Archive for Vegetarian – Page 2

Butternut Squash and Sage Quinoa

I made this dish for the Friendsgiving we went to last month and it was a big hit. I attribute that to 2 things: 1) sage and butternut squash go together easily and naturally like old friends and 2) butter. This dish is frighteningly easy for how delicious it is and can be used as a hearty side to your holiday feast OR as a main dish for vegetarian friends and meatless nights. My one caveat is that you really brown and crisp up the cubed butternut squash, thus it’s important that you have even and equal knife cuts. This also make a great wheat-free, vegetarian stuffing

You will need 1 hour and:

1 bunch Fresh Sage
1 butternut squash ( they are sold by the squash and not by the pound at Trader Joe’s) 1/2 cup of grassfed butter
2 cups of water or vegetable stock
1 cup of red Quinoa (any color fine though)
1 tbsp rosemary
optional: 1 cup of macadamia nuts

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. Chop butternut squash into even, bite sized cubes by slicing in half long ways, and then removing seeds and slicing each half. No need to removes skin. It will crisp up and be delicious!
  3. Place squash cubes on a sheet pan and season with salt and an olive oil drizzle. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until browned on edges
  4. While squash is baking, heat 2 cups of water or stock in a pot on the stove. Once it has reached a boil, cook your quinoa for 20-30 minutes or until most of the water is gone and quinoa seeds are fluffy.
  5. In a large skillet, heat your butter on medium, carefully stirring so as not to burn it. You want a golden-brown butter
  6. When butter is thoroughly melted, add finely chopped sage. It is important to give the sage a fine chop so that the soapy consistency is cooked off.
  7. When your butternut squash is done, transfer it to your butter-sage mixture and add rosemary, stir and fold to incorporate and cover squash with buttery mixture.
  8. Transfer squash and butter mixture to a serving dish and stir in your quinoa evenly
  9. Sprinkle with crushed macadamia nuts

12 Meals of Christmas

One of the big changes I’m making to my own daily diet and thus my blog is reducing animal protein and saving those valuable calories and nutrients for local farms, where I’m assured of the quality of life of the animals. This has added a new dimension to my recipe creation, and really challenged me outside of my comfort zone, so I’m excited to share a compilation of mostly vegetarian, and some vegan and pescatarian recipes.

I’ve been training really hard the last few weeks, and I’ve been replenishing with lean protein from wild-caught fish and shrimp, in addition to more carbs than were in my previous diet. These recipes reflect that nutrient shift,  as well as the seasonal quality of the starches and vegetables that I’m using in my dishes. I’m hoping to use the cohesiveness of these recipes {seasonal, varietal, mostly plant-based, healthy alternatives to comfort foods, and still allergen-free} to create a compilation or cookbook as I build on and test out these recipes. All these recipes are also grain, sugar, soy, and lactose free. So over the next 12 days, you can expect the following recipes:

  • butternut squash & sage quinoa
  • sweet potato cheese fries with curried ketchup
  • broccoli cheddar soup
  • Vegan Holiday Truffles
  • twice baked sweet potato with green onions and herbacious compound butter
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • tart cranberry relish
  • dressed up hearts of romaine
  • SCD/ Paleo Sticky Toffee pudding
  • curried spaghetti squash {with shrimp} and golden raisins*
  • paleo peppermint bark
  • Match stick root veg

I hope you’ll tune in and discover the 12 meals (or desserts)  that you can either enjoy during the holidays or put on the metaphorical “back burner” for next month when you’re trying to reset. And I hope this “plant-based paleo” movement really takes off.

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It’s Decorative (and edible) Gourd Season!

