Category Archives: Recipes

Vegetable Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb to 1lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 Large Yellow Onion
  • 1 20oz Jar Organic Marinara Sauce (look for one with less than 3g sugar per serving & no added sugar in the ingredients list)
  • 2 Medium Organic Zucchini sliced about 1/8 inch thick
  • 1/2 Organic Yellow & Orange & Red Bell Pepper sliced into small ribbons or diced
  • 5 oz Organic Baby Spinach
  • 5 Organic Lasagna Pasta OR Quinoa Lasagna
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese

HINT: Double the recipe to make 2 pans and freeze one in individual containers.

Instructions: Cook the ground turkey, onions, mushrooms and garlic in a skillet until browned. Pour in Marinara Sauce. Freeze half the sauce (unless you’re making a double recipe).

Grease a 9×13 Pyrex dish with olive oil, then Layer in the pan:

Dry Noodles 1 layer. Layer in the peppers, Spinach, Zucchini, Mozzarella, Sauce
Dollop Ricotta Cheese on top
Bake in the Oven for about 35 minutes, then sprinkle some Parmesan on for the last 10 minutes and let it brown a little on the top. 15 Servings with a salad on the side makes a complete meal.

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Breakfast Muffins – Oatmeal on the go!

I see you everyday and you are busy! You’ve got work, appointments, kids, your days are a blur of getting things done, and on top of everything, you’re trying to eat right. It’s hard to balance your good health when you don’t have time to put together a healthy meal, much less sit down and eat it. Oatmeal is such a great staple in your healthy diet, but who has time to cook steel cut oats in the morning?

 I’m busy too, so here’s my solution, for both of us. I found this recipe on Pinterest  from Sugar Free Mom and with a little tweaking I’ve been able to increase the quality of the added sugar. Remember, even if you use honey, you’re still adding a sugar without fiber. But with 100% Raw Organic Honey, you’re getting some beneficial antioxidants as well as a natural antibiotic that won’t wreak havoc on your immune system.

Gluten Free, low in sugar, simply delicious

Gluten Free, low in sugar, simply delicious

UPDATED 2/20/2015: The very definition of Serendipity is: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. Well I made a batch of these babies yesterday and it was Serendipitous indeed.

To start with, I decided to try going down to only 1/4 cup of honey. That took it from 90g to 68g for the whole recipe, and I’d be willing to go down even further. I’ve reduced it before and it didn’t seem to be a detriment. The raw organic honey has a sweeter taste so I believed this was a win. The batter was slightly thicker than usual and I put only 1/2 cup in each one so I was slightly confused, but Cooking is therapeutic for me so I don’t get too analytical…until I have the result. After they’d been in the oven a good 5 minutes, it hit me. I forgot the Applesauce. Well I broke into a sweat for a minute; I scrambled to make a list of ingredients I would need to get at the store, in order to make a second batch. Then I took a breath and put it into the hands of the Kitchen Powers that Be.

I really couldn’t contain my excitement when they turned out really, really good. Passed 4 taste tests so I was thrilled because the Applesauce, though unsweetened, still contained 11g per serving of sugars, which kind of pushed these over the top for me. That was a total of 66g for the whole recipe. Cut. Gone. Buh-Bye! And they were still yummy! I served it warm with at Tblsp (maybe a tad more…it’s a big muffin!) of Grass Fed Butter and it reminded me of sitting in Gramma’s kitchen when I was a kid. She’d sit me on a stool and tell me how to cook. Whatever she made always tasted amazing. That’s what it tasted like, Gramma’s house.

That makes this an official Sugar Shaker recipe. Original Recipe: 253g  Sugar Shaker Recipe: 102g. That’s 151g of Sugar Shaken for this recipe.

Ingredients

2 Eggs
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Large Banana or 2 Medium
2 Tbsp of 100% Raw Organic Honey
1/4 Cup Coconut oil
2.5 cups Organic Rolled Oats
2.5 cups Organic Oat Flour
2 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
3 Tbsp Cinnamon
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Can Organic Coconut Milk
2 Cups of Blueberries. Can substitute cranberries or Raspberries (or go crazy and mix your berries.) I prefer the blueberries because of their nutrient density. More bang for your buck.

