I do handstands or headstands against the wall. If I don’t feel like doing handstands, I hang off the side of my couch (be careful if you try this!) Inversion therapy reverses the effects of gravity and allows the skin to rest while being pulled in another direction, while also increasing blood flow to the face. It’s both relaxing and energizing! I find my face looks rejuvenated after a good inversion session. I may or may not have written my answers to this interview while hanging upside down:) 

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On the left is before I started using the bamboo extract. On the right is after 2 weeks of using 30 drops a day.
On the left is before I started using the bamboo extract. On the right is after 2 weeks of using 30 drops a day.

For the last month I have been testing Ancient Balance’s new bamboo extract and I have to share the results. *I am not being paid by this company. These are my personal experiencesCheck out my before and after pictures from using only 3 weeks! I am in love with this product because my skin feels and looks like it has been plumped up! I have received so many compliments that my skin looks like I am glowing and I have even stopped wearing my normal make up. About Ancient Balance Bamboo ExtractAncient Balance Liquid Bamboo Extract is sourced directly from the leaves and stems of the Moso Bamboo grass, an edible grass that has been used medicinally for centuries in China, India, and Tibet. Bamboo, which is anti-bacterial in nature, has been used traditionally to ward off disease, increase energy, balance hormones, increase sexual performance, detoxify the body, strengthen bones, smooth skin, and avoid infection.Bamboo extract is the richest known source of silica: it contains over 70% organic silica and is 10 times more potent than horsetail silica. Silica, known as the “beauty mineral”, prevents wrinkling of the skin by supporting collagen production and promotes growth of thick, strong hair, nails, and teeth. In addition, Silica has a strong influence on the absorption of minerals required by the body for peak health and is an essential mineral for bone health as well as arthritis prevention.The founders of Ancient Balance are committed to finding and bottling the cleanest and purest form of liquid moso bamboo available. While other companies use a dry, capsuled, or mixed form of bamboo, we take pride in the purity and potency of our liquid bamboo.

BUYANCIENTBALANCEBAMBOOEXTRACT HERE!!!

3 weeks using Ancient Balance Bamboo Extract - 25 drops a day
3 weeks using Ancient Balance Bamboo Extract - 25 drops a day

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Shopping list, protocols, and support for my 10 day cleanse

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Shopping list, protocols, and support for my 10 day cleanse

Hello fellow health warriors! Spring is here and with the entrance of warmer weather we begin to notice the clutter that has built up around us through the winter months. While it is important to clean your home, organize your car, file paperwork etc. it is also just as important to do the same for your mind, body, and spirit. I am embarking on another 10day cleanse led by a fellow classmate of mine at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition. She is a toxicologist, doctor, and a beautiful soul. Follow the facebook page she has started with the cleanse protocols, recipes, and adaptations here

The word cleanse has been confused for many, mainly that it is associated with some sort of fast track weight loss plan; that is not what this cleanse is about.

I believe a Spring cleanse is a time to:

  • Limit the stress on your digestion by eating  blended, nourishing foods
  • Rebuild your immune system after the taxing cold weather of the previous months
  • Refresh our minds and intentions for the months ahead.

Here is my shopping list for what I will be using to build meal replacing smoothies and raw blended recipes:

Liquids

  • Chaga tea (detoxifying)
  • Green, white teas, puerh (cleansing for blood)
  • Coconut and other nut milks (homemade if possible) almond milk, pumpkin milk, flax milk etc.

Healing spices 

  • Turmeric (anti inflammatory)
  • Cinnamon (blood sugar regulator)
  • Cayenne (metabolism, intestinal cleanser)
  • Ginger (digestive aid) 

Vitamins, minerals, adaptogens

  • Maca (adaptogen/hormonal health)
  • Carob (bowel conditioner/protein source)
  • Raw cacao (caffeine/antioxidant) 
  • High quality green powder. I like Healthforce naturals but pick your favorite

Fiber 

Protein 

  • Hemp
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella,
  • Nuts/seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, almonds, cashews, flax etc)
  • Nut seed butters (almond, cashew, sunflower, etc)

Healthy fats

  • Flax oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado
  • Nuts/seeds (pumpkin, cashew, sunflower, almonds)
  • Nut/seed butters

Low glycemic sweeteners 

  • Lucuma
  • Pure stevia
  • Dates (fruits can be used as well)

Vegetables

  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint)
  • Cucumber
  • Red cabbage
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados

Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Mangos
  • Pineapple

Dr Rhea suggests in order to make a meal replacing smoothie:

Start by using one from each category (you’ll notice overlap too) and switch it up so you’re not consuming too much of one thing. Remember, moderation is key. Add the supplements to a beautifully balanced concoction of vegetables and fruits – see my recipe album for specific recipes and ideas: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.511991548846468.1073741826.397072023671755&type=3 Organic, if possible. Here’s a list of the clean 15 (those veggies/fruits you DON’T have to buy organic) and the dirty dozen (those you definitely want to purchase clean & local if possible): http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/ Top up your blender with filtered water, coconut water (look for ones with no additives) or a dairy-free milk of choice – hemp, almond, rice or for those dairy-lovers, raw, organic). 

Here are some of my own recipes that can be incorporated over the 10 days. Just make sure to keep all the ingredients vegan and raw unless noted below:

 

 My daily protocol looks something like this:

Note: You can switch these meals around to different times of the day and modify to your nutritional needs and personal preferences. Again please go to the RAWjuvenation page for cleansing protocols. 