Decorative (and edible) gourd seasonOver here trying to contain my excitement!!! I definitely prefer the natural, muted, fall colors of real gourds, as opposed to the stark orange & black combo this time of year. the good news is, you can decorate with your gourds and eat them too. I’m coming at you today with a Paleo/SCD/Whole 30 recipe for each of my favorite seasonal centerpieces. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Acorn squash agrodulce. I hope you read and enjoyed my acorn squash chili bowl recipe on Mind Body Green. For the leftover acorn squash chili bowls, I slice them thinly up from bottom to top (where you put the chili in) and roast them. They’ve already been baked a bit to soften them for coring, so if you haven’t made your acorn squash chili bowl, then you will need to prebake for 30 minutes at 375 so that you can soften the squash up and remove seeds from the center. For the agrodulce, I used this recipe from The Kitchen, which is SCD/Paleo safe. Honey and Maple syrup are not always Whole 30 approved, but I do use them in very small amounts, as well as agave nectar. I agree that keeping the blood sugar’s stability is important, so I usually cut sweeteners in half, especially honey, so that would be just 1/8 cup in this recipe by Ms. Katie Lee! It is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving spread, or just a lunch/dinner entree on its own! I especially like this addition to a pork loin meal.
  2. Butternut squash gnocchi with sage butter sauce. These are some of my absolute favorite flavors in the entire Universe and it creates such a warm and hearty, yet delicate meal. To make your gnocchi, you will need 1/2 cup of roasted butternut squash (seeds removed), combined with 1/4 a cup of mashed sweet potato. I combine in a food processor with 1/4 a cup of sifted coconut flower and 1/4 a cup of sifted almond flour, then add 2 eggs,  1 tsp. sea salt, and garlic salt. Next, you will bring a large pot of water to boil. Remove your dough mixture and sprinkle generously with more coconut flour. Finally, you can follow the simple directions of making gnocchi in this video from minute 3-4 by rolling your dough up into a long tube and cutting 1 inch squares (makes about 30-40 squares). Gently, add your gnocchi to your boiling water, a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. They will rise to the top when done in 3-5 minutes. While you are doing that, in a pan, you can begin to brown 1/4 a cup of butter or ghee with 2 tbsp. fresh, chopped sage. To brown and not burn butter, you just want to heat it on medium/high and constantly stir until it is a golden, nutty color.
  3. Neck pumpkin Cinnamon mash. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the neck pumpkin into a baking dish, with the rind pointing up. Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish. Set the baking dish in the hot oven. Bake the neck pumpkin until it is tender. The time will depend on the size of the pumpkin. Poke the rind with a fork. When the tines slide through easily, the pumpkin is done. Remove the rind and mash the pumpkin as it cools to the touch. I like to use my food processor to blend in 1 egg, 1/2 cup of almond or coconut milk, and plenty of Cinnamon and Nutmeg. This dish is reminiscent of my Thanksgiving Acorn Squash Puree from last year.

I also love using gourds as lanterns, rather than (or in addition to) pumpkins. There is some ethereal harvest feel I get from them that somehow surpasses the traditional jack-o-lantern. Good luck with your gourds and your paleo/whole 30  efforts to eat more simply, locally, and healthfully this season!

Decorative (and edible) Gourd Season

Martha Stewart Gourd Lantern

Crispy Cauliflower Pizza Crust the right way

crispy cauliflower pizza crust
This is a legit good recipe. Who wants soggy fall apart crust? I want crispy cauliflower pizza crust, don’t you?! I was a little shocked when I was perusing online for a cauliflower pizza crust recipe. So many included starches or creamy cheeses (what?!) and one I actually tried (with 3 eggs in it) tasted more like an omelet. I hope this one is fine-tuned enough that it’s just perfect! It’s hard to trust recipes on the internet these days, but I think the pictures are justification! This is also a note about staying AWAY from the gluten free crusts on the market. They may help with gluten intolerance, but they are too often packed with bad ingredients that result in higher calorie and fat content, so they are DEFINTELY not for the person looking to stay slim.

Ingredients

1/2 head of cauliflower (I rice the entire thing and freeze the other in baggies for use later)
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1 egg
1.5 cups of Parmesan (sub with non-dairy cheese if necessary, but Parmesan has TRACE amount of lactose)
dried italian herbs
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* I don’t use salt because I usually use salty ingredients like homemade pesto, prosciutto, or anchovies. You can salt it to tastes if you like.