I’m not a food blogger so I’ll keep this as simple as possible. Mix all the wet ingredients EXCEPT the milk, with an immersion blender. Mix all the dry ingredients with a mixer. Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients in the mixer,then add the milk. When it’s all blended, gently fold in the berries.

I use the large muffin pans so I get 12 meal size muffins. Grease the pan with coconut oil and add 3/4 cup of the oatmeal mixture in each. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until brown around the edges and a toothpick come out clean.

Perfect to grab and take with you. If you have a big family, you can use the smaller muffin tins. You should get about 18 muffins.

These take about 15 minutes to throw together. 35 minutes to bake. Less bake time for the smaller tins. Use a toothpick to determine if they’re done in the middle. Bon Appétit!

 

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Cranberry Walnut Gorgonzola Balsamic

Yep, just like the one at Trader Joe’s made from ingredients bought at Trader Joe’s, but without all the added words we can’t pronounce and the added sugar. You see I found that cranberries on their own are pretty sweet. We don’t need to make it any sweeter. So here it is:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water
1/3 cup balsamic
1/4 cup EVOO
Pinch sea salt & pinch o pepper
2-3 tbsp Gorgonzola cheese
2 tbsp walnuts
1/2 cup dried organic cranberries

Throw water, balsamic, EVOO, S&P and cranberries in a Food Processor. Blend until smooth. Add Walnuts and Gorgonzola. Pulse until bits are small. That’s it. If it get’s too thick in the fridge, add a little water and shake well.

Mayonnaise – Make your own Clean version in 5 Minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes / Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients

1 Large Organic Egg
Dash Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp. Dry Mustard
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

  1. Combine the egg, cayenne, mustard, salt, lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/4 c. oil in the container of a blender or food processor. With the machine running at medium speed, add the remaining oil SLOWLY in a thin, constant, steady stream.
  2. After you’ve added about half the oil, the mixture should start to thicken. Once all the oil has been incorporated, shut off the machine and transfer mayonnaise to a small jar.
  3. Store refrigerated for up to 14 days.NotesDouble the recipe if you use a lot of mayo. Can be used in my Caesar Dressing recipe. I don’t have air conditioning and I’ve noticed that when it’s hot outside, slightly less oil is needed ~2 Tbsp less, or mayonnaise is less stiff.

Mac N’ Cheese Clean and Healthy

Mac N’ Cheese is an awesome favorite of my clients. Challenge? Make it (mostly) anti-inflammatory and Healthy. I’m up for the challenge. First things first, find a recipe to start with. Why reinvent the wheel? Most clean eating advocates have probably already trekked this road and since Mac N’ Cheese is not something that I make, I will need a recipe. A quick search on Pinterest finds me a recipe from ifoodreal. Thank you Olena! Her recipe is super easy to follow and needs only some slight modifications to make it less likely to cause inflammation. The inflammation culprits in this dish are the pasta, flour and dairy.

Well, it’s next to impossible to remove the Dairy from this dish, but you can clean it up. Goat’s or sheep’s milk is generally healthy and may be suitable for those who can’t tolerate (or should not consume) cow’s milk. Cow’s milk contains a form of casein (protein) that can aggravate the immune system (inflammation).

Removing the wheat and gluten causing ingredients and replacing with healthy plant based proteins boosts this recipe into full meal status. Using the Organic dairy products removes any chance of GMOs and swapping them out for Goat’s milk products makes it more digestive friendly.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. Ancient Harvest Quinoa Supergrain pasta Macaroni Elbows
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower (1.5 lbs), riced in a food processor or minced
  • 1 Organic small onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp organic butter
  • 1/4 cup Gluten Free Organic Oat Flour
  • 2 cups Goat’s milk or Organic Milk
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (8oz) Organic Cheddar Cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 9″ x 13″ baking dish with a light coat of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to instructions subtracting 2-3minutes, stirring occasionally. At the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the cauliflower. Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again and transfer to a large back to the pot you boiled it in (no sense in dirtying more dishes). Set aside.
  3. Preheat large skillet on low heat and add butter, olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oat flour and cook for another minute or until flour is well combined . Whisk in milk, raising heat to medium – high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low – medium and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add 1 cup of cheese, sea salt and black pepper, and stir until the sauce is smooth. Pour into the bowl with pasta and cauliflower, mix well. The mixture should be thick and not saucy.
  4. Transfer mixture to previously prepared baking dish, level with spatula and top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden crust and edges appear. Cut and serve hot.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 6 months.