Wake up:

First “meal”

Lunch

  • Low sugar green juice
  • Drink slowly
  • 1Tbl flaxoil or coconut oil for added calories if needed

Snack

  • Raw recipe of of pudding rich in fat or nut/seed pesto

Dinner

or

  • large glass of homemade nut milk with cinnamon

or

Eat/drink when hungry.

Meditate.

Take long walks outside.

Take part in a creative project.

Connect with loved ones. 

Remember to join the group for more support but you do not need to deprive yourself of food. Add in raw blended recipes when craving something more filling, drink homemade nut milks for snacks, juice as much as possible, meditate, do yoga, start a creative project…reflect, rebuild, restore. Find clarity, peace, and your inner voice again. Cleansing is a beautiful way to honor your self and allow new blood, ideas, and energy into your life. 

Follow me on my Facebook page for my daily meals, recipes, and videos during my 10 day cleanse journey!

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Paleo Granola Bars - Cheap, Delicious, and Easy!

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Paleo Granola Bars - Cheap, Delicious, and Easy!

I realize that we all want to be healthy, look fantastic, and not put a lot of effort into the process but you may be scratching your head wondering where to start. Its ok, I am here to help. Your life is busy, so I want to give you a recipe you can make in bulk for an instant meal replacement, snack to throw in the kids lunches, or even an afternoon cure to the sweet tooth monster. 

I will be launching some meal plans soon, but in the meantime here is a simple granola bar recipe that can be doubled or tripled to make in bulk for the whole family. Whip up a huge batch on the weekend when you have 10 minutes of prep available and while they are baking, you can clean up, have a cup of coffee, do some squats…the choice is yours :) I went the extra step and sealed mine in individual pouches but these can also be wrapped in wax paper or kept in an airtight container until ready to eat. You can also freeze these and pull them out to defrost the night before so you have snacks ready to grab in the morning. 

 

Paleo Honey Almond Chocolate Granola Bars

Yields 14

Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Unrefined Sugar Free - Kid Friendly - Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Toasted Almonds
  • 1 Cup Toasted Cashews
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (not in shell)
  • 1 Cup Sunflower Seeds (not in shell)
  • 2 Tbl Flaxseed Meal
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Oil (unrefined)
  • 1/3 Cup Honey (local, high quality please)
  • 1/3 Coconut Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Sunflower Butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 2 Egg Whites
  • 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 4 oz Dark Chocolate finely chopped.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F
  2. Line a 9x11 rectangle baking pan with parchement paper sling so the paper hangs over the edges for easy removal.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Working in batches pulse the nuts/seeds in a food processor until the nuts/seeds are broken up into small pieces.
  5. You can also chop the nuts but you don't want too big of pieces.
  6. Transfer the chopped nuts back into the bowl with the whole nuts and add the flax seed meal.
  7. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt the coconut oil, sunflower/nut butter, coconut sugar, honey, and salt whisking until well comined.
  8. Pour over the nuts and stir until throuroughly covered.
  9. Whisk the egg whites for 10 seconds to get some air and mix them into the nut mixture thoroughly.
  10. Pour mixture into pan and using gloves or slightly wet finger tips, press the nuts firmly and evenly into the pan so it is one flat compressed layer.
  11. Sprinkle with additional sea salt over the top.
  12. Bake in the middle rack for 15-18 minutes or until the edges start to turn a golden brown.
  13. Remove and allow to cool thoroughly.
  14. Pull out of the pan and remove the parchement paper.
  15. Cut the entire granola bars in half length wise to have two long pieces.
  16. Then cut each half into 7 equal pieces to cut 14 bars roughly 1 1/2" in width and 4 1/2" in length.
  17. Drizzle or dip into melted chocolate if desired (see notes).

Notes

  1. It is completely up to you to toast the nuts and seeds before making the bars. They will taste so much better if you choose to do so, but its fine if you skip the step.
  2. For the chocolate use a dark chocolate with 70% cacao content or higher. You can melt it in a double boiler or if in a pinch chop the chocolate finely and microwave for 10 second intervals, stirring in between until melted and smooth.
  3. If you don't feel like melting chocolate, chop it into chunks and fold into the nut mixture before baking.

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Snack Attack!!! Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds and Cacao Nibs

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Snack Attack!!! Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds and Cacao Nibs

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I love me a good snack, but I am not willing to throw my whole day of healthy eating out the window for a momentary craving. Luckily, I don’t have to with a high protein, superfood rich, healthy fat filled snack like this one:

  • Pumpkin seeds – high in protein, zinc, magnesium, and a natural anti-inflammatory

  • Cinnamon – helps curb appetite and control sugar cravings

  • Cacao nibs – rich in antioxidants and naturally occurring caffeine for a nice energy boost

  • Sea Salt – naturally alkalizing to the body and rich in trace minerals, and electrolytes

The perfect balance of salt, sweet, crunch, and fat made in minutes!

Let’s get our healthy snack on!!!

Sea Salted Cinnamon Pumpkin Seeds with Cacao Nibs

vegan - gluten free - grain free - sugar free - paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pepitas, pumpkin seeds out of shell (soaked and sprouted or lightly toasted, your choice)
  • 1/4 cup Cacao Nibs
  • 2 tsp Unrefined Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt ( I like pink Himalayan Salt)
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Optional

  1. 1/2 Tbl Maple Syrup or Raw Honey

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, add the cacao nibs, coconut oil, (maple syrup or honey if using) and pumpkin seeds and toss until the seeds are well coated in the oil.
  2. Sprinkle, the salt, and cinnamon until well coated.
  3. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting ;)

 

 

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Vegan Mango Avocado Salad Dressing

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Vegan Mango Avocado Salad Dressing

I have been on a raw food/juicing cleanse for 10 days and I am responding really well to all this clean, live food. I wanted to keep this feeling going so I am integrating some salads back in after all the blended and juiced foods. I made this salad dressing and honestly you could use this as a dip for veggies, as a sauce over some zucchini noodles, or on top of any meat like chicken or pork. The possibilities are endless. 