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Break cauliflower into florets
  3. Lightly blend until you get a “rice like” consistency- (makes about 2-3 cups)
  4. Using a cheese cloth or a dish towel, squeeze excess water from cauliflower (should get 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  5. Transfer cauliflower to a bowl and combine remaining ingredients
  6. Heat cauliflower “dough” mixture in a double boiler until cheese is melted and it is warmed through and sticking together {it wont be as sticky as normal dough ;)}
  7. Take dough and spread VERY thin 1/4 -1/8 inch onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  8. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes until edges are dark brown
  9. Add your sauce and toppings and heat under a broiler for 3-5 minutes
  10. My toppings include: homemade pesto, prosciutto, more parmesan, and leftover veggies from previous dinner! if you like tomato sauce, then Trader Joe’s has some great natural options with no additives.

My 5 Favorite Healthy Pumpkin Recipes For Fall

healthy pumpkin recipesHealthy recipes are hard to come by when talking about traditional used of canned pumpkin. Canned pumpkin by nature is healthy– it is naturally sweet, fibrous, and energy-giving– and is legal on our Whole 30 challenge this month.  It is the combination of that can of pumpkin with things like evaporated milk, pastries, and sweeteners that detracts from your overall health. Check out these pumpkin recipe obsessions of mine. these are on my repertoire all fall!

5. Grain Free Pumpkin Pancakes. My age old trick is simple: Use the Against All Grain Banana Pancake Recipe, but replace the banana and chocolate chips with 1 can of pumpkin puree!! #foolproof

4. New Isagenix flavor Pumpkin Spice lean protein! Literally one of the best pumpkin spice flavors I’ve ever tasted, let alone the best protein shake I’ve ever tasted! I look SO forward to  having this every morning this fall with almond milk after a workout! Paired with a piece of fruit, it becomes the perfect 400 calories breakfast to energize your day and keep you full until lunch!

3. My Pumpkin Lemongrass Soup might be the recipe I am most proud of. It is so simple, wholesome and absolutely flavorful and delicious! Please make it this month!!

2. Massaged Tuscan Kale Salad with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and homemade Caesar dressing. I add a can of anchovies from Trader Joe’s to this beautiful Fall Salad for my lunches every day! To massage the kale, you just want to pre-dress it with your dressing of choice and lemon juice and massage the leaves to soften them. You can also shake it up in a tupperware.

1.My Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte is pretty famous for being delicious, healthy and low in calories. A Starbucks PSL contains some dangerously unnecessary additives and packs about 400 calories. Mine is more like 120 and contains only canned pumpkin, fall spices, maple syrup, coffee,  and light coconut milk.

30 Day Clean Eating Challenge- Starts September 10th!

Maybe some of you have a nutrition cycle like me: You do really well all week long with few indulgences. You make your balanced lunches, and dream up nutritious dinners like zoodles with homemade pesto or buffalo chicken lettuce cups with homemade dressing. You eat vegetarian for most meals, vegan even, and lots of fish and lean protein to fill you up after workouts. THEN the weekend comes along… One indulgence becomes EVERY MEAL, drinking alcohol leaves you feeling too lazy for morning workouts, and everyone is eating out and using food to socialize, right?

Usually for me, Sunday ends in a necessary liquid fast after this type of weekend and I start my week off feeling less than great, and back on my clean eating train. That’s why I’m challenging myself to a 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge or WHOLE 30. This type of whole food cleanse is so good for your body (unlike the water-cayenne pepper-lemon juice kind) and is REALISTIC to maintain over a lifetime. I could honestly not imagine going back to sugar or wheat after my first 30 days without it and there is a distinct possibility that you could find a similar culprit for your headaches, fatigue, stomach aches, anxiety, and be free of it after October 10th. What a fabulous way to start out the Fall Season? With all your clothes too big and a new palate for healthy, seasonal food.

I only have success with this type of thing when I have accountability partners! That’s why I am participating in my 30 Day Whole food Challenge via my friends over at Supersisterfitness.com  The program includes meal plans, supplements, nutritious cleanse day drinks and a built-in support system, so that you really can’t fail. Comment below or Send me an email if you want details on how you can participate!