The Best Soup I’ve Ever Made/Had

Years ago when I was traveling through Italy, I came to love Minestrone Soup. I tried it in every restaurant I went to while I was there and my favorite was found at a little cafe in a small alley in Torin. It was the only place open when we arrived, tired and starving (during Siesta, everything is closed) and I thank my lucky stars for that. Even today, I remember how good it was, although I can no longer remember the name of the Cafe.

Since that time, it’s been a favorite even though nothing has ever lived up to that Cafe in Torin. I only tried making my own once, almost 20 years ago when my cooking capabilities only consisted of following recipes with absolutely no imagination of my own. Well, I can confidently say my imagination has taken off over the past 5 years and my cooking is the better for it and with the popularity of Pinterest I can find inspiration anywhere, even in the market, by using my phone.

This is my version and it was so hearty and GOOD!

I found a recipe that looked delicious (I love seeing what my food is supposed to look like) especially because she put Tortellini in it. I purchased all the fresh Organic produce and ingredients I would need and I went to work. Here is the link to the original recipe. With props to WinnieAb I only used her ingredient list, minus the bacon (I avoid the use of pork and beef whenever possible). I found the canned ingredients in BPA free packaging (because I get a little crazier every year) and in case you’re interested, here’s an article highlighting which brands are listening or not regarding the BPA issue. Now many have asked for the recipe, which you can find at the link above, but that’s not how I cook. I can tell you if it says 3 cloves of garlic, I’m going to AT LEAST double that. I like my Minestrone to be chock full of fresh veggies so I just cut up what looks good for me. I eyeball most everything according to my taste and improvise where I think it’s appropriate.

Here’s my ingredient list:

more than 1 cup Organic Basil AND parsley FRESH!
2    Organic Carrots
2 Organic Celery, ribs of
1 15 oz. can Organic Chickpeas, cooked
10 large cloves Organic Garlic
2 cup Organic Kale, chopped
1 Organic Leek
1 Organic Yellow Onion, large
4 Organic Potatoes
1 28 oz. can Organic tomatoes, with juice
1 basket Organic cherry or grape tomatoes
1 Organic Zucchini
1/4 Cup Homemade Pesto
1pkg Pesto Tortellini
2 bx Organic Vegetable Broth

Here’s how I made it. First I gently sauteed the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, leeks and cherry tomatoes all together. I start with the tomatoes, carrots and celery because they need to cook longer and the tomatoes need to burst, adding in the garlic, onions, leek. Then I added the broth, canned tomatoes, chickpeas potatoes, pesto and holding off til the last 15 minutes or so to add the Tortellini, finally adding the Zucchini and Kale (because I don’t want them overcooked). I reserved some of the pesto for garnish, but added a good portion to the soup. If you want a cook time, I can’t tell you exactly, but I taste it regularly adding Salt & Pepper when needed. Once the potatoes are cooked through and the Tortellini looks perfect, then it’s basically done. I served with a dab of pesto, some fresh cut basil and Parmesan cheese on top.

I didn’t know how much I was going to have but at the end it was close to 14 cups so I froze a bunch of 2 cup containers for future meals. 

I’ll note here that I did not add Parmesan to my Pesto. This is an old trick I learned from a friend. I make my own pesto then freeze it in a flat glass container, cut it up into cubes and keep it in the freezer and add it to sauces. It’s an amazing flavor addition to any Italian dish and you can always add the cheese once it’s defrosted.