Avocado Mango Salad Dressing

Serves 8

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo - Sugar Free 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Avocado (make sure it is very ripe)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Mango (I used thawed frozen or you can use fresh just make sure it is ripe)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 Cup Light Coconut Milk (or use 1/4 cup full fat and 2 Tbl of water) or unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbl Chopped Cilantro (or mint if you don't like cilantro)
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper (freshly ground)

Optional

  1. 1 Tbl Maple Syrup (or sweetener of choice see notes)

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add more coconut milk by the tablespoon if it is too thick.
  3. Taste for seasoning and sweetness. (see notes)

Notes

  1. Depending on the sweetness level of your mangos you may want to add some additional mangos to balance the flavors or the maple syrup to taste. If you are following a completely raw diet you can use raw coconut sugar or add more fruit to taste.

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Spring cleaning.... of your diet - Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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Spring cleaning.... of your diet - Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto

I need to catch you up to speed here. So it is day 4 of a 10 day raw whole food juicing/smoothie cleanse that is being run by the beautiful and talented Dr Rhea of RAWjuvenation. I have chosen to go completely raw,  blending all of my food to give my digestion and body a break from the heavy foods of winter. So far, so good. I start my morning with a probiotic, oil pulling, a huge glass of lemon water, then I fill my day with superfood smoothies, nutrient rich, low sugar, green juices, more lemon water, and the occasional blended raw food like this:

This was inspired by one of Dr Rhea’s recipes up on her Facebook page. The best part is that this recipe is a dump and puree method and this pesto is incredibly versatile. You can use it as a dip for a crudite platter, a spread for sandwiches, or even thinned out with some additional olive oil as a sauce or salad dressing. Basically, it is good on everything! 

How are you cleaning up your diet for the Spring? 

raw pesto 2.jpg


Raw Pumpkin Seed Pesto 

Yields 2

Vegan - Raw - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1 large handful of parsley (about 1 cup packed)
  • 1 large handful of cilantro (about 1 cup packed)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbl lemon juice
  • 1 capful of apple cider vinegar (brand Bragg's)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a work bowl of a food processor and blend until a well combined and blended to the consistency of your liking.
  2. Taste for seasoning and keep covered in the fridge until ready to eat.

Notes

  1. The seeds can be substituted for any other nut like walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts etc
  2. The herbs can be substituted for other herbs like basil, dill, chives etc
  3. For a richer pesto use 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup olive oil
  4. Thin with extra olive oil for a salad dressing or sauce

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Eat Clean on the Go! - No Bake Vegan Protein Truffles

I don’t have time to eat right during the work week because I am glued to my desk or on the road.

You are busy I get it. I hear this all day long from clients. People that eat clean, nutritious foods don’t necessarily have more time, they just manage it differently. Want to know the trick? Packing healthy, non perishable snacks in your bag before leaving the house is going to keep you on track and out of the drive thru. Make a huge batch of these protein truffles, pack up small bags of raw nuts/seeds, and bring some fresh fruit like apples or a banana that is ready to go. Keeping your blood sugar balanced throughout your day and staying well hydrated is going to keep your energy levels up, your brain sharp, and will keep you satisfied until you can sit down for a real meal.

No Bake Vegan Protein Truffles

Yields 14

Raw - Vegan - No Refined Sugar - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup raw nut butter (sunflower, almond, cashew etc)
  • 1/4 cup hemp protein powder (or plant based protein powder of choice)
  • 3 Tbl Flaxseed meal
  • 2 Tbl Coconut Flour
  • 1/2 C Non Dairy Milk (coconut, almond, rice, hemp etc)
  • 6 Large Dates (pits removed and soaked in warm water for 5-10 minutes)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Optional

  1. 1-2 tsp scoop favorite greens powder, spirulina, chlorella etc

Coating

  1. 2 TBL Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  2. 2 TBL Raw Cacao Powder

Instructions

  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, add all of the ingredients except for the non dairy milk, cacao and shredded coconut.
  2. Pulse to break up the dates. When they are broken up start to run the motor and stream in the non dairy milk until the mixture starts to become a dough in consistency.
  3. Using a standard ice cream scoop, scoop one ball and split this in half.
  4. Roll the truffle in your hands to form a ball.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Complete this with the rest of the dough.
  7. Roll the truffles in either the cacao or the coconut.
  8. Store in the fridge and eat when you need a snack!

Notes

  1. I like adding greens powder to boost the nutritional content but make sure you add one that tastes good. I like the Amazing Grass brands and some optional flavors that would work in this recipe would be the chocolate or berry flavor.

Some optional nutritious add ins

  1. 1 tsp Maca
  2. 1 tsp Camu Camu
  3. 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs

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Time to slim down for Spring!

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Time to slim down for Spring!

roasted radishes

I just had a startling realization….

It’s the last week of February, which means it’s almost March, and March is almost Spring, and Spring is close to Summer, which is bathing suit season and you know what that means don’t you?!?!?!??!?

It means its time to stop eating all those starchy caloric dense foods and start slimming down for the warmer weather. Eeeek!

So what should you be eating you ask? Well its a good time to start filling your plate with low starch veggies on big piles of fresh salad paired with healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and oily omega 3 filled fish. 

