Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Hello everyone! I wanted to write to wish everyone a merry christmas! I will be taking a short break from the food blog while Evan and I go home to spend time with family and then make a trip to colorado! I will be back in early january with some great recipes for feeding your body well, so please keep following! In the mean time, check out some of the old recipes for new ideas on what to cook this holiday season. This is a wonderful time of year, but often means heavy foods, and lots of them. So check out the recipes here for some healthy fair to serve your family. There are even a few for some special dishes that would be great for holiday parties or christmas dinner; check out the four ingredient Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Spiced Nuts!
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 19, 2011

Garden Vegetable Soup

No words are needed for this one. Just look at the pics to see how wonderfully healthy and wholesome tasting this is! For those that are not familiar with leeks, you should be able to find them in any major grocery store. They look like really large green onions and have a mild onion flavor. The important thing to remember with leeks is that they hide a lot of dirt in their leaves. So, you should cut off the dark green tops and then fan the remaining white leaves/stems and rinse them in cold water, removing any dirt. Then slice! One more thing about this soup, it is best to try to get as many ingredients as possible either local or organic since the soup is all vegetables!

Garden Vegetable Soup
recipe from courtesy of alton brown, slightly adapted
Serves: 6
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (3 medium size leeks)
2 Tbs minced fresh garlic (about 2 large cloves)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups carrots chopped into rounds (2-3 medium carrots)
2 cups diced potatoes, i used golden potatoes because it is what I had in my pantry
2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 quarts vegetable broth, low sodium if store bought
2 14oz cans no salt added diced tomatoes, drained
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves, i used flat leaf parsley
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 a lemon

1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium low heat. Once hot, add leeks, garlic and salt. Cook approximately 7-8 minutes until leeks begin to soften. Add carrots, potatoes, green beans and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add stock, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add tomatoes, corn kernels and pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until vegetables are tender. I found you had to cook them at least 45 minutes, but start checking to see if the potatoes are tender at 30 minutes and continue to check every 5 minutes until they are tender. Remove from heat and add parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Beef Pot Roast

The perfect winter meal using the crock pot, an inexpensive piece of meat and vegetables. Plus, it feeds a ton and is healthy!

adapted from
Serves: 6
1 Tbs coconut oil
3 lb lean beef pot roast, rump roast or chuck shoulder, trimmed of excess fat
2 yellow onions, sliced
8 carrots, quartered
2 celery stalks, quartered
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tbs ground thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 bay leaf
3 cups water

1. Mix together pepper, thyme, oregano and salt in a small bowl.
2. Rub mixture into meat on all side of the roast.
3. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil. 
4. Sear all sides of meat for 1-2 minutes each side and set aside. You want to have a nice brown sear on the meat.
5. Put roast in crock pot. Add onions around the roast. Add carrots and celery on top of onions and roast. Add bay leaf and water. Cook on medium for 8-10 hours. 
6. I like to shred the meat and serve it and the vegetables topped with some of the juice in the crock pot!

The meat is great as a leftover on salads too!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mexican Pulled Pork Lettuce Tacos

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my slow cooker crock pot? I have recently gone back to working three twelve hour shifts per week, so my love for my slow cooker has grown even more. It allows me to have a healthy, home cooked meal for my family on the nights I do not get home until 8pm. I just walk in the door and eat something yummy!

Serves: 6
2 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat 
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 orange
2 cups water

lettuce leaves, i used romaine
tomatoes, chopped
avocado, chopped
freshly shredded pepper jack cheese

1. Place all ingredients through water in your crock pot/slow cooker. Cook over low heat 8-10 hours or over medium heat for 6 hours (whichever works best with your schedule!)
2. Remove cooked pork from pot. Shred using two forks. Mix pork with a little of the pan juices and onions for flavor.
3. Serve over lettuce leaves with chopped tomato, avocado and freshly shredded pepper jack cheese. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken

I have two words for this yummy paleo recipe: simple and delicious! A must make, especially if you are a super busy woman that wants to put a healthy meal on the table for your family and it taste awesome.