A Healthy Gluten Free Version of Chocolate Chip Cookies

A client shared this with me and so I’m going to share it with you. This is a gluten free, mostly healthy version of chocolate chip cookies. I made them and they are pretty good, not grandma’s recipe, but knowing that I’m not consuming a bunch of unhealthy ingredients seems to make them pretty darn good

Ingredients
blogger-image--4459652262 cups almond meal, or almond flour
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, salt, and baking soda, then add the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract and mix well.
3. Fold in the chocolate chips, then drop batter by rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet
4. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes, until the edges are golden brown.
5. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature


My tips? Use organic organic organic to optimize the healthiness of them.

My nephew said they were really good and considering he’s kinda a kid, I take that as a good sign. 

Bon appétit
Colleen

Kale Chips Experimental

My daughter’s friend offered me some store bought kale chips. By the snarl in her lip I could tell she didn’t like them and wanted my opinion. Not very tempting. “Are they good?”
“Not really. I thought they would be but I’m a little disappointed.” 
I didn’t chance it, but the idea intrigued me a little so I googled a recipe. 
Super simple but I wasn’t sure what seasoning to use. What would compliment kale? 
Hence the experiment. Three flavors. 

Sea salt. Olive oil. Lemon. That was my favorite pick. I would make these again.  
Sea salt. Olive oil. Lemon. Cumin. My daughter and her friend liked these best.
Sea salt. Olive oil. Lemon. Cumin. Turmeric. These were awful. 
So, give it a try. If you are dedicated to your wellness, they ware surely worth a shot as a healthy alternative to regular chips. 
Here’s how it’s done. I stripped the kale off the stems, broke it up into small potato chip size pieces. Washed it. Dried it. Tossed it in a bowl with the EVOO and seasonings. Spread out on a stone. Baked for 20 minutes on 400. Cooking time may vary depending on your oven and pan. Don’t be afraid to try it while it’s cooking. 
Enjoy!
Colleen 

Salmon Florentine

Salmon Florentine with Cashew Cream & Quinoa

On Thursday Mindbody FitPro posted this recipe. I LOVE ❤❤❤❤ salmon so of course this looked amazing! I read the recipe and acknowledged the simplicity of it. I can whip up a restaurant worthy salmon dinner in less than 30 minutes. Most fish is easy, only a few minutes in the broiler. You just need your goto marinade / seasoning and you can throw it together in your sleep. Seriously, I’m not a culinary wizard. Self taught through trial and error (I hate reading recipes)

I was happy to see that this would be no exception…the only snag was the ricotta cheese. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not that pure. I do love milk and I like cheese. Dairy is not off my list of things I won’t eat. I do limit how much though. Although often nagged at by my skin care therapist and health conscious daughter to remove dairy in order to clear up my teenage acne, I just can’t. I’m not ready to say “I don’t do dairy”. I will however embrace the idea to slowly reduce it from my diet.

I’m embracing. First by completing a 7 day detox with my Studio friends, removing dairy for 7 days. Challenge accepted. So how do I make this recipe with no cheese when it’s cheesy goodness it what seems so damn mouthwatering about it? My best friend, Google, offered me an array of vegan substitutes for ricotta cheese, but the one I cozied up to was the cashew creme.

I’ve never made it before but I will try anything. Recipe? Whole raw cashews and water. Oh, and you need a really good blender or food processor of some kind.

Off to the farmers market, I needed some supplies. Our new little Dos Vientos Farmer’s Market was kicking off its first day so why not check it out? I could always go to Sprouts later. Happy me, they was a booth with raw organic nuts. I got me a bag of whole raw cashews, some fresh spinach and a piece of fruit I’d never heard of but got to sample and couldn’t resist.

Ready to cook.

First the cashew creme. You will need some time for this one, but it takes 2 minutes to get it going. I told you you would need a high powered blender. I have a Ninja Master so I dumped the whole bag into the prep bowl, added enough water to just cover the cashews, put the lid on it and popped it in the fridge and went about my day. That was 1:00pm

At precisely 6:50pm my culinary guinea pig, Georgie arrived, so I pulled out all the ingredients and assembled the meal. I don’t measure anything when I cook. It takes all the fun out of it, so my recipes are estimates.

