Whether it’s the pressure of bathing suit season or all the beautiful tropical fruits out at the grocery store right now, we like to think of this as Smoothie Season! Strawberries, bananas and some ice cubes will get you there but why stop with the basics when the internet has so much more adventurous recipes to offer? Here are some of our favorite smoothies on the internet today! Continue reading
I’ve been trying to lose weight since…well, since birth pretty much. I’ve been trying a lot harder now that I live on my own and have a lot more control over what I eat. One of the first things every diet (and I’ve been on most of them so I’m pretty knowledgeable of the field) is that it’s important to be able to cook for yourself. For the past three years I’ve learned to live mostly off of microwavable Lean Cuisines (have you tried their french bread pizza? Delicious!) but a few weeks ago I decided to give real cooking a try.
It turns out I’m kind of good at it! I started with a few recipe’s from Dr. Mark Hyman‘s book “The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook” because sugar is a huge weakness for me. My dad swears that I must be half ant. Anyway, I made my through sweet potato burgers, lemon garlic chicken, and a few great smoothies. Then shortly into the cooking expedition I started experimenting on my own! I made some really awesome yorkshire puddings and chicken olive oil pasta… before realizing I was heading back into my old carb heavy (and carbs are just bread sugars) habits. So I took some inspiration from Dr. Hyman and from my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles – Franklin & Co. and perfected a kale and quinoa salad that I wanted to share with all of you.
- 1 medium boneless chicken breast / pre-cut chicken strips (can leave out for vegetarian/vegan options)
- kale (I prefer Trader Joes kale because it’s already washed and cut, but to each their own!)
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 avocado
- dried cranberries
- 4-5 cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil (Have a bottle ready if you’re going with chicken)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
Chicken – If you’re going for the carnivore version of this salad, defrost a medium or small size chicken breast or frozen chicken strips. (I found some really great pre-cut chicken pieces, boneless and not mechanically processed at my nearby Super Target, go figure). Fill a medium sauce pan with just enough olive oil to cover the bottom the pan and cook chicken on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to flip over about half-way through. Chicken is properly cooked when the pinkness from the center has disappeared. Add seasoning as you wish – I like a small dash of garlic herb or lemon and pepper – but add a pinch of whatever you like. If you used a chicken breast, cut into desired pieces to add into the salad.
Quinoa – The first time I tried this I used a full cup of quinoa and had some left over for weeks, so I’ve learned to cut down (1 cup of uncooked quinoa = 3 cups cooked, jeez). Add 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water in a small pot and cook on medium to low heat until the water is absorbed into the quinoa (Usually about 10-12 minutes, but may vary depending on your oven).
Kale – To prepare the kale, wash the leaves and cut away any extra long and thick stems. Add 1bsp olive oil, 1tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 tsp of sea salt to the leaves. Then using your hands massage the mixture into the kale (just like you’re rubbing someone’s shoulders). You’ll see the kale curl into a rich dark green and you’ll know it’s ready.
Salad – Add the dried cranberries, tomatoes, chicken, quinoa and avocado to the salad and mix. The lemon juice and olive oil you used to massage the kale mix well enough that you won’t need any additional dressing (calorie save, what!).
This has been my staple lunch for a few weeks now because once I got the hang of cooking the chicken it only takes a few minutes to make! Feel free to change up the cranberries for something different if you aren’t a fan (I’ve tried it with strawberries or olives instead, but cranberries are still my favorite). Even with chicken the salad comes in under 300 calories if you are conservative with the olive oil. I’ve heard many of my friends complain about kale’s bitter taste which makes them reluctant to eat it. When you massage it with this scrub it makes it so delicious though. It’s such a refreshing dish.
This post has been part of my intent to cook more and get more confident in the kitchen. Please support my intent or help out by sharing your favorite recipes with me!