Adapted From
Serves: 2
1 Tbs coconut oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 Tbs tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
1 cup pineapple, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
Lettuce, I used spinach

1. Prepare all vegetables.
2. Cut chicken breasts into 1" pieces, and season lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add coconut oil when hot.
4. Add onions and chicken to the pan and cook about 5 minutes.
5. Add soy sauce and continue to cook another 5 minutes.
6. Add pineapple and peppers and cook until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.
7. Serve over lettuce.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves: 4
2 large acorn squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1 cup quinoa
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 Tbs miced garlic
9 mushrooms, small diced
3 tomatoes, diced
4 stems of a green like kale, leaves removed from stems and torn into pieces
1 can no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
freshly ground black pepper
dash of sea salt
small amount of shredded cheese, optional

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash halves cut side down in 9x13 pans. Pour water in pan so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.
2. While squash is cooking, cook quinoa according to package directions- usually 2 cups water per 1 cup quinoa, place in a saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat, add cover and simmer 15 minutes. Set aside
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 Tbs coconut oil. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook 5 minutes. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add kale and saute until wilted, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Toss in black beans, quinoa, pepper and salt. Stir.

4. Once squash are done cooking, remove from pan and empty an left over water from pan.
5. Place squash cut side up back into pans. Fill with quinoa stuffing mixture. Top with a little shredded cheese if you want.
6. Bake for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted. Eat!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Collard Greens

Collard greens are in abundance this time of year so head on down to your local farmers market or grocer and pick some up to make this recipe! You won't regret it! This recipe is delicious, simple and easily doubled for a larger family or crowd.

Serves: 4
1 large bunch collard greens, leaves removed from stems, torn and washed
4 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock (you can also do half stock half water)
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs hot sauce
1 Tbs light brown sugar
1 Tbs freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

1. Heat a large pot over medium heat with 1 Tbs olive oil. Add half of greens, allow to wilt slightly. Add second half of greens, stir and allow to wilt slightly.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Stir. Bring to a simmer and simmer 30-60 minutes (simmer at least 30 minutes, but these get yummier as you cook them, so 60 minutes is best)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cheese Squash Soup

Behold the Cheese Squash. No it does not taste at all like cheese. It is named because it looks like a round of cheese. It is a large squash that tastes a lot like butternut squash. I have to thank my mother in law for this wonderful beauty. She got four in her CSA pick up and was happy to share, as always. I instantly knew I would turn it into soup. Peeling and deseeded it was a little time consuming, but completely worth it!

There are a few things I think are essential in a cooks kitchen; a good food processor, kitchen aid stand mixer and crock pot to name a few. I have now added an immersion blender to my list. I recently bought one at my local bed, bath and beyond. With my $5 coupon, it was only $25. I used it for the first time with this soup and cannot wait to use it more! The blender allows you to puree your soup right in the pot while the soup is still hot. Awesome! If you do not have an immersion blender, allow soup to cool and then puree it in batches in your blender or food processor. Add to a pot and reheat prior to serving.

Serves: 4
56 oz (7 cups) homemade chicken stock
1 large cheese squash
1 medium pie pumpkin
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
dash of red pepper
1/2 tsp tumeric power
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 cup coconut milk (not light)

1. Peel squash and pumpkin. Scoop out seeds and discard (or save to toast and eat!) Dice remaining flesh.
2. Bring stock and squash to boil in a large soup pot. Boil 30 minutes.
3. Remove pot from heat. Puree using an immersion blender. Add spices and milk. Stir and serve!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pumpkin Roasted Nuts

Oh my goodness these nuts are sooo good! The original recipe was for a granola and I thought it would be healthier and sounded better with nuts. And I am so happy I did! They are crunchy, salty and sweet with heart healthy omega 3 fats. They are perfect as a snack and would be great to take to a holiday party or as a gift! I buy my raw, unsalted nuts from Harry's Farmers Market, aka Whole Foods, and Sam's club. The lighting in my apartment did not allow me to get the best picture, but trust me, you have to make these!

