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.