Super Food Harvest Bowl

This bowl is a great make-ahead lunch that tastes even better if it sits in the fridge over night.  It is full of superfoods but the combination of the flavors and textures is satisfying and delicious when surrounded by this sumptuous balsamic vinaigrette.  Kale is healthiest when eaten raw.  It has fiber, protein and omega-3’s.  Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein and one of the only plant based foods that contains all 9 essential amino acids.  Almonds help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, prevent alzheimer’s, boost energy and immune system and nourish skin.  Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, which helps to fight colds and flu.  It also has vitamin D, Iron and Magnesium, which seem to be a common deficiency in many American diets.

Prep Time:  15 minutes               Cook Time:  20 minutes              Serves:  4

10 oz bag of washed and chopped Kale

1 small sweet potato chopped into small cubes

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup raw almonds chopped

1 cup of dry quinoa cooked according to package instructions

3 oz mild goat cheese (optional)

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground pepper

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp dijon mustard

1 tsp ground pepper

3/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Place the chopped sweet potato on a lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 tbsp avocado oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Place all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a mason jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until completely combined.

Prepare the quinoa according to package instructions and allow to cool.  Place the chopped kale in a bowl, add the dried cranberries, almonds, sweet potato, quinoa and cheese.  Pour most of the dressing over the top and toss to combine.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.  The hearty leaves of the kale will wilt from the vinaigrette and become even more yummy.  Enjoy!

 

Island Carrot Cake Muffins

These muffins are a delicious and healthy morning treat that will distract you from the fact that cake isn’t an acceptable breakfast food.  With only a 1/4 cup of oil and a cup of flour in the entire recipe not only are these dairy-free but they are heart healthy.  The protein from the almond flour will keep you feeling full longer and using egg whites reduces the fat content.  I like to use avocado oil, but feel free to use any light tasting oil you may have on hand.  If you like nuts add a cup of chopped pecans for some added crunch.  If you prefer to make a cake pour the mixture into a 9X13″ pan instead of muffin tins.

Prep Time:  15 minutes         Bake Time:   20 minutes        Makes 17 – 20 muffins

Ingredients:

3 cups of grated carrots

1 cup of flour

1 cup almond flour

1 cup white sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 cup canned crushed pineapple with juice

2/3 cup egg whites

1/4 cup avocado oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a standard muffin tin with cupcake liners for easy clean-up.  You may hand grate the carrot on a box grater but I find it faster to place the carrots in a food processor.  (It will require approximately 5-6 small carrots to equal 3 cups of grated carrots.)

In a large bowl combine the grated carrot, flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  In a separate bowl whisk together the pineapple, egg whites, vanilla extract, oil, pecans and coconut (optional).  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Take a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scoop the batter into the lined muffin tins for uniformed muffins.  Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool before removing them from the pan.

If you use a 13X9″ pan cook for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

Dairy-Free Glazed Mexican Chocolate Bundt Cake

My girls think that this cake tastes like a chocolate donut.  Right out of the mouth of babes!  This cake is so moist and rich that you won’t believe that there are actually healthy ingredients in there.  The pumpkin puree adds a lot of fiber as well as vitamin A and iron which supports immune health.  Cinnamon is one of the healthiest spices to use in baking because it can lower blood sugar levels and reduce heart disease risk factors.  1 teaspoon of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as a cup of blueberries.  I reduced the fat by using egg whites and the carbs are reduced with the use of almond flour.  The best part is that this cake can be made without touching your cake mixer.  It’s a total win, win!

Prep Time:  15 minutes        Cook Time:   1 hour and 15 minutes         Makes: 1 bundt cake

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

3/4 cup almond flour or almond meal

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 15 oz can unsweetened pumpkin puree

3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)

5 tbsp liquid egg whites

1/4 cup avocado oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Glaze:

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a 12-cup bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Get two medium sized mixing bowls.  In one bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In the second bowl whisk together the almond milk, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, egg, oil, syrup and extract.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the liquids until just combined.  Transfer the batter to the bundt pan and bake for one hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with only a few moist crumbs attached.  Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a plate or wire rack.

Combine confectioner’s sugar and almond milk in a small bowl and stir to combine.  Once the cake is completely cool pour the glaze evenly onto the top of the cake and allow it to drizzle down the sides.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a week.

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Harvest Salad with Grilled Chicken

I was never a person who liked fruit or nuts on my salad, but I fell in love with the sweet and salty crunch of this satisfying and healthy meal.  The crunchy pecans compliment the chewy dried cranberries which provide a nice contrast to the sweet and tart apples.  The chicken adds extra protein to keep you full longer and the goat cheese is optional but adds a wonderful creamy texture.  Make this gem for dinner in under 30 minutes!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                 Cooking time:  15 minutes                       Serves 4

Ingredients:

5 oz of washed lettuce (romaine or mixed greens work well but if iceberg is your favorite then go for it!)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)

1 cup of Nonni Netta’s Spiced Roasted Pecans or store bought roasted glazed pecans

1 cup of chopped apple

2 lbs of grilled or baked chicken breast

1.5 cups of Apple Cider Vinaigrette or your favorite dressing

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper and either bake or grill until cooked through.  Slice the chicken into strips and set aside.  You can either serve all of the ingredients separately and have each person assemble their own salad or add all of the ingredients to a large bowl filled with lettuce and toss with vinaigrette.  Either way, you’ll be eating something different tonight that took under 30 minutes and it won’t be coming from a drive thru.  Yum!