Here is one that you probably haven’t tried before, roasted radishes!

I love radishes because they are very light, have a low starch content, and are great for cleansing because they are a natural diuretic. I prefer to mix raw radishes and cooked to gain a variety of flavor in salads or paired as a side with proteins. All you have to do is place the radishes in a pouch of either parchment or aluminum foil add some ghee or olive oil roast for 15 minutes then open it up and broil for 5-8 minutes to get some nice color and depth of flavor. Voila! Keep in mind that you can use this method for almost any other low starch veggie for cooking like turnips, zuchini, asparagus, etc. 

I also suggest to jumpstart your weight loss efforts by drinking a liter of this detox water daily to help fight bloat and curb your appetite:

Roasted Radishes

Serves 2

Gluten Free - Paleo - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Low Carb - Vegan Friendly

Ingredients

  • 1 lb radishes (washed and cut in half)
  • 2 tsp Grass Fed Ghee or Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Pre heat the oven to 425F
  2. You will need a piece of aluminum foil that is double the size of the amount of radishes because you will be folding it over on itself to form a pouch.
  3. Place the radishes off to one side of the foil and drizzle with oil or place the ghee in the center of the radishes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Fold the foil over on itself and crimp the edge tightly shut so the radishes can steam inside.
  6. Place the pouch on a sheet pan for easy removal.
  7. Roast in oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the pouch from the oven and using heat proof oven mits carefully open the pouch to expose the radishes.
  9. Crank the oven up to a broil.
  10. Toss the radishes with a spoon.
  11. Place the radishes back in the oven on the top shelf and broil for 5-8 minutes or until they start to gain some color.
  12. Remove from oven allow to cool, sprinkle with a touch more of salt if desired and enjoy!
  13. See notes for garnishes.

Optional garnishes

  1. Chopped chives
  2. Julienned mint
  3. Drizzle with favorite salad dressing while still warm to absorb the flavor.
  4. Serve with sliced avocados on top of a salad for a healthy snack!

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Pain Relief Tea - For aches, pain, and inflammation

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Pain Relief Tea - For aches, pain, and inflammation

turmeric tea words

Are your bones and joints feeling the effects of this winters cruel weather like mine are?

If you answered no then that’s great! For the rest of us injured, arthritic, or just plain ol tired folks out there who said yes I have something that may help.

I make this tea when I am fighting inflammation and especially when my back is bothering me. I don’t take pain killers, over the counter NSAIDS or Tylenol because of the effects they have on the liver and stomach. In addition to the harms I am allergic to most other drugs so I have had to become pretty resourceful in how I fight pain after 3 back surgeries. Now you may say “oh but I only take Tylenol sometimes and its sold over the counter so it can’t be that bad”. I thought the same thing and ended up with esophageal burns, ulcers, stomach and intestinal bleeding that I am still trying to heal. 

An excerpt from Natural News regarding Tylenols dangerous effects:

“Even when taken at recommended doses, acetaminophen, the primary active ingredient in Tylenol, can cause major damage to the liver, potentially leading to liver failure and even death…The drug is so toxic that as many as 80,000 people are rushed to the emergency room annually due to acetaminophen poisoning, and another 500-or-so end up dead from liver failure.”

Read more from this article about the deadly effects of Tylenol

Ok so enough of the scary talk , lets talk natural solutions to pain that you can make with food right from your kitchen.  

Here are the active ingredients in my pain relief tea:

Turmeric-  Is a natural anti-inflammatory due to its content of curcumin (this gives turmeric its famous orange color). In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.  Turmeric may also benefit your digestive system by stimulating your gall bladder to make bile, speeding breakdown of dietary fats.

Ginger- Modern scientific research has revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects, an ability to inhibit formation of inflammatory compounds, and direct anti-inflammatory effects. Ginger has also been shown to aid in gastrointestinal issues and very effective in aiding the symptoms of nausea, motion sickness, and sea sickness. *

Cayenne – Gets its heat from large concentrations of a substance called capsaicin. Capsaicin has been widely studied for its pain-reducing effects, its cardiovascular benefits, and its ability to help prevent ulcers. Capsaicin also effectively opens and drains congested nasal passages.

Lemon- An excellent source of vitamin C which not only helps strength the immune system but it also neutralizes free radicals in the body. Free radicals can interact with the healthy cells of the body, damaging them and their membranes, and cause a lot of inflammation, or painful swelling, in the body.*

Black pepper- Due to its analgesic (pain relieving), anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic properties black pepper has been shown to aid with poor muscle tone, arthritis, muscle and/or nerve pain. The oils in the black pepper has these properties which is why I strongly suggest you use freshly ground or buy black pepper essential oil. 

Both ginger and turmeric are generally considered safe and without significant side effects, and both are available as capsules from health-food stores. However, each may interact with certain prescription medications, and neither should be taken if you are pregnant. Always check with your physician if you ever have any concerns about adding a new food or supplement. 

Pain Relief Tea

Serves 4

Vegan - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Paleo 

Ingredients

  • 40 oz filtered clean water (about 5 cups)
  • 4 - 1'' coins of ginger (or use 1 Tbl powdered ginger)
  • 1 Tbl + 1 tsp Powdered Turmeric (organic high quality if you can)
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1-2 Tbl Maple Syrup or Raw Honey to taste (see note)

Instructions

  1. Pour the water into a large sauce pan.
  2. Squeeze the lemon into the water and place the squeezed lemons into the pan too.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and warm over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
  4. Whisk to combine the spices.
  5. Remove from the heat. (This can be left overnight to infuse further with the ginger too)
  6. Strain into mugs and stir in raw honey or maple syrup to taste.
  7. Keep stirring while drinking this because the spices will settle to the bottom.
  8. You can also stir the spices together and pour hot water over while whisking for a quicker version without the ginger. (see notes below)

Notes

  1. I drink mine unsweetened because I like to keep my sugar levels low and I consume this drink regularly. Adding raw local honey will make this a great immunity boosting drink. Feel free to add your sweetener of choice according to your taste.

