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!

 

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Oatmeal Bars

These bars are a great after school snack or breakfast on the go.  The allspice combined with the cinnamon and oats makes this bar taste like a bowl of oatmeal with no spoon required!  The oats add a chewy texture and the dates and brown sugar add a subtle sweetness.  Indulge in this comfort food with zero guilt while fueling your body with wholesome ingredients.

Prep Time:  10 minutes            Cook Time:  20-25 minutes           Makes:  9 large bars

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats finely ground in a food processor until it resembles flour

3/4 cup almond flour

1 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats (reserve 1/3 cup of these oats for the topping)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark will do)

3/4 cup softened coconut oil

1/2 cup egg whites

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of dates pitted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl stir together the ground oats, almond flour, 1 cup of whole oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice.  Set aside.  In a separate medium bowl place the brown sugar and coconut oil.  Use a hand mixer to beat the two ingredients together until combined.  Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat until completely combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and add the cup of chopped dates.  Mix until just combined and transfer to the baking dish.  Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center is clean.

Allow the pan to cool completely before cutting the bars into 9 equal squares.  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.  Enjoy!

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The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

These bars are so yummy and very versatile.  They are easy to whip up and great for a dessert or snack and a healthy way to get in your cholesterol lowering rolled oats.  The nut butter , egg whites and coconut oil adds protein and healthy fats and the chocolate chunks are just plain delicious.  Feel free to use any nut butter you enjoy and if your children need a nut-free treat for school simply use sunflower seed butter instead.  These store well in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                   Cook Time:  20 minutes                 Makes 12 bars

Ingredients:

3/4 cup almond butter / cashew butter / peanut butter / sunflower seed butter

1/3 cup honey

4 tbsp liquid egg whites

2 tbsp of melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil, brown sugar , extract and salt until creamy.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chunks until the oats are completely covered in the peanut butter mixture.  Coat a 13X9 baking dish with cooking spray.  Press the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan.  Place in oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes then transfer to the fridge for 20 minutes.  Loosen the edges with a spatula or knife and slice into bars.

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Zucchini and Pepper Egg White Quiche

This is the easiest recipe and so versatile but also presents well.  It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Make it the day before and all you have to do is cut a slice and warm it up.  Serve it with a salad and you have a healthy lunch or have it for breakfast with a crispy hash brown and a side of ketchup.  This quiche is full of lean protein and veggies so there’s no guilt.  If you would prefer to use whole eggs simply substitute the egg whites with 4 whole eggs.  Going to a pot luck?  Need to make something for the teacher luncheon?  Have a friend who just had a baby?  You get the idea……..

Prep Time:  10 minutes                  Cook time:  60 minutes                   Serves: 8

 Ingredients

1 cup liquid egg whites

3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese – optional  (Romano is a Sheep’s milk cheese that some lactose intolerant folks can tolerate much better than cow’s milk)

1 small zucchini small diced

1 small red pepper small diced

1  frozen pie shell (bottom only)  I prefer 9″ deep Oronoque Orchards, which is dairy free

https://www.mrssmiths.com/products/pie-crusts/pie-crusts-oronoque-orchards.htm

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place egg whites, almond milk, cheese, salt, pepper, zucchini and red pepper into a medium bowl and whisk together to combine.  Pour all of the ingredients into the frozen pie shell on a lined baking sheet.  Place in oven for 1 hour.  Remove and serve hot or cool and store in the fridge covered for up to a week.

Other variations:  Lean turkey breakfast sausage, chive and cheddar / Spinach, feta (Sheep’s milk cheese) and chopped tomatoes / Zucchini, carmelized onions and grated Romano cheese / Ham and Swiss cheese / Bacon, goat cheese and mushroom / Mushroom, bacon and chopped tomatoes / Asparagus, red pepper and grated cheese

Dairy Free Healthy Breakfast Muffins

I promise that you will not miss the butter in this delectable muffin.  In fact, you won’t even notice that there is absolutely no dairy and most of the white flour was replaced with almond flour.  They are a great choice for a healthy breakfast and can be made quickly and easily with no mixer at all.  If you aren’t a fan of blueberries feel free to substitute apples, raspberries, peaches or pears.  Also, these muffins freeze well so make them ahead for a Sunday brunch or a sick friend.  Enjoy every tender crumb!

Prep Time:   10 minutes           Cook Time:  17 minutes         Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1 cup of almond flour

3/4 cup white flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

2/3 cup almond milk

3 tbsp liquid egg whites

1 1/4 cups of washed fruit (if you use apples peel and cut them into a small dice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin tin with cupcake liners for easy cleanup.  Combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; whisk to combine.  In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, almond milk, extract and egg; whisk to combine.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and add the fruit.  Mix just until combined (mixing too much will make for a tougher muffin).  Fill each muffin tin 3/4 of the way full and bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes or until the tops begin to brown.  Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then remove them and place them in a sealed container or store them in the fridge to prevent spoilage.