Serves: lets just say me, my husband and my in laws ate on these for a weekend
Adapted from

5 cups raw, unsalted nuts (I used 2 c. walnuts, 2 c. pecans and 1 c. almonds)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup organic, unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients EXCEPT nuts and cranberries.
3. Add nuts. Toss to coat nuts.
4. Place nuts on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. (The next time I make these I am going to cook them right on the baking sheet if you want to try that)
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and toss nuts. Return to oven and bake 20 more minutes.
6. Remove cooked nuts from oven and toss in cranberries. Allow nuts to cool before eating them or putting them in a storage container. They should stay fresh for a few days in a closed container at room temperature.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Red Flannel Hash

If you have never tried fresh beets, this is a great recipe to try. Fresh beets are absolutely delicious. In this recipe they are a little crunchy and sweet. I love eating them because just looking at their vibrant color makes me feel like I am getting lots of nutrients. Red Flannel Hash is a recipe from Cooking Light magazine March 2011. I have altered by leaving out two ingredients that I think it is wonderful without. I hope you try it and love it!

Serves: 4
1 Tbs olive oil
8 ounces grass fed ground sirloin
1 cup chopped red onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced or 2 tsp preminced garlic
2 cups shredded red cabbage (about 1/2 small head)
3 medium beets, shredded (I shred my peeled beets using a shred attachment in my food processor)
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring to crumble.
2. Add onion, salt, pepper and garlic; saute 5 minutes. 
3. Add cabbage, beets, water and vinegar. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates.
Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

I have been making this chicken for ten years. When I was a senior in high school, my mom decided she was done cooking every night. She has never loved cooking and we were always at school events or my dad was home late from work and I think she got tired of cooking and people not all being able to eat. So, I developed my love of cooking then. It started with mainly baking but eventually got to where I cooked dinner for us some nights. This chicken was the first chicken I ever made. Back then, I would broil the chicken. Now I saute it. The great thing about this recipe is that it is no fail... good every time! Plus I love making it because it brings back fond memories of cooking in my mother's kitchen and beginning to love it! Thanks mom for helping to make me realize one of my passions!

Serves: 4
2 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, I filet the breasts down the middle lengthwise to equal four thin breasts
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice, usually one large lemon
1 Tbs water
1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp honey
1 tsp wheat free soy sauce such as tamari
1/2 tsp mustard

In an 8x8 glass pan, combine all ingredients except chicken breasts. Place breasts in pan. Marinate overnight, flipping the breasts to the other side in the morning.
To cook:
  Remove breasts from marinade. Discard marinade.
  Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place breasts in pan. Cook 4 minutes. Turn breasts. Cook 4 minutes more or until they are cooked through. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Perfect Whole Roasted Chicken

If you have never roasted a whole chicken I only have one question.... What are you waiting for? It could not be easier and is definitely the cheapest way to buy chicken. Plus roasting the meat on the bones with the skin makes it tastier and more moist! And as an added bonus, you can do double duty with the chicken by saving the carcass and making homemade stock!
You must try this recipe. It has tons of flavor and is now my new favorite way to have roast chicken. Make the chicken and then stay tuned for a recipe for the homemade chicken stock!

Serves: 6-8
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

one 4lb whole organic roasting chicken
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs dijon mustard
2 Tbs Italian seasoning
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 lemon, quarted
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
1/4 small onion, peeled and cut in half

Remove any organs or leftover tissue from the chicken cavity. Rinse and pat dry entire chicken.
Combine oil, mustard and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Rub over the skin of the entire chicken and go under the skin and rub some of the mixture on the meat.
Sprinkle outside and inside of chicken with salt and pepper.
Place lemon, garlic and onion in chicken cavity.
Place bird breast side up in a large baking pan or roasting pan. Tie legs together with kitchen twine.
Roast 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove the bird to a large platter and cover with foil for at least 10 minutes. You will know the bird in done when you cut between the breast and leg and the juices are clear. Separate into pieces, slice the breast and serve!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Taco Salad

Serves: 4

1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp oregano
tomato, diced
avocado, diced
bell pepper, diced
cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Cook meat with all spices until cooked through.
Make salads!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I can only say one thing about these lettuce wraps...YUMMY!!!!