If you need a quick single serving

  1. Mix 1 heaping tsp of turmeric, pinch of cayene, tiny pinch of black pepper, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger (optional but recommended) and pour hot water over while whisking to combine. Squeeze half of a lemon and drink immediately

*References

 

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Paleo Shepherd's Pie

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Paleo Shepherd's Pie

shepherds pie inside

Its snowing…again. I am freezing and in need of some serious comfort food to ease these winter blues. Good thing I had this prepped in my fridge and could just pop it in the oven because I am not moving from my couch today. Make this for dinner tonight. Eat it wearing your favorite pajamas. Then go sleep off your beefy sweet potato slumber until winter is over.  


Paleo Shepherd's Pie

Serves 6 - 8

Paleo - Grain Free - Gluten Free - Sugar Free

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Bison or Grass Fed Beef or Lamb (or a combo of your choosing)
  • 1 Large Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, finely diced
  • 2 Large Celery Stalks, finely diced
  • 1 lb Mushrooms finely diced (white or crimini)
  • 2 Tbl Organic Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbl Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Low Sodium Beef/Chicken/or Veggie Broth
  • 2 Tbl Ghee or fat of choice
  • 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • heaping 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Frozen Peas

Topping

  1. 2 Large Sweet Potatoes peeled and roughly chopped into 1" chunks
  2. 4 Carrots peeled and roughly chopped into 1" chunks
  3. 1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken or Veggie Broth
  4. 1 Tbl Olive Oil or Ghee

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. In a large high sided pot add the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, 1 cup of broth and place over high heat.
  3. Bring to a boil place a cover on top and reduce to medium heat.
  4. Simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the flesh of the vegetables are easily pierced with a knife.
  5. Drain the vegetables reserving the excess liquid.
  6. Add the ghee and mash or puree in a blender adding some of the cooking liquid to loosen it up.
  7. You can add as much liquid as you prefer to achieve the texture you desire.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. In a large heavy bottomed saute pan place it over medium high heat and add the 2 Tbl ghee/fat of choice.
  10. When the oil/ghee starts to shimmer add the onions, celery, carrots, salt and pepper.
  11. Sautee for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally until the vegetables start to soften.
  12. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
  13. Add the tomato paste and stir it into the vegetables and cook for 1 minute to cook some of the raw tomato flavor out. (Its ok if it looks like there is burnt stuff on the bottom of the pan. That is flavor and will get scraped up and incorporated into the sauce later)
  14. Add the beef/bison and break it up with the back of a wooden spoon.
  15. Sprinkle the garlic powder and cinnamon over the meat and stir well.
  16. Cook until it starts to get some color and stir occasionally to cook it through.
  17. When the beef is pretty well cooked deglaze with the broth and add the balsamic vinegar.
  18. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently to scrape up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan.
  19. When the mixture is thick taste for seasoning.
  20. Add more salt according to your taste.
  21. The frozen peas can be steamed for a few minutes or placed in a small pan and covered with a small amount of broth and brought to a soft simmer then drained.
  22. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  23. Pour the meat mixture into a large 6-8 quart casserole dish.
  24. Cover with the drained peas.
  25. Top with the sweet potato/carrot mash and smooth out to cover the top entirely.
  26. *At this point you can wrap it up and store in the fridge and save for another night to reheat in oven
  27. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until bubbling

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No Bake Paleo Protein Bars

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No Bake Paleo Protein Bars

I am a girl who needs food frequently. Only problem is I don’t like to eat junk or buy $4 a pop on protein bars that have questionable ingredients…so what do I do? 

I make my own! And now you can too!

Since this is January and we are all trying to lose a few pounds these are the perfect snack, breakfast, or pre workout meal because they are vegan, gluten-free, grain free, high fiber, and sweetened lightly with dates. Want to know the best part? You can make the whole batch in your food processor and they don’t require any baking.

#winning

Here is the nutritional breakdown

Paleo Protein Bars

Yields 8

Vegan - Gluten Free - Paleo - Sugar Free - Grain Free

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vanilla hemp protein powder (plain is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower butter (or almond butter/ nut butter of choice)
  • 1/3 cup Coconut Flour
  • 5 Dates
  • 1 tsp. pure vanillla
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (unsweetened)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Optional: 2-3 Tbsp dark chocolate for melting

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan by lining with wax paper like a sling with the sides hanging over the edge for easy removal.
  2. Set aside.
  3. In the workbowl of a food processor add all of the ingredients except the almond milk.
  4. Pulse until the mixture forms a sandy texture and the dates are chopped finely.
  5. With the motor running slowly stream in the almond milk until a dough forms.
  6. Press the dough into prepared loaf pan.
  7. Using a spatula or your hands, spread the mixture evenly in the pan, pressing down firmly.
  8. Optional: place chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and nuke on high in 20 second intervals, mixing between each. When chocolate is fully melted, drizzle over the top of the packed mix using a spoon.
  9. Place pan into fridge and allow to cool for ~30 minutes before cutting into 8 bars.