For the last two weeks we hosted a “What Are You Hungry For?” give away and had a lot of submissions for our favorite healthy snack or meal recipe portion. While we could only pick one to win for the give away, we had so many good options that we wanted to showcase them for everyone. So everyone get your bookmarks and grocery lists ready because there are some very tasty and awesome options here for you, for the holiday season and all year round! (All links open in a new tab so it’s easy for you to save and come back for others)
Roasted Brussel Sprout Chips – Debbie R.
No Bake Energy Bites – Julia W.
Paleo Egg in Ham Cups – “I’ve been starting my day with this. It’s quite easy to substitute sliced turkey if one doesn’t eat pork. And there’s so little prep and clean up for such a pretty, fool-proof meal. I heat the oven while I put the coffee on, pop it in while I shower, and the egg is ready 15 minutes later, perfect timing! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And I’ve noticed a big, positive difference with this perfect-sized portion of pure protein.” – Gentry L.
Ricotta Fritters with Tomato Sauce & Courgette Salad* – “A proper, wholesome meal in minutes. These fritters are an absolute doddle and the crispy creaminess works a treat with the tomato sauce. Delicious at its best!” – Tatjana J. (Featured picture*)
Grilled Cheese Tomato Sandwich – Pinki L.
Kale Citrus Salad with Cranberries and Roasted Walnuts – “It is super fresh with vibrant colors, a burst of citrus, tang of cranberries, a nutty crunch, and the star of the show: superfood Kale! This salad is sure to turn any kale-hater around. With the addition of dried cranberries and toasted walnuts, it is a wildly colorful, incredibly tasty, and amazingly healthy addition to any holiday feast.” – Dawn G.
West African Sweet Potato Supper with Coconut Rice – “This is one of my family’s favorite recipes I found on the internet: delicious, healthy, filling, easy.” – Irene R.
Apple Crisp from Whole Foods – “I’ve been making this crisp recipe for years. It combines both apples and pears and is great this time of year! I substitute agave for the granulated sugar and its awesome with coconut milk ice cream on top!” – Stephanie F.
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip – Karla H.
Thank you to everyone who submitted! We hope you have fun trying out some of these dishes! If you have a favorite healthy snack or meal recipe you want to share put it in the comments below. And make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter for how to enter our other give aways happening throughout the month of December!
This soup was inspired by a delicious dish my Aunt Joan made of roasted curried squash. I adored it, so recreated it, then decided to make it into a soup. It’s fabulous for chilly fall nights, when you’re looking for something to warm your belly and soul, and it’s super easy! It also makes a great addition to your Thanksgiving dinner, especially for your vegan and gluten free guests.
I’m not one for precise measurements as one of my favorite aspects of cooking is experimentation, so I encourage you to play with the flavors and find what works best for you. Feel free to share any magical discoveries in the comments below!
– 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
– A couple green apples, peeled, cored, and quatered
– 1 small yellow onion and/or shallots
– carton of veggie broth (homemade is great too of course!)
– 2 tsp of Wakaya Perfection Ginger
– grapeseed oil or olive oil
– curry powder (the best kind you can find, which will probably be at an Indian or West Indian store)
– ground cumin or roasted geera
– salt and pepper to taste
These are my favorite brands of roasted geera and curry powder, both purchased from a West Indian store in Toronto. Having delicious and authentic curry powder can make all the difference!
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the squash, apples, and onion/shallots, with oil (enough for a light coating) and a decent coating of curry powder (about 1 – 2 Tbsp) and about 1 tsp of the roasted geera/cumin. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Place ingredients in a baking dish, and roast in oven for about 40 minutes, removing half way to stir. Squash should be very soft when complete.
Add the roasted veggies to a good quality blender. Add the Wakaya Perfection ginger and about a cup of veggie broth to begin. Begin blending on a low setting and keep adding veggie broth until you reach your desired consistency (it will depend on your preference and how large of a squash you used). Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Have as a starter, or make it meal by serving with a scoop of brown rice and a mixed green salad. Enjoy!
This article was originally posted on Sasha’s Empowering Wellness blog.
