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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

Autumn Favorites: More Paleo Lovers Recipes

autumn favorites paleo

We had a rainy fall weekend here in NC, which is one of my favorite types of weather! We went on two long runs with our dogs and I finally got to whip up one of my favorite fall recipes: Bison & Acorn squash Chili. My recipe was featured on Mind Body Green this year, so go on over and check it out on my favorite health blog.

We were supposed to go apple picking this weekend, but our outing and my paleo apple bread got rained out. Instead, I whipped up some Paleo Pumpkin-Banana/Peach bread with the 8 brown bananas I had frozen over the last several months. I went a little crazy with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, but this definitely tastes like fall, so I recommend to all! This is my own recipe, and if you haven’t noticed, I like to keep it simple with the measurements and ingredients. We are not all Chefs out there and I don’t think that arrowroot powder or palm and coconut sugars benefit my digestion. So if you ever have questions  about steps or ingredients because of my focus on simplicity, please comment! I will respond quickly!

Autumn favorites Paleo

Ingredients

1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
Lots of pumpkin pie spice or: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup organic pureed pumpkin
3-4 ripe bananas or peaches ( I made a loaf with each and left out maple syrup with peaches)
* Walnuts would be excellent in this bread! I just have an allergy 🙂

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix your first 4 ingredients in a bowl (dry ones)
  3. Mix your last 5 ingredients 9wet ones) in a separate bowl until smooth
  4. Combine all ingredients into one bowl and mix until all is incorporated evenly
  5. Pour into bread pan and bake for 35-45 minutes.
    Disclaimer: Traditionally, this should take 45, but I have a hot oven and take everything out early! Know thy Oven!! And know thyself: I like REALLY moist bread that falls apart.

A Week of Whole 30 prep: salads, snacks, and meals

a Week of whole 30 prep Practice makes perfect when it comes to paleo and whole food recipes, so after almost 2 years on a Paleo-ish & Selective Carbohydrate diet (SCD), I have an easier time with the few things I do have to give up. I know it’s hard when you are doing a 30 day challenge because it almost feels as if you finally get the hang of cooking, planning, and filling yourself up after that month. Hopefully, the groove you get in after about 3 weeks is what keeps you going down this path, eating more of what we were meant to eat as a species, for your improved health and thriving! Here are some of the tricks of the trade to get you through your first full week of our 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.

  1. Planning ahead is key. I make a Large salad on Sunday evening, and there are some fabulous options all over my blog, like this one. This week, since I try to east seasonally, I mixed up an entire head of Tuscan Kale (which is my favorite because it is so hearty and stands up to creamy dressings), a bag broccoli slaw veggies, which is essentially julienned sliced broccoli and carrots, and raw Brussels sprouts that I shredded in my food processor by pulsing for a few minutes. I pre-dress this salad with with a cup of homemade salad dressing since these are all hearty veg. Tuscan kale either needs to be “massaged” or softened in dressing before eating it raw. This salad will be my base for all lunches this week, and I’ll add variety to the meal by changing up my protein anchovies, tuna, free range chicken, etc. Before dressing and dividing it up, I took out a sheet pan’s worth to coat in olive oil and roast for our dinner tonight, alongside bison patties.
  2. Every time I make soup or chili, I make a huge pot in my slow-cooker, and store half in the freezer immediately. This week, I get to take out 2 soups and a bison chili, and each will provide us with at least one dinner. This means my only prep for dinner those nights is to a) make a few bacon wrapped dates  to go on the side of my cauliflower soup, b) chop up some cilantro and green onion for my curry soup, and throw them in a green salad to go on the side  and c) slice some avocado for my chili.
  3. During Whole 30, I always have a large head of cauliflower in my crisper, ready to be called upon for my other dinners This week, I will take a sharp knife and cut the head in half. One half will be pulsed in my food processor until it is a grainy rice, and will be pan fried in one egg then mixed with vegetables, shrimp, coconut oil, and coconut aminos for my cauliflower fried rice. The other half will have a bit more processing to go through, when I turn it into my cauliflower pizza crust recipe, coming to the blog tomorrow!

This is a really simple way to get all your lunches and dinners out of some good produce and minimal prep.  I go with smoothies or smoothie bowls packed with fibrous chia and flax to keep me full in the morning. If I do get hungry before lunch, My array of mid-morning snacks include: 1/2 cup of macadamia nuts, pistachios, 2 soft boiled eggs, extra bacon wrapped dates from dinner, almond butter on celery, 1 piece of fruit,  or a palm full of plantain chips.

Ok, get to prepping! I hope this was helpful for a week of whole 30 prep!

Probiotic Tip #1: SCOBY Bryant For the Win!

SCOBY= symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast

A Scoby is used in the brewing of Kombucha Tea. They are surprisingly simple to create in the comfort of your own home, especially this time of year since they thrive in warm, damp, dark settings–Thanks 105 degrees with humidity! My Scoby formed at home in just over a week, and you can make one too by following these steps:

  1. Use a sterile- clean glass jar, such as these from Ikea that I love
  2. To your jar, add a bottle of store bought kombucha (or some tea borrowed from a reliable source)
  3. Brew some simple green (or black) tea and add 1 cup to your kombucha jar
  4. Sprinkle in sugar to speed up fermentation
  5. WAIT for this guy!IMG_0494

After you have your SCOBY and a Gallon Jar, you can make your own home batch of Kombucha and feel the probiotic magic happen in your gut!

Stay Tuned for Probiotic Tips #2 Homemade Yogurt and #3 Homemade Sauerkraut

(Credit to my friend Darren for naming the SCOBY)

Welcome to My New Site!

If there is anything I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that most journeys, especially ones toward health and well-being are taken one step at a time. My aim is to be able to share my steps toward holistic health daily, in the hope that my experience will reach someone and make a real difference in their quality of life, the way mine has been forever altered.

My new posts will include recipes, ancestral health tips, archaeological stories & findings, adventures of my doula training, thoughts on sustainable and natural living in the home and garden, and herbal and essential oil remedies. There’s something for everyone, and I’m excited about this new chapter.

Let me know what you think of the new look and if you have any recipe or topic suggestions for the coming year! I’ve got a bunch of fabulous ideas that I can’t wait to share!

Be Well,

Elisabeth

set your life on fire