Serves: 3 (3 wraps each)

1 lb ground chicken breast
10 small mushrooms, stems removed, heads small diced
1 large carrot, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
1 Tbs gluten free soy sauce (i use the brand tamari)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (this is like an asian bbq sauce)
1/4 tsp ground dried ginger
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
green onions, chopped
large lettuce leaves (romaine or bibb leaves are yummy!)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook through, breaking it into bits as it cooks. Add mushrooms and carrots. Saute until most of water from mushrooms is evaporated. Add all other ingredients except lettuce. Cook until heated through- 1-2 minutes. Spoon onto lettuce leaves and serve topped with additional chopped green onions. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Green Tomato Salsa and Succotash

It was last friday night, usually our date night, but there was no money in the budget for a dinner out. The only thing in the refrigerator was a grilled chicken breast and the only thing on the counter was green tomatoes I got free from a coworker and an avocado. What do you do? This recipe!! The dinner was simple and absolutely delicious. The best part was that it is made with things you probably keep around anyway! I hope you try it and enjoy!
   I also want to take a minute and let you know the ways you can get my recipes whenever I post. You can "follow" me on the main blog page and/ or you can get emails of my recipes when I post. At the top right of the blog page there is a place to enter your email address! This way feeding your genes is convenient!

Serves: 2

1 grilled chicken breast (you can buy a grilled breast from Whole Foods or use a left over breast you did)
garlic powder, onion powder, red ground pepper

Cut breast into strips widthwise. Sprinkle both sides of strips with garlic powder, onion powder, ground red pepper, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Cook strips 2 minutes per side. Remove to plates.

8 small green tomatoes, quartered
1 avocado, flesh removed from peel, pitt removed and avocado large diced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Blend. Serve over chicken.
you will have left over salsa. Just store in the refrigerator and use it like regular salsa!

Serves: 2

1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 cup frozen corn
½ medium onion, diced
1 tbs minced garlic

Cook lima beans and corn according to package directions. Drain.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and bell peppers. Sauté 5 minutes. Add corn and lima beans. Saute 5 minutes. Add garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add ½ tsp sea salt and 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Now Eat!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Gold Nugget Squash Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

The picture above is of a Gold Nugget Squash. Isn't it beautiful! When I saw it in the grocery store I just had to try it. It is a hard winter squash, like butternut or acorn squash, and tastes similar to other varieties I have had. I just loved the smaller, circular shape with bright orange rind and green stem tips. The entire time I was preparing it for this salad I just kept singing "I found the golden ticket" from Willy Wonka. Oh how the mind works. The squash is wonderful in this salad. It gets sweet when you roast it which is a nice compliment to smokey almonds, sharp provolone and tart cranberries. I served this salad as a side with a meal, but if you did a double portion it could easily be a main dish. If you cannot find this squash, you could easily substitute another winter squash.

Serves: 2
1 large gold nugget squash
olive oil, sea salt , black pepper
mixed greens
sliced almonds
provolone cheese, chopped into small cubes

Peel squash. Cut in half. Remove seeds. Dice into a small dice. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Toss with olive oil (1Tbs at the most) and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Flip. Cook 20 minutes more.

In a small skillet over low heat, toast almonds. Make sure not to burn them. They are ready when they turn light brown and their smell intensifies.
Place greens on a plate. Top with a few cranberries, almonds and cheese cubes. Add squash.  Top with 1 Tbs dressing.

Orange Vinaigrette
½ navel orange, juiced
2 tsp- 1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp honey
sea salt
black pepper
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beet and Cashew Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

I usually quickly cook a dinner on Tuesday night and head to my girl's bible study, but it ended last week. While I am missing see all the women, it was nice to make a leisure dinner with my hubbie! Tonight we made a stir fry and it was yummy. Evan made a peanut sauce to toss with it that was a big hit! I hope you also enjoy it!

Serves: 4

4 small beets
1 medium red onion, diced
2 large carrots, cut into small thin strips
1 large bell pepper, cut into a large dice
1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
raw, unsalted cashews, chopped
a handful of fresh cilantro leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peanut Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 heaping Tbs peanut sauce
1/8- 1/4 tsp ground red pepper (add 1/8 tsp, taste and add more if you want)
1-2 tsp agave nectar (add 1 tsp, taste, and add more if you want)
squirt of lime juice, if desired

1. Mix all ingredients for peanut sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Peel beets. In a food processor fitted with a shredded blade, shred beets.
3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute 3 minutes. Add rest of vegetables (beets, cabbage, carrot and bell pepper). Saute for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 of the cashews. Stir. Add 1/8 cup if vegetables are sticking to pan. Stir. Add peanut sauce and cook 1-2 minutes.
4. Spoon vegetable mixture into bowls. Top with chopped cashews and cilantro.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mashed Cauliflower

Guess what? You can serve this to your family to fit in more vegetables and they will never know it is not mashed potatoes! Try it out for yourself! It is delicious. It can be used as a side dish with most meals. This night, I happen to serve it with sauteed chicken and a salad.