I was a Fettucini Alfredo girl as a child. I can even remember the first time I ever tasted it. I have a strange “taste memory” and can even recreate the sights and sounds that surround the first unexpectedly delicious bite that rocks my world. We were at Disney World in Florida. Dinner was in Little Italy in the “It’s a Small Small World” exhibition. The restaurant was a pale lavender with huge windows that looked out over the Magic Kingdom. I might be making this part up, but I remember fireworks. They may have just been in my mouth because when I tasted that creamy goodness I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
As the years went on and I became aware of health and the ridiculous amount of calories in a dish like that, my visits with this favorite food were few and far between. Once, maybe twice a year tops. Then, three years ago, I was diagnosed with a nasty dairy allergy and my Alfredo dreams became nothing but yummy memories. That is, until now……
Holy Macaroni. I thought that cream sauce was gone from my life forever before I made sauce. I have to thank whoever made up ‘cashew cream’ because without you my world would be a duller place. I adjusted it and adjusted it and then…..bells rang…fireworks went off…..Hallelujah!!!! It really tastes just like the cream sauce of my memories. And – drumroll, please – it’s actually good for you.
Made with nutrient dense cashews, gluten-free arrowroot flour, and cold-pressed olive oil, this is not the artery clogging butter and heavy cream of my childhood.
- cashews – 1 cup-raw soaked for at least 4 hours
- water – 2 cups
- arrowroot flour – 2 tablespoons
- garlic – 2 cloves
- olive oil – 1 tablespoon, cold pressed
- salt – 1 teaspoon
- pepper – dash
- asparagus – 1 bunch
- shiitake mushroom – 1 cup, chopped
- basil – 1 tablespoon, fresh, chopped for garnish
- sesame oil – 1 tablespoon
Cook 12oz of pasta as per the directions on the package. I use Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta.
Rinse the cashews under cold water until the water runs clear
Place cashews, water, salt, pepper, arrowroot flour, garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a blender.
Blend until smooth.
Taste- adjust the salt and pepper if you need to.
In a frying pan heat the sesame oil. Add the chopped shiitakes and asparagus and saute for about 5 minutes or until soft. Keep the mixture moving so that the mushrooms don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and the asparagus will get evenly cooked.
Pour the cream sauce into the pan with the asparagus and mushrooms. Mix.
Place pasta in a bowl, mix the sauce in, garnish with fresh basil and you’re good to go.
Originally posted on my website: TappsTips.com
Tahini is a wonder-food. A thick paste made up of ground sesame seeds, tahini is high in calcium, and B vitamins. Tahini assists in healthy cell regeneration as well as enhancing the immune system and healthy nervous system functioning. The best part is that tahini is very easy to digest so all of the goodness it offers is absorbed by your body and available to your cells within a 1/2 an hour of consuming it.
Parsley is a highly underrated vegetable. Often resigned to being a garnish, parsley belongs on the center stage. This humble little leaf has been used in herbal medicine for centuries. It is high in vitamins (including Vitamins K and A) and minerals (including iron and potassium). Parsley is low in calories but packs a huge nutritional punch.
I use green tahini on everything. I especially love it on cauliflower, or to dip pretty much anything in. Yesterday I even poured it on some leftover brown rice noodles and it was delicious!
Makes 1 1/2 cups
- tahini – 3/4 cup
- parsley – 1 cup chopped and de-stemmed
- warm water – 1/2 cup
- himalaya salt – 1/2 teaspoon full (to taste)
- lemon – little squeeze – optional
- raw honey – 1/2 teaspoon- optional
Put the tahini, water, and parsley in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Add salt to taste.
Add honey if it is still too bitter. I find that when I use store bought parsley I tend to use a little honey. My home-grown variety, or one from a farmer’s market, tends to be slightly sweeter so does not require the honey.
Add a little lemon if you choose to. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t. Either way it is yummy.
Have a delicious recipe you’d like to share? Leave it in the comments below!