 

 

Yummy Mini Meatloaves with a Tangy Glaze

Want something different for dinner to replace your usual repertoire?  Here is the solution!  You can even make these the day before and pop them in the oven when you get home.  Using ground turkey or chicken is much leaner than beef and hiding the veggies not only fools your kids into eating healthier, but it also adds a ton of flavor.  Top it with the tangy glaze and you have a winner that your family will beg for every week.

Prep Time:  15 minutes          Total Cook Time:  Approximately 40 minutes        Serves:  3-4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb of ground turkey or chicken

8 oz sliced mushrooms

1 carrot small diced

1 shallot sliced

1 tbsp avocado oil

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Sweet and Tangy Glaze (optional)

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup yellow mustard

2 tbsp grown sugar

Place mushrooms, diced carrots and shallot on a small lined sheet pan with salt, pepper, oregano and oil and toss gently until coated.  Place the sheet pan with the veggies into a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes until tender.  Remove the veggies and place them into a food processor and blend until it resembles a paste.  Stir the vegetable mixture together with the ground meat, egg white and breadcrumbs until combined.  Form into flat patties that are the size of a slider hamburger and place on a lined baking sheet.

Stir together all of the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl with a whisk.  Once smooth, spoon sauce onto the top of each formed patty.  (This is the point at which you could place these into the fridge and cook them the next day.)

Place the meatloaves into a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your meatloaves.  Once the edges of the patty are browned and the center is cooked through they are ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Heart Healthy and Dairy Free French Toast Casserole

Prep Time:  10 minutes          Cooking time:  35 minutes         Serves:  6-8 ppl

This casserole is the perfect make-ahead brunch or special Sunday morning breakfast that you don’t have to feel guilty about.  The egg whites and almond milk bump up the protein in this dish to keep you full longer.  Make it the night before and pop it in the oven when you wake up.  It will be ready before you are finished getting dressed.  I like to use a sprouted grain bread in this dish, but use whatever good quality whole grain bread you enjoy.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 loaves of a good quality whole grain bread

1/2 cup of coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

a few grinds of fresh nutmeg

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp ground cloves

2 cups almond milk

1 cup of liquid egg whites

1 cup of maple syrup

Melt the coconut oil in a 9X13 pan in the oven for a few minutes.  Remove the pan and add the cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom to the oil.  Place the pieces of bread in 3 even layers over the spices and coconut oil.  Mix the egg whites and almond milk together in a  bowl and pour over the bread.  Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.  The next morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake french toast for 30 minutes.  Once done, pour the maple syrup over top and place under the broiler until the syrup is bubbly.  Serve warm with fresh fruit.

Almond Joyous Cookies (Dairy-Free, Gluten Free and low cholesterol)

These cookies could not be any easier to make or more delicious.  My kids honestly cannot tell the difference between these and the regular full-fat chocolate chip cookies I used to make.  I use almond flour to get the look and texture that is most like ordinary homemade cookies, but you can certainly substitute almond meal with or without the almond skin and get the same great flavor.  The almond flour increases the protein content and decreases the carbs significantly.  The coconut oil and egg whites are much healthier fats and the oil imparts a slight coconut flavor that will remind you of that almond, coconut and dark chocolate candy bar everyone loves.  No mixer is needed for this recipe.  Beware, your family will want you to make this recipe again and again.

Prep time:  10 minutes            Cook time:  13 minutes           Makes about 20 cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups of almond flour or almond meal

1/2 cup of coconut oil

1/2 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of liquid egg whites

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the coconut oil in a pan or in the microwave.  Set aside to cool.  Combine the egg, oil and vanilla extract in one bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients together and whisk.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir in the chocolate chips.  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick coconut oil spray and drop golf ball sized mounds onto the sheet.  Bake for 13 minutes or until the bottom of the bookie begins to brown.  Place on a cookie rack  to cool.  dsc_0193

 

 

Dairy-Free Power Pancakes

While trying many pancake recipes for my family I created this dairy-free option that both myself and my kids could enjoy.  It’s not only dairy-free for me, but also heart healthy and packed with protein.  I make extra so that I can freeze them in plastic resealable bags for a quick breakfast or easy dinner.  Just warm them in the oven or pop them in the toaster to warm them through.  Enjoy every healthy morsel!

Ingredients

1 cup of white flour

2 cups of almond flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves  (optional)

1/2 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

1 cup of liquid egg whites

3 tbsp honey

6 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of almond milk

Heat a non-stick griddle to 350 degrees or set a non-stick pan to medium heat.  Stir the flours, baking soda, salt and spices together.  In a separate bowl, mix together the egg whites, milk, honey and vanilla extract.  Stir flour into the wet ingredients and mix until combined.  You may add water or almond milk for a thinner batter and therefore, thinner pancakes.  Drop a laddle full of pancake batter in the pan and flip when bubbles rise to the surface of the pancake.  Cook 2-3 minutes on the following side.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Top with natural maple syrup or applesauce for an even healthier version.