Serves: 4 generous portions

1 large head of cauliflower
1 tsp unsalted butter
1 Tbs garlic
1 Tbs cream cheese or marscapone cheese
1/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
2. Cut cauliflower florets from large stem and cut into larger pieces that are around the same size. Place in pot of boiling water and cook until tender, approximately 10 minutes.
3. Drain
4. Melt butter in a small skillet over low heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Remove from heat.
5. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Remove to a bowl. Stir and serve!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Crustless Broccoli and Spinach Quiche

This recipe is one I have been making for years. This is my first time making it crustless. It was perfect! You do not miss the crust at all. It is full of flavor and filling. My mother in law was in town with us and, as you can tell, the three of us really enjoyed it!

Serves: 6
1/2 large onion, diced
1 head broccoli, stem removed and florets chopped (around 1 cup)
2 cups torn baby spinach leaves
7 eggs
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup mayo
1 cup shredded provolone cheese (I really recommend you buy good cheese and shred it yourself)
1/2 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and broccoli. Saute 5 minutes or until slightly tender. Add spinach and allow it to wilt, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and allow vegetables to cool slightly.
2. In a large bowl, whisk eggs. Add rest of ingredients and stir. Add cooked vegetables. Stir.
3. Pour mixture into an approximately 11 X 7 pan sprayed with cooking spray.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Delicious Pumpkin Pie... Just in time for Thanksgiving!

I love the website I am on there sometimes to just gaze at the pictures. A lot of the food is unhealthy or full of gluten, but it is like a food magazine where it is just fun to check out the photos and get ideas. I was recently looking for things with pumpkin and came across this recipe for Vegan 4 ingredient pumpkin pie. It is healthier than traditional pumpkin pie, using soaked cashews to get a creamy filling and maple syrup for sweetness. I made my first homemade gluten free crust which was actually yummy too. The whole thing was a success! My mother in law was in town and she got to taste it for me. She is a wonderful baker and she said she liked this version better than her own! Thanks Mrs. Dorenda!
   I am happy to be sharing this recipe with you to try for thanksgiving dinner. Life is about choices and each day we choose what food we eat. Each choice either moves us closer to health or further away from it. Although this is still not a great choice, it is better than most of the traditional thanksgiving desserts. If you are going to have dessert, this is a delicious better choice and something worthy of having a piece of to celebrate with family.

Serves: 8-10

2 cups gluten free baking and biscuit mix
1/2 cup cold, unsalted organic butter, cut into cubes
9 Tbs ice cold water

Pie Filling:
1 cup raw (unroasted, unsalted) cashews
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
1 cup maple syrup
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice

For filling: place cashews, water and salt in a large bowl. Stir. Place in refrigerator overnight to soak . I soaked my cashews about 22 hours, but you could do less (12-24 hours). 

Allow yourself three hours prior to when you want to eat pie. 
Place baking mix and butter in a food processor. Pulse a few times until combined (It will not look much different at this point. It may resemble small peas) Add cold water and pulse until combine and mixture starts to form into a clump/ball. Remove  and place dough on saran wrap sprinkled with gluten free baking mix. With your hands, combine dough into a ball. Sprinkle with gluten free flour. Roll out into a 12 inch circle ( large enough to cover bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie pan). Place circle in pan and cut edges to fit pan and crimp edges to be pretty! Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. 

Drain cashews and place 1 1/4 cups in a food processor or blender (I used my blentec blender). Add pumpkin, syrup and spice to blender. Blend 3-5 minutes until smooth. Place in prebaked pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes. 
Remove pie from oven and allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Place cooled pie in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Serve!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple

Fall is in full bloom and my tummy is excited about it! I am loving the bounty of fall produce and the wonderful, warm recipes it lends itself to. This recipe is a perfect example. It is filling and delicious. There is a little more to it than most vegetables I cook but is fabulous. We had it on sunday night with steamed broccoli and a salad highlighting my farmer's market finds. This would be perfect for a special night or even Thanksgiving dinner.