 

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.

Healthy Stuffed Peppers and Eggplant

This is the perfect dish to enjoy on a cold day and can even be prepared in advance.  It holds up well when frozen, so make extra.  The grated Romano cheese is optional.  (I find that I can tolerate Romano cheese because it is a sheep’s milk cheese, but it can be easily omitted.)  The Basmati rice has a much lower glycemic index than your typical white rice and the ground chicken or turkey means a lot less fat and cholesterol when compared to the traditional ground beef.  The addition of the veggies adds nutrients and flavor.  (My girls call it rainbow rice.)

Ingredients:

3 Cubanelle peppers (also called Italian peppers)

1 large (or two small) eggplant

3 tbs avocado oil

1 cup frozen spinach

1 celery stalk diced

1 carrot diced

1/2 red bell pepper diced

1 shallot diced

1 tbs salt

1 tbs ground pepper

3 tbs fresh chopped basil

1 lb of ground chicken or turkey

3 cups cooked basmati rice (1 cup of dried basmati rice prepared according to package instructions)

3/4 cup grated Romano cheese

4 cups of canned or homemade tomato sauce

Cut off the top of the Cubanelle peppers and remove the ribs and seeds inside leaving the body of the pepper intact.  Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop out the white flesh with a large spoon.  Reserve the flesh of the eggplant and chop into cubes.  Place the peppers and eggplant into a large casserole dish.  Set a saute pan over medium heat and add the oil and diced vegetables along with the spinach and eggplant flesh.  Add the salt and pepper and cook the veggies for approximately 10 minutes until softened.  Add the ground meat and cook through.  Once cooked, turn off the heat and add the grated cheese, 1 cup of the reserved tomato sauce and the cooked rice.  Stir to combine and then spoon the mixture into the eggplant and peppers.  Pour the remaining 3 cups of sauce over the stuffed peppers and eggplant.  Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Uncover after an hour and allow to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your peppers and eggplant.  Enjoy!

Healthy Lactose Free Chicken Stroganoff

One dish meals are fabulous, aren’t they?  This one is quick, easy, healthy and tastes delicious.  I use lactose free sour cream to add  richness to this dish, while still keeping it lactose intolerance friendly.  I like to serve this dish over egg noodles, but you can certainly choose rice if you prefer.  The substitution of the chicken instead of the traditional beef cuts down on fat and cholesterol.  If you don’t have fresh dill, the dried dill will be just as tasty.  Enjoy!

Prep time:  5 minutes          Cooking time:  20 minutes          Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 pound of chicken breast cut into bite sized cubes

Salt and ground pepper

3 tbsp of avocado oil (or other oil)

1 shallot diced

1 lb of sliced white mushrooms

1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup lactose free sour cream

Chipped fresh dill for garnish or 2 tsp dried dill weed

12 oz of wide egg noodles

Add oil to the pan and the chopped shallot at medium heat ensuring that the shallot doesn’t burn.  Add the mushrooms and chicken to the pan and sauté for 8-10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  When the chicken is no longer pink add the chicken stock.  Simmer uncovered for 8 minutes until the liquid has thickened.  Stir the mustard into the liquid and cook for another 2 minutes uncovered.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and sprinkle with dill.  Serve over cooked egg noodles.

 

 

Tender Pulled Pork

This dish couldn’t be easier.  Let it cook in the oven for 3 hours while you get things done around the house, or place it in a crock pot and forget about it until dinner time.  Serve it on a bun topped with my Creamy Cole Slaw with Dairy-Free Dressing or serve it along side a salad and sweet potato.  I usually freeze the leftovers so that I can put it on pizza with some pineapple and BBQ sauce for an easy dinner the following week.  Either way, this will become one of your favorite week night staples!

 

Prep time:  5 minutes          Cook time:  3 hours         Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs pork tenderloin with the fat trimmed

1/2 cup of white or apple cider vinegar

1 cup of water

1/4 cup brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

A few dashes of hot sauce

1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

Whisk together the vinegar, water and sugar in the bottom of a dutch oven or other oven safe pot.  Place the tenderloin in the pot with the liquid.  Sprinkle salt, pepper and hot sauce over the pork as desired.  Cover and place in a 300 degree oven for three hours.  When ready to serve, lift the meat careful out of the pan and place it in a bowl.  Reserve the liquid in the pan.  Start shredding the pork with two forks.  (The meat will be so tender that it will require very little effort.)  Add 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce (more or less depending on taste) and add the reserved juice to moisten the meat and thin out the BBQ sauce if desired.

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