Here are some rules to guide our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

  • NO Processed foods– meaning nothing pre-packaged or not REAL
  • NO SUGAR- this includes added sugar! (I’m looking at you, Greek Yogurt)
  • NO Alcohol (ok, one glass of red wine a week if you must)
  • NO refined carbohydrates (which should already be clear from #1) but I’ll say it again: don’t eat  white rice, corn, or wheat
  • DO YOUR BEST to eat organic, antibiotic- free meat. Local is best. Know that the animal that is feeding you had a normal animal life.
  • LIMIT Dairy. I do not have milk, cream, or any milk by-product because these foods are inflammatory for me. I DO have low-lactose cheeses, dark chocolate, and make my own yogurt. Find a balance and do what works for you!
  • NO Soda or beverages other than water. Only green tea or “bulletproof”  coffee…more on that later

If you follow the rules above, I KNOW you will be feeling better in 72 hours or less. Take your Summer challenge to the next level with this me this month and start Fall off on the right foot!
30 Day Clean Eating Challenge

It’s Almost Soup Season: Creamy, Dairy-free Cauliflower Soup, 2 ways

Normally I wouldn’t start on my soup craze until September, but I turned up with a bad cold this rainy Monday morning, and there’s nothin
g better. Luckily I tried out (and tweaked to perfection) this lovely Cauliflower Soup Recipe. I can’t wait to post a picture of what it looks like with It's Almost Soup Season: Creamy, Dairy-free Cauliflower Soup, 2 waysthe curry powder in it! Cauliflower is such a superstar in the kitchen– from bread to pizzas, to rice to mash, and soup too! Versatility is key for me. Check out the simple recipe below, adapted from Paleo Leap and look for my DIY video later this week for the incredible Bacon-Wrapped Dates in the corner of my Cauliflower Soup photo!

Creamy, Dairy-free Cauliflower Soup, 2 Ways (8 servings, easily doubled)

1 head cauliflower
1 cup of light coconut milk ( I like the Trader Joe’s brand with no sugar or additives)
3 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegan soup, chicken has more flavor and homemade is always best)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 Tb thyme
cooking fat
GENEROUS salt and black pepper

*Garnish with crumbled bacon (pictured with cheddar cheese because I had bacon wrapped dates! yum!)

for 2nd way: add 2 Tb. Curry Powder, 2 Tb turmeric, and Cilantro garnish at the end! 

  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees; Combine chopped onion, garlic, and cauliflower head onto a sheet pan and bake roast for 30 minutes
  2. Move your roasted mixture to a large pot and add chicken stock and herbs. Let this mixture come to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. After flavors are incorporated through simmer, turn heat off, remove bay leaf,  and use hand-held mixer/ emulsifier (or move to a blender/processor) to blend into a creamy consistency
  4. Once all your cauliflower is broken down, stir in your coconut milk, and then you can add spices (salt and pepper to taste).
    * if you choose to make it the 2nd way with curry powder and turmeric, your soup will be a bright golden color, garnish with cilantro.
  5. I like to serve in large bowls with crumbled bacon as a garnish. I’m not dairy-intolerant, I eat low lactose, so I also enjoy this soup with aged cheddar shredded on top, which has a very low lactose content.

This is also a great soup to enjoy with my grain-free bread

The Perfect Grain-free Sandwich Bread!

perfect grain-free sandwich bread

See, no sticking with parchment paper! Pulls right up!

Trust me, you need this in your life right now. The smell is wafting up from the kitchen, and it is AMAZING. If you are doing the gluten free/wheat free thing, please! please! please! don’t buy store-made Gluten Free Flours. The Xanthum Gum and Tapioca Starch and Rice Flour junk they put in them is just as bad for your inflammation as gluten or wheat, I promise!

This bread is so easy to make! It takes less than 10 minutes to throw everything together and 40 minutes to bake. I use it for sandwiches (below) or individual pizza slices–Anchovies anyone? I would compare the consistency to that of a pita pocket. Ok, go officially be a badass bread maker, just grab the following ingredients: 3 cups of Almond flour, 3 eggs,  1/4 cup butter, 1 cup DCCC (Farmer’s Cheese) or greek yogurt, 1 tsp. baking soda,  1 tsp. salt + rosemary to taste.