Originally posted on my website: Tapp’s Tips
Cinnamon and apples are two of my favorite fall flavors. There are a lot of savory things that come with the cooler temperatures – pumpkin and squash, stuffing recipes, etc, which are great for the holidays. But I think fall also lends it self to amazing desserts, and why shouldn’t we give in to our sweet tooth every now and again? Together apple and cinnamon create delicious sweet treats that are still healthy. Using cashew cream also erases some of the guilt you’d get from pairing with regular ice cream. This recipe is a great fall dessert – and it’s vegan. It is definitely enough by itself but you could also pair it with a nice apple pie if you are feeling indulgent.
Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.
Rinse the cashews until the water runs clear.
Put cashews, water and salt in blender.
Blend until smooth. It will have the consistency of heavy cream.
Cinnamon Baked Apples with Cashew Cream
- apples – 4 medium (honey crisp is my favorite)
- oats – 1 cup gluten-free
- maple syrup – 1 tablespoon
- water – 2 tablespoons
- raisins – 1/8 cup
- cinnamon – 1 teaspoon
- nutmeg – 1/2 teaspoon
- lemon – squeeze of whole
- ginger – 1/2 teaspoon- fresh grated or ground
- himalaya salt – 1 pinch
- cashew cream – 4 tablespoons
- raw honey – drizzle
Preheat oven to 375
Wash and core apples
In a bowl combine all ingredients except the cashew cream and the honey.
Stuff the apples with the mixture
Pour @1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the baking dish and add the apples.
Cover with tin foil
Bake for @20 minutes or until the apples are soft
Put oven onto Hi Broil, remove tinfoil and broil the apples for @ 3 minutes or until the oats look brown and toasted.
Take the apple out and place in individual bowls.
Drizzle each one with a little bit of the liquid from the bottom of the pan.
Drizzle each one with one tablespoon of cashew cream.
For an added bit of decadence, drizzle with a little bit of raw honey.
Originally posted on my website, Tapp’s Tips.com
I came across an article this week, written by Barry Boyd, MD, a board certified oncologist and hematologist, that does an excellent job of summing up, once and for all, the myths and facts around soy as it relates to breast cancer. Fortunately, I think we’ve finally gotten to a point in science that we can confidently stand on one side of the fence when it comes to soy and this issue. If you’re at all confused about soy and breast cancer, I recommend you give his article a read.
But, before you go and grill up your next soy veggie burger, you should know that there’s another cautionary tale to be told about this plump little legume. It turns out much of the soy we eat today is not plump or even all that soy-like. Thanks (or not) to advances in food technology, much of the soy we eat today is either genetically modified, washed and extracted with a neurotoxic petro-chemical, or both. So, with Dr. Boyd’s talents for history telling as inspiration, allow me to tell you a bit of a story…
Soy is actually quite a deserved celebrity when it comes to beans. It’s an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fiber, contains heart healthy unsaturated fats, and is a rare vegetarian source of complete protein (a protein is considered complete when it matches the composition of the protein found in an egg). If you’re a vegetarian, finding complete sources of protein is a big deal. It’s also planet friendly as it’s grown domestically and has a much smaller carbon footprint than eating an equivalent amount of protein from an animal source (thus the veggie burger reference). Maybe it’s because of all these positive attributes that soy has been such a point of focus for food scientists. The fact that it’s a subsidized crop that US farmers are heavily incentivized to grow in mass quantities doesn’t hurt either.
Although all the aspects of a soybean are compelling, it’s really the protein that’s become a focus for the packaged food industry. High protein diets are a bit of a nutrition fad if you haven’t noticed. Although most of us have stepped back in recent years from the extremes of the Atkins Diet, more still seems to be better and what better ingredient to bump up protein levels in food than inexpensive and abundant soybeans?
So then, it should be no surprise that soy can be found in almost every packaged foods category. From crackers to energy bars, ice cream to frozen waffles, soy boosts the protein levels of an incredible number of foods and can be found in more than 60% of processed foods in the marketplace today.