Cashew creme, blended until the consistency was like ricotta cheese, about 2 minutes. The directions I found all said to leave them in the fridge overnight. I was really happy that the cashews absorbed much of the water and plumped up nicely after only 5+ hours.

In my wok pan:
Olive oil 
Minced Garlic
Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes
Cooked these on low for a couple of minutes, just to heat the garlic. Then I completely filled the pan with the fresh organic spinach from the Farmer’s Market and let it wilt down.
Threw in the cashew creme and stirred it up, removed from heat. I probably should have used only half the cashew creme, but I added it all. My bad. I had lots left over.

I drizzled the salmon with olive oil and lightly salt & peppered it then placed it under the broiler on high for about 3 minutes. (This will vary dependent on the thickness of your salmon.) For a thick cut I might go 4 or 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and put the Florentine on top. It was delish.

I seasoned the quinoa with a little salt, pepper, garlic and cut up some sun dried tomatoes in it.

My piece was about 3 ounces. I put about 2 tbsp of the Florentine on top. My estimate was around 400 calories including 1/3 cup of Quinoa, which I didn’t finish. Although this is a higher fat dish, the fats were lots of Omega 3s and Monounsaturated fats which I I’m not going to get crazy over. It was a very healthy, easy, and delicious dish.

I had chicken with some of the topping on it for lunch today too. So good.

What would I try next time? I think I might add a little lemon to the cashew creme. If anyone tries this variation, let me know.

Happy Eats!

What Now? Juicing.

After taking a hiatus (since July), I’m finally back. Sorry my peeps. I had a rough road from last summer until the end of the year, but the light is shining brightly at the end of my tunnel and I plan on making this a regular occurrence again.

So my first topic is what I’ve been up to. Although I haven’t been writing about my adventures in Nutrition, I have still been practicing. Constantly educating myself and talking to people. Lot’s of workshops have occurred and what I’ve learned is that there’s so much more to learn.

My latest adventure is now Juicing (no not steroids). Fresh abundant, organic vegetable and fruit sources. No I guess the thing that has always steered me clear of the whole juicing thing is the extremist mentality. I had a visual in my mind of every meal being sipped through a straw and losing the benefits of fibrous foods as well as the joy of actually eating, not to mention drinking something green was a huge turnoff. Nope. I made up my mind, and I can be very stubborn, Juicing was not for me.

Then some things occurred over the past few months. The first was my daughter, now a beautiful and wise 22 year old, who took years for me to wean off fast food. As she got older her tastes changed and fresh healthy abundant food that was always available in my kitchen started to have its appeal to her. Now she makes me proud and the day she threw some kale, spinach, apples, bananas and celery into my Ninja I was a little stunned. Where did she learn this? I don’t grind up my food to liquid? How could that possibly taste good?

She swore up and down that it tasted fine, it just looked weird. I raised my right eyebrow up in disbelief and refused to even try it. Stubborn. Like I said.

Well a couple of weeks ago while going through my Netflix Library of Food documentaries, I came across a gem, “Hungry for Change”. After watching this movie I decided to try Juicing, not as my whole diet, but as a supplement to my food. So here’s what I threw together (a tactic I got from my daughter)

4 Cups Kale
2 Cups Spinach
2 Cups Coconut Milk
2 Small Apples
1/4 Pineapple
4 Oranges
1 Banana

I split it with my good friend Maryam. What it breaks down to is this:
Less than 300 calories
6g Protein
3g Fat
72g Carbs – the good kind, don’t panic
320mg Calcium
1700mg Potassium

Not to mention all the other Nutrients and antioxidants in these fresh organic vegies an fruits. What I felt immediately was ENERGIZED and CLEAR HEADED. Not bad for supplementing with my regular food. I’m sold. Will start posting regular recipes soon and I’m going to start saving up for a real Juicer. My Ninja just isn’t going to cut it. 

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