Adapted from: Kitchen Parade
Serves: 4
4 slices bacon
1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed
1 Tbs butter, melted
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 apples, cored and chopped into half inch pieces (I used granny smith apples and loved the tartness)
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1  Tbs natural apple juice

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Place on a paper towel covered plate to drain. Set aside.
2. Place squash in a large bowl. Toss with melted butter and spices. Place in a 9x13 pan. Cover with foil. Bake 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, toss apples with syrup, vinegar and juice.
4. When squash in done, remove from oven. Add apples on top of squash, making sure you scrape all of syrup mixture over apples. Place foil back on pan and return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil from pan and back and bake 30 additional minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed and squash is tender.
5. Serve topped with crumbled bacon.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Black Bean Soup

The base of a delicious, potentially vegetarian black bean soup! This is a simple stove top recipe that is chop full of yummy natural goodness. There is a good bit of chopping involved, as you can see above, so set aside some time for this if you need to.

Serves: 4
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced, or 4 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper
1 bay leaf, remove at end of cooking!
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
4 cups low sodium chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
2 cans no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed (this amount makes the black beans mix in with the vegetables, but if you want the black beans to be the main ingredient or really stand out, add 3 cans)
fresh cilantro

1. Heat 1 Tbs coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add all vegetables, onion through carrots. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add garlic, stir and cook 1 minute. Add all spices through black pepper, stir and cook 1 minute.
3. Add broth, bring to a simmer and cook 10 minutes.
3. Add beans, cook 10 minutes.
Serve topped with fresh chopped cilantro.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Smokey Bear Dressing

I wish I could take credit for our dinner thursday night, but I cannot. This wonderful recipe came from Leanne at Her pictures are so amazing, I did not even bother to take some. Let me just say, please go to her blog and try this raw vegetable quinoa salad. It is delicious, refreshing and healthy. You just feel good after eating it. Also the dressing is out of this world. It makes 16 servings and Evan and I ate it in four meals! I am visiting my sister for the day, but will be back to posting tomorrow.
Have a great weekend and War Eagle!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Indian Spiced Lentils and Lamb

Last night I made Indian Spiced Lentils and Lamb from the October 2011 issue of Cooking Light magazine. I really enjoyed it. Evan did not like it as much because of the curry powder and lamb. I will probably make it again but possibly use a ground sirloin instead. This would be a great option, too, if lamb is not available where you live. I got our ground lamb at my local Whole Foods Market. I did change the recipe just a little because I used what I had on hand for some of the ingredients. I will put my changed version below but please refer to the Cooking Light website for the original if desired!

Serves: 4 1 cup servings
1 tsp olive oil
6 ounces lean ground lamb (this is where you could use ground sirloin if desired, but it will change the authenticity of the dish)
1 tsp curry powder (mine happen to be a yellow/orange powder, but you could use what you have on hand- red, yellow or green)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/4 cups diced onion
3/4 cup diced carrot
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
5 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbs tomato paste
3/4 cup lentils (the recipe called for brown lentils but I put all my lentils in one big storage container, so mine contained both brown and red lentils)
2 cups fat free, organic, low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Add lamb, curry powder, cumin, salt and red pepper; saute 4 minutes, stirring to crumble lamb. Add onion, carrot and jalapeno; saute 4 minutes. Add garlic; saute 1 minute, stirring. Stir in tomato paste; saute 30 seconds. Add lentils; saute 30 seconds.
Stir in broth, water, coconut milk and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes until lentils are tender. Serve in bowls topped with chopped cilantro.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Smoothies for Breakfast

The american breakfast has turned into a myriad of muffins, cereals, cereal bars, instant oatmeals and more. So, what is there to eat for breakfast that gives your body what it really needs? The same as for any other meal! It is just that simple! Fruits, nuts, nut butters, vegetables, eggs and lean meats. I often have vegetable scramble eggs, boiled eggs, an apple and peanut butter, raw nuts or a smoothie. This morning we had smoothies and boiled eggs. I am including both. I know it seems silly to include a recipe for boiled eggs, but some people may not know how to do them. Also most people over cook their eggs and they end of with a grey outside on their yolks.