But here’s the thing: just as protein is an established fad, fat is an equally established phobia. Mother Nature rarely creates food without a balanced mix of nutrients – some fat, some protein, some fiber and likely some antioxidants thrown in for good measure. Ten grams of protein and zero grams of fat? Nope, not found in nature and certainly not in a soybean. So, to meet our demands for protein without all the scary fat, scientists developed a method to separate the two. Hexane is a petro-chemical that is drilled out from deep down in the earth. When washed over soybeans it causes the fat to separate from the protein. It’s incredibly efficient at what it does, much more so than mechanically pressing out the oil (the way expeller-pressed oils are extracted). What you get at the end of the hexane washing process are two new ingredients, isolated soy protein and soybean oil.
It’s fall, which often means there is a lot of entertaining – whether it is for PTA things, football Sundays or holiday get togethers. It also means school is back in session and time is even more cramped.
It’s difficult trying to figure out something tasty but easy to make when you’re in a rush or trying to feed a lot of people. If you are looking for a good side dish or quick snack to serve, look no further! These three dishes are delicious, vegan and take less than 30 minutes to get done. Make them for yourself on the run or to feed a group!
Asian-Style Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms
- shiitake mushroom – 2 cups-stemmed
- sesame oil – 1 teaspoon
- teriyaki sauce – 2 tablespoons- San-J or my homemade sauce
- toasted sesame oil – 1/2 teaspoon
- garlic – 1 clove crushed
- warm water – 1/4 cup
- cilantro – 1 teaspoon chopped finely (optional)
Stem and chop mushrooms. (This is a great job for kids. They don’t need to use a sharp knife and they really seem to enjoy it. Maybe it is the act of destroying things, at which my kids are experts, but they get the job done and it takes a menial task out of your hands.)
Heat the oil in a saucepan.
Peel and either chop or crush garlic clove and add to oil.
When the garlic has turned slightly brown and gets fragrant (about 1 minute) add mushrooms.
Mix well so that the mushrooms are coated in the garlicky oil.
Add teriyaki sauce.
Mushrooms are super absorbent so I add 1/2 cup of warm water. Add it very slowly so that the mushrooms absorb it evenly. The flavor is coming from the oil and the sauce so you want to make sure that everything gets mixed well. You don’t want some water logged mushrooms and some over-seasoned ones.
Cook for @ 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through.
Add toasted sesame oil and mix well.
I like to garnish this dish with finely chopped cilantro or parsley because it’s pretty.
Vanishing Kale Chips
- kale – 1 bunch, curly
- sesame oil – 2 tbsp
- himalaya salt – 1/2 tsp
Preheat your oven to 300.
Cut the middle rib out of the Kale leaves. Use only the curly green part.
Cut the leaves into bite size chunks and wash well. Make sure that you dry the leaves thoroughly. If the kale is soggy when you put the oil on it it won’t crisp up.
Toss the leaves with the sesame oil. Sometimes I toss them with melted *Ghee which makes them buttery and decadent and taste like movie theater popcorn. Then salt the whole bunch while you are still tossing. Use a good quality sea salt or himalaya salt.
Spread the leaves out on the top of a baking tray; the holes will allow for air to come up from underneath and will result in maximum crunch. Don’t overload the tray. I make it in two batches. By the time the second batch is done, the first one has been demolished.
The kale reduces significantly, so don’t be surprised. When it is done it should be crispy but not overly brown. It takes about 20 minutes.
Roasted Cauliflower with Paprika
- cauliflower – 1 head or @3 cups
- sesame oil – 1 tablespoon
- paprika – 1/2 teaspoon
- himalaya salt – 1/2 teaspoon
- garlic powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Preheat oven to 375
Chop the cauliflower into florets
Place in an oven proof pan
Toss with sesame oil, salt, garlic powder and paprika
Cover with tinfoil
Cook for @20 minutes or until the cauliflower is softish
Turn oven to high broil
Roast for @5 minutes or until the cauliflower gets a toasted look to it. A word of caution. Do not walk away from the oven when something is on high broil. Things burn pretty quickly at that temp. Your beautiful cauliflower can turn into burnt nub in the blink of an eye.