1. Preheat Oven to 375
2. Combine all ingredients except rosemary in your food processor or blender and blend.
3. Add as much water as you need to make the consistency into a sticky dough.
4. Poor the dough into a parchment paper-lined  8×10 baking pan and press it down to  about 1/4 inch think, evenly spread across the pan & Sprinkle Rosemary over top!
5. IMPORTANT STEP: Cut the raw dough as you see I’ve done. Once down the middle and two X’s on each half. This will make your bread easy to get out in a serving size and it won’t crumble when you cut it!

The perfect grain-free sandwich bread is pretty beautiful itself in the pan, but check out this sandwich I made using it, with basil, tomato and cheese!Picture perfect grain-free sandiwch bread with tomato, basil, mayo, and cheese!

Anti-Inflammatory Detox Smoothie

Hey you guys, bad news. I sprained my lower back working out this week. It has been so tough to be off my feet, healing, and doing simple exercises to rebuild strength. I’ve been using both Arnica and ibuprofen for pain, in addition to some essential oils. I decided to (what the heck!) also throw in some anti-inflammatory nutrition so I’ve been drinking the following smoothie to combat my tummy inflammation AND my back inflammation!

1 mug full of green tea (preferably macha, but any will do) as your liquid base
1 handfulls of blueberries
2 handfulls of kale
1 inch of ginger root
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 TB flaxseed
1 TB Turmeric
optional 1 cup ice, which I like because I like super frozen smoothies!

Blend and feel better! OR just reduce your natural inflammation and ward off disease!

Grain-Free, Lactose Free Eggplant Lasagne

In college, my friends called me Garfield because I loved lasagne so much. I LOVE this fatty, carby food to death, so giving up mozzarella and wheat as a result of IBD and PCOS made my lasagne lust difficult to manage. I’ve mentioned before that it’s so important to still have some comfort foods in your regime when you are trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. All my yummiest recipes come from that need–and the ability to replicate these delicious dishes- to fulfill those cravings. This is what keeps me on the path to health. I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying to eat more vegetarian this summer, so there is no meat in this dish! There are actually only 5 ingredients, plus a few spices in this delicious, wholesome, vegetarian dish. I use Parmesan because it only has trace amounts of lactose, so most lactose-intolerant people can actually tolerate it (but it is individual, so be sure you can!) And I also use dry curd cottage cheese, or farmer’s cheese, which is lactose free.  I hope you enjoy this marriage of Eggplant Parmesan and Lasagne (The e is the correct Italian spelling!)

Grain-Free Eggplant Lasagne

2 large eggplants, 2 eggs, 1 block of parmesan cheese, 1 container farmers cheese,  a bunch of your favorite type of tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper, and garlic. So simple!

1. In a large skillet, heat 2 TB of olive oil on low, add chopped garlic. and Preheat your over to 375 degrees.
2. Create a “breading” station with grated (or powdered) parmesan in one bowl, and your 2 raw eggs, beaten.
3. With a sharp knife, slice both eggplants into long, thin noodles, resembling lasagne noodles.
4. Turn your skillet up to medium-high, then dip each eggplant noodle in your egg mixture, then your parmesan mixture and place in your pan with olive oil and garlic.
5. Let cook 2 minutes on each side and then lay the noodles out on paper towels to drain oil.
6. Use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to blend your tomatoes (number depends on size. I used two large tomatoes), add 1/8 cup of olive oil, plus the garlic/olive oil mixture from your pan. Then season with s + p and oregano to taste! ( I use lots!)
7. Now you’re ready to build your Lasagne! I always start with my tomato sauce on the bottom, and then lay out my noodles, sprinkle with dccc (farmer’s cheese) and parmesan, more sauce, and the next layer of noodles. I alternate direction of my noodles, which makes it easier to cut after baking, AND I overlap my eggplant noodles a little bit because they are obviously not as substantial or thick as gluten-y wheat noodles!
8. Once you have your lasagne assembled, you can stick in the oven for just 20 minutes, enough to melt your cheese and warm everything up to make it gooey! there is nothing that is raw or needs to be cooked, so the cook time is more  based on your gooey preference.

I know this sounds to easy/basic, but the cooking that I love is simple and intuitive. And what you get at the end is SO worth it! YUM!

IMG_0460

I covered the top of this one with parmesan and cheddar because I can tolerate the VERY low lactose in aged cheddar.