Serves: 2
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup natural apple juice
4 cups dark, leafy greens (kale, spinach, collards, bok choy)
1 cup frozen mixed berries, partially thawed

We have a Blend Tec blender. It was an investment in our health and worth every penny! We had a regular kitchenaid blender and it was great, but we found it would not grind everything up like we wanted.
This smoothie is great but play with the "recipe." We often throw whatever vegetables we have in the refrigerator in the blender (carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumber, avocado, tomato, eggplant, bell pepper). We try to do mostly vegetables and a little fruit as in the example above. Most fruits work well too. We often used berries, apples, bananas. Have fun blending!

Serves: any many as you want!

Place eggs in a sauce pan. Cover with water. Bring water to boil over high heat. Once the water start to boil, cook 6 minutes for small eggs and 8 minutes for large eggs. Remove from heat. Drain. Run eggs under cold water. You can peel them all now and then they are ready to grab and eat or you can peel them when you want!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Broccoli Medley and Kale Salad

Tonight we were lucky enough that my parents were coming through town and took us out to dinner! We went to our favorite restaurant in Atlanta, R. Thomas Deluxe Grill. It has awesome, fresh food and I think they liked it. So, tonight I will post last nights dinner. It is a dinner that shows off how simple food can taste absolutely fabulous. I hope you make it!

Serves: 6
3 large split chicken breast with skin on and bone in
Olive oil
sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place chicken breasts, skin side up, on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil over skin and rub into breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes. Remove breasts to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest for 10 minutes. Serve. We just cut the breast off the bone and eat only the meat, no skin.

Serves: 5
3 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced

Bring a small amount of water to boil in a saucepan. Place steamer basket in pan and add broccoli to steamer basket. Place lid on saucepan and boil 5-10 minutes, until tender.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers to skillet and cook until slightly tender, approximately 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add cooked broccoli to pan. Stir. Top with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if desired

Serves: 5
2 cups washed, rinsed, torn kale leaves
3 cups spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups sliced red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 small cucumber, diced

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss. Serve with desired dressing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wrapping up How To week.... What to eat?

With this blog, I want to teach people what our bodies need to function optimally. To end "How To" week, I will start with some easy, basic tips. I heard a "guideline" recently that I liked. If 80% of what you eat is from the outer wall of the grocery store, you will be eating healthier. Think about what is on the outside wall of your grocer: fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy products. It is best not to eat dairy products, but occasionally you will see cheese in my recipes. I try to stick to fruits, vegetables, raw unsalted nuts, beans, lean meats, fish, eggs and raw nut butters. These are the foods our cells require. If you can picture a food in it's raw form, then it is real food. It still have some work to do. Ideally you would be using no canned or boxed food because manufacturers only have to list an ingredient if it has a certain amount of that ingredient. So, you cannot know for sure what is in food with labels. Below are some pictures of my pantry, refrigerator and fruit bowl after my weekly grocery trip. What does yours look like?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I have been wanting to try a stuffed acorn squash and now I know why... it was amazing! Such a mix of many delicious flavors! I basically took what was in my refrigerator that sounded good and it was! I would have liked more stuffing, so in the future I will double the stuffing amount. 

Serves: 4
2 large acorn squash, washed, cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
1/2 lb organic pork sausage, make sure the sausage is fresh ground from your meat counter
1/2 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced, I an orange one
2 celery sticks, diced
6 large mushrooms, stalk removed and discarded, diced
2 Tbs minced garlic
2 cups chopped kale
2 eggs, whisked
parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Place acorn squash, cut side down, in a 9x13 glass baking pan. Add water to equal 1/2 inch. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. 
While squash bakes, heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a large skillet. Add onion, celery and pepper. Cook 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook through. Add mushrooms and garlic. Saute 5 minutes. Add kale and wilt, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside until squash is done cooking. 
Once squash is done cooking, add the eggs to the large saute pan of vegetables and sausage. Stir. Take squash out of pan. Empty water from pan. Add squash back to pan, cut side up. Fill squash with sausage mixture. Bake 15 minutes. Top with parmesan cheese. Bake 10 minutes.