All recipes originally posted on TappsTips
Soup! Whether you are battling one of those transitional season colds or just want an easy to warm you up as you watch the leaves fall outside. Soups are a simple and quick thing to make in the kitchen, and so easy to turn into your own recipes. And if you don’t finish all of it in one sitting you can always freeze the rest in a ziplock bag to be warmed up later.
Here are three of my favorite soup recipes, perfect for the fall season. Better yet, all of them can be made in 30 minutes or less for those that are always on the go.
1. Beet Fennel Soup
- beet – 3 medium (about 3 cups)
- garlic – 1 clove
- ginger – 1 thumb-sized piece
- fennel – 1 bulb
- kombu – 2 strips
- caraway seeds – 1 tsp
- cumin – 1/2 tsp
- tarragon – 1 tsp
- ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
- fennel powder – 1/2 tsp
- onion – 1 medium (1 cup chopped)
- chicken stock – 1 quart (may substitute vegetable)
- ghee – 1 tbsp
- coconut milk – 1/2 cup (may use soy milk or regular milk)
- salt and pepper
Scrub the beets well and then chop into 1 inch cubes. Warning – this is a messy business! While your kids might love the mess, I would avoid wearing your favorite white shirt.
Chop fennel, garlic, ginger, and onion. I am pretty rough about it. No fine dicing for me..
Put the onion, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the ghee (or oil) and cook on medium-high, stirring often, until the onion is transluscent.
Turn the heat down to low.
Add caraway seeds, cumin, ginger powder, fennel powder, and tarragon and mix. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
Add beets and fennel and mix to coat. Let that cook for two to three minutes.
Add chicken or vegetable stock and kombu. Turn heat up to medium-high and cover until the soup starts a low boil.
Make sure to check the soup often so you don’t burn it.
When the soup starts to boil then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for about a 1/2 an hour or until the beets are soft.
Take the kombu out.
With a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth.
Add coconut milk. Mix well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Butternut Squash Soup
A bowl of butternut squash soup, which is packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, most notably C and the powerhouse nutrients known as carotenoids, which protect against heart disease, make this soup incredibly good for you too.
- 1 medium sized butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
- 3 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth. If you make it if fresh, that is great. If not, Pacific Foods makes a nice organic one.
- 1 piece of Khombu (optional)
- Salt to taste
Put the broth, khombu and cubed squash in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium/low and let cook for 1/2 hour. Remove khombu. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. Add salt to taste.
I usually serve it with a hearty, whole-grain toast. I like to cut it into strips for dipping. My older son was so excited he couldn’t wait for the toast to come out of the oven.
3. Creamy Dairy-Free Carrot Soup
This soup is a nutrient powerhouse that helps our family get through the colds and flus that often derail the holiday season.
The carrots are rich in Beta-Carotene which the liver converts to Vitamin A. This is important because Vitamin A helps to rid the body of the various toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis. If our livers are not functioning properly, we are more susceptible to the viruses and bacteria that make us sick. A healthy liver is needed for a healthy body, so helping it do its job is like a natural form of health insurance.
- carrots – 4 cups, chopped
- ginger – 1 thumb-sized piece
- ghee – 1 tbsp (may use coconut oil)
- onion – 1 large
- apple – 1 large
- garlic – 1 clove
- coriander – 1 tsp
- caraway seeds – 1 tsp
- coconut milk – 3/4 cup
- chicken stock – 4 cups (may substitute vegetable stock)
- salt and pepper – to taste
Chop the carrots, onions, ginger, apple, and garlic.
Put the onion, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan with the ghee (or coconut oil) and cook on medium-high, stirring often, until the onion is transluscent.
Turn the heat down to low.