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Healthy Coconut Chocolate Mousse - Dairy Free - Sugar Free

I am a sucker for anything fatty, creamy, and cold…Ice cream? Yogurt? Mousse? YES PLEASE!

What I am not a sucker for is what these decadent desserts do to my blood sugar and waistline… whomp whomp :/

But fear not! I have a solution to those sweet tooth cravings! A lighter than air dairy free, sugar free, paleo coconut chocolate mousse! 

Whaaaaaat???

Yes this is happening people. 

You can even layer this mousse with some pomegranates, more melted chocolate and nuts to make parfaits suitable for a dinner party! Lets get creative people show me how you do it!

Paleo Coconut Chocolate Mousse

Serves 4

Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Free 

Ingredients

  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 2 Cans Whole Fat Coconut Milk (chilled overnight in the fridge)
  • 2 oz Dark Unsweetened Chocolate Chopped (about 3/4 cup chocolate)
  • 2 Tbl Maple Syrup, Coconut Sugar, Honey or sweetener of choice to taste
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Espresso Powder or Ground Coffee (optional but highly recommended)
  • Pinch of Fine Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl beat the egg whites until firm soft peaks are formed.
  2. With the mixer running slowly stream in the sweetener of choice and continue to beat until firm peaks are formed.
  3. Set aside
  4. Remove the tops of the coconut cream and scoop of the solidified cream on the top, leaving the coconut water on the bottom.
  5. Beat the coconut cream until light and fluffy.
  6. Melt the chopped chocolate over a double boiler or by placing in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  7. Stir the chocolate and keep microwaving for ten second intervals stirring in between until fully melted.
  8. Stir in the vanilla extract and the espresso powder.
  9. Set aside to cool.
  10. Once the chocolate is cooled fold it into the coconut cream.
  11. In 4 stages fold in the egg whites very gently into the chocolate coconut cream.
  12. Its ok if there are streaks of egg whites. You are looking to build volume.
  13. Once all of the egg whites are incorporated into the cream portion the mousse into the serving cups of choice and place in the fridge to set up for minimum of 30 minutes.

Notes

  1. You can chill the mousse in the bowl and then construct parfaits by layering the mousse with chopped nuts, chocolate chunks, pomegranates or any fruit and nut combo you like for a dinner party ready dessert.

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Low Carb/High Protein - Nicoise Salads on Portabello Caps

Nicoise Portobello

I am still on a mission to give you delicious, healthy recipes as we become more and more tempted by this Holiday seasons mind field of indulgent eats. Frosted snowman, gingerbread houses, and orange chocolates that you break up against the wall…..AHHHHH I shake my fist at you delicious sugary treats of Christmas. 

Treating yourself is fine but lets stay focused on healthy eating in between cookie binges. Here is a super flavorful high protein low carb dish that I just had for lunch…and let me say its crazy good!

Basically I deconstructed a Nicoise salad and placed the ingredients on top of a baked Portobello mushroom cap. Mmmm. Oh and I also wrote a recipe for my Olive Oil mayonnaise that I make in big batches every week. I use pasture raised egg yolks and organic cold expeller pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil. 

A little note that olive oil mayonnaise is going to taste a bit different than your regular storebought mayo, it will tatse more like well olive oil! Why olive oil and not a light flavored vegetable oil? I am always combatting inflammation and I like to keep hydrogenated, processed, refined vegetable oils aways from my everyday food. Industrialized  refined oils are the cause of many of Americas health issues (especially silent inflammation which makes weight loss close to impossible). Is it a coincidence that obesity, diabetes, and heart disease numbers in this country are at an all time high while the consumption of vegetable based oils are also at an all time high? I think not. 100 years ago we did not consume this amount of omega 6 filled vegetable oils. We ate real food like lard, eggs, and butter which contain naturally occurring Omega 3 fats, fat soluble vitamins like D, K, & A, and CLA. 

The optimal ratio would be 4:1 or 2:1 (Omega 3:Omega 6). While olive oil doesn’t contain any omega 3’s a cold pressed olive oil has great monounsaturated fats, phenols and vitamin E  preserved when they are not introduced to heat. (monounsaturated fats may lower your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.) This type of olive oil is best when used in cold preparations. I use grass-fed ghee or coconut oil for high heat cooking NOT my beautiful cold pressed olive oil. 

It may take a bit of getting used to flavor wise when cooking with traditional fats like ghee, grass-fed lard, and olive oil mayo but this is REAL food and REAL food will keep you healthy, energized, lean and mean! If you are concerned about your Omega 3 ratio balance I would encourage you to supplement with Cod liver oil or a high quality fish oil like this one. 

Nicoise Salads on Portabello Caps

Yields 4

Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Low Carb - Soy Free - Dairy Free

Base

  • 4 Large Portobello Caps
  • 1 Tbl Olive Oil/Ghee
  • 4 Sprigs Thyme (optional)

Tapenade Spread

  • 1 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
  • 1 Tbl Drained Capers
  • 1 tsp Anchovy Paste or 2 Anchovy Fillets
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbl Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbl Chopped Parsley
  • 2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Garlic Clove Finely Minced

Tuna

  • 2 Cans High Quality Tuna Drained (Recommended Brand: Wild Planet Line Caught Albacore)
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil Mayonaise (homemade recipe here)
  • 1 Tbl Dijon or Grain Mustard
  • 1 Tbl Lemon Juice

Toppings

  1. 6 String Beans, Steamed and Each Cut into Four 1-inch Pieces
  2. 1 Large Tomato Cut into 4 1/2'' slices
  3. Chopped Parsley

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Wipe the mushrooms with a paper towel or kitchen towel to remove any dirt. Gently scrape out the scales inside of the cap using a spoon.
  3. Lay the caps on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and thyme leaves.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned and softened.

Tapenade

  1. In the bowl of a food processor blend the olives, capers, anchovies, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, parsley, and garlic until it is a somewhat smooth spread. I leave mine with a little texture.
  2. Set aside.

Tuna

  1. Drain the tuna and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the tuna, mustards, and lemon juice.
  3. Pour the mayo/mustard mixture over the tuna and mix well.

Assembly

  1. Place the cooled portabello caps onto a serving plate and spread 1 heaping tablespoon of the tapenade onto the mushroom cap.
  2. Place one slice of the tomato on top of the tapenade.
  3. Divide the tuna into four portions and mound the tuna on top of the tomato pressing it into the tomato so it doesn't fall over.
  4. Spoon a little more tapenade on top of the tune and place 4 pieces of the steamed string beans on top.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Notes

  1. The tuna, string beans, and tapenade can all be made ahead of time and can be assembled right before serving.

Adapted from  From Giada DeLaurentis Nicoise Salad Pizzettes

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Low Carb Turnip Mash with Dried Mushrooms

Todays post is for all of you out there who have been working so hard trying to stay in shape and are having a bit of a panic for this years holiday eating season. Lets tackle the Thanksgiving table and make  a low carb alternative to mashed potatoes. I have had my fair share of cauliflower “faux” mashed potatoes so lets mix it up with a new veggie that you probably haven’t thought to use in a vegetable puree. 

Enter the low starch phenomenon called the turnip! 

These little beauties have a very low starch content and are the Paleo/low carb dieters key to satisfying the need for a creamy puree  for Holiday and comfort meals. A quick disclaimer, they do not taste like a potato so I like to add some rich flavors like dried mushrooms to change the somewhat spicy flavor a turnip can have. Don’t worry though, once the turnips cook that spice turns sweet and luscious. The other option is to use half potatoes and half cauliflower or half potatoes half turnips to cut the starch content down. Either way you will eliminate  a lot  of calories and add in a different profile for nutrition and taste. Just make sure to cook the potatoes separately from the turnips and/or cauliflower because the cooking times are different. 

Turnip Mash with Dried Mushrooms

Serves 4-6

Vegetarian - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Low Carb

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Peeled Turnips cut into large chunks
  • 2 Cups Low Sodium Broth (Vegetable, Chicken, Turkey etc)
  • 1/4 Cup Dried Mushrooms cut finely
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Tbl Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan add the broth, the mushrooms, and the chopped turnips.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer with the lid off and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the turnips are easily pierced with a knife.
  3. Transfer all of the mixture to a blender and puree with the olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Notes

  1. The mushrooms can be omitted and milk and butter can be used if you can tolerate dairy but make sure to not add the maple syrup.
  2. Half the turnips can also be exchanged for potatoes if you want a more traditional style of mashed potatoes as well and omit the maple syrup.

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Vegan & Grain Free Pumpkin Pie

Who says you can’t have your pie and eat it too? 

What was that? Oh the saying is cake not pie? Well then all the reason why you can have seconds! Check out these little pecan crusted pumpkin pie beauties free of dairy, grains, sugar, and gluten but jammed with rich, decadent deliciousness. 

 

How did I do it? Wouldn’t you like to know!

I’m kidding, obviously I will tell you just scroll down to the recipe below ;)

Oh and I made mine into individual tarts because I like to feel like a giant when I eat little things, but if you want to serve a regular pie use a 9’‘ spring form pan and pour the filling in and bake for 20-25 minutes longer or until the center is set and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Vegan Pumpkin Pies

Yields 4

Vegan - Paleo - Sugar Free - Gluten Free - Grain Free 

Crust

  • 2 Cups Pecans
  • 2 Cups Dates
  • 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt

Filling

  • 1 16 oz Can Pumpkin Pie Puree
  • 1 Cup Raw Macadamia Nuts Soaked in Water Overnight (or skinless almonds or raw cashews)
  • 1/2 Cup Pitted Dates (soaked in warm water for 15 minutes)
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbl Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbl Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Non Dairy Milk (Coconut, Almond etc)
  • 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Equipment

  • 4 - 4.75 in Mini Tart Shells
  • or
  • 8'' Spring Form Pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F

For the crust

  1. In the work bowl of a food processor add the dates, pecans, and salt and pulse until the pieces are finely ground and it holds it shape when pressed between your fingers.
  2. Grease the tart shells and evenly divide the crust between the shells.
  3. Press the crust up the sides and firmly into the bottom as evenly as you can.
  4. Set aside.

For the Filling

  1. Drain the nuts and rinse off.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the work bowl of a blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Taste for sweetness and adjust according to your palette if necessary.
  4. Place the tart shells on a sheet pan.
  5. Pour the filling evenly between the tart shells.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
  7. Allow to cool and cover with coconut cream (optional)

Notes

  1. This recipe can be made into one large pie. Use an 8'' spring form pan and press the crust into the bottom and up the sides. Pour all of the filling in and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Gluten Free Thanksgiving Continued - Creamy Goat Cheese Black Rice Stuffing with Figs & Hazelnuts

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Gluten Free Thanksgiving Continued - Creamy Goat Cheese Black Rice Stuffing with Figs & Hazelnuts

black rice stuffing

 Ok so not to add any more stress to your life but Thanksgiving is less than ONEWEEK AWAY!!!

No need to panic. I have another make ahead gluten-free recipe for your Holiday table. Today we talk stuffing the oh so challenging dish for the gluten-free Thanksgiving table.

What is my trick? Instead of wasting my money and time trying to tackle gluten-free bread (it rarely comes out right when baked with broth, trust me I’ve tried) I trade out the bread for my favorite cooked rice of choice. Basically for any stuffing recipe that calls for bread pieces I cut the measurement in half and replace that amount with cooked rice. So 6 cups of bread crumbs would be 3 cups cooked rice. Fairly simple right?

I made my stuffing with black rice but if you are weary of serving your guests a purple stuffing you can easily replace the black rice with  brown, or wild rice. Be your own chef and use what YOU like. 

Prepare for goat cheese creamy goodness!

Creamy Goat Cheese Black Rice Stuffing with Figs & Hazelnuts

Serves 8-10

Vegetarian - Gluten Free - 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Black Rice (wild rice or brown rice will work fine too)
  • 4 Cups Organic Turkey Broth divided in half (or Chicken Broth I used Trader Joes Brand)
  • 2 Tbl Ghee, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil or cooking fat of choice
  • 1 Large Onion Diced
  • 2 Large Carrots Finely Diced
  • 3 Large Celery Stalks Finely Diced
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1 Tbl Fresh Sage Chopped Finely
  • 1 Tbl Bells Seasonings
  • 1 Cup Dried Figs Chopped into small Pieces
  • 1 Cups Roasted Hazelnuts Chopped (plus 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 1 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese (plus 1/4 cup for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Rinse the rice before using.
  3. Add two cups of the broth and the rice to a medium size sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
  4. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pan. Cook according to the package directions which will depend on the type of rice you are cooking (generally 35-45 minutes).
  5. When the broth is absorbed remove the pan from the heat and leave the cover on to steam while you assemble the rest of the stuffing.
  6. In a large saute pan heat the ghee over medium-high heat until it starts to shimmer.
  7. Add the carrots, onions, celery and the salt and pepper.
  8. Stir frequently until the vegetables start to soften and gain some color (about 4-6 minutes).
  9. Add the sage and bells seasoning; stir to coat.
  10. Deglaze with the remaining 2 cups of broth and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  11. Remove from the heat and transfer this mixture to a large bowl.
  12. Add the cooked rice to the vegetable/broth mixture and stir to combine.
  13. Add the goat cheese, figs, and the hazelnuts.
  14. Taste for seasoning (some broths and goat cheeses have different salt levels) and adjust if necessary.
  15. If the rice mixture seems too dry you can add another cup of broth but the cheese should make it very creamy.
  16. Transfer the stuffing to a greased casserole dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is crispy.
  17. Garnish with fresh parsley, and more hazelnuts and goat cheese right before serving.

Notes

  1. The rice can be made two days ahead. The stuffing can be made the day before and baked off in the oven when ready to eat. Make sure to add 10-15 additional minutes to the cooking time to heat back up from being in the fridge.

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Thanksgiving Recipes - Roasted Root Veggies in a Garlic Sage Brown Butter

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Thanksgiving Recipes - Roasted Root Veggies in a Garlic Sage Brown Butter

Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away so I want to start sharing some of my go to gluten-free crowd pleasers that I make for my family. Today is a make ahead side dish of roasted root vegetables that I roast the day before then I re heat the day of and toss in a garlic, sage, sherry, brown butter sauce right before serving. Toss some toasted nuts and fresh lemon zest on top and you have a gourmet side dish that will make your guests think you are hot stuff….because you are obviously duh!

Stick with me kid this holiday is going to be your best ever!!!

roasted root veggies w_brown butter ariel.jpg

Roasted Root Vegetables in a Garlic Sage Sherry Brown Butter

Serves 6

Make Ahead - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Sugar Free - Paleo 

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 lb Carrots Peeled Cut in 1/2'' pieces
  • 1 lb Parsnips Peeled Cut in 1/2'' pieces
  • 1 lb Sweet Potatoes Peeled Cut in 1/2'' pieces
  • 4 Shallots Peeled & Cut in quarters
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil or Ghee or Grapeseed Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

Brown Butter Sauce

  • 3 Tbl Grass Fed Butter
  • 1 Tbl Finely Minced Garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
  • 1 Tbl Finely Minced Fresh Sage Leaves (about 3-4 leaves)
  • 1 Tbl Sherry Vinegar
  • Pinch of Sea/Pink Salt

Garnish

  1. Zest of 1 lemon
  2. 1/2 Cup Toasted Pecans (or Hazelnuts or Marcona Almonds)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F
  2. Line a large roasting/sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Toss the chopped vegetables with the oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and pour onto the sheet pan. Make sure the vegetables are in a single layer to prevent steaming and promote browning.
  4. Roast in the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes tossing the vegetables halfway through cooking until browned with crispy edges.
  5. Remove the vegetables and set aside. (At this point you can cool the vegetables and store them in the fridge until the next day. When ready to serve place back onto a sheet pan lined with foil and reheat in a 375F for 20-25 minutes or until warmed and browned).
  6. Transfer the warm vegetables to a large bowl.

For the brown butter

  1. In a small sauce pan heat the butter over medium heat until foaming.
  2. Add the sage and garlic into the butter and allow to saute for 1-2 minutes making sure not to burn the garlic.
  3. As soon as the garlic starts to take on color remove from the heat and add the sherry vinegar, a big pinch of salt, and the nuts.
  4. Stir the butter mixture and pour over the vegetables.
  5. Toss the vegetables until well coated in the butter.
  6. Zest the lemon over the vegetables right before serving.

Notes

  • You can play with the root vegetables and the nuts used in this recipe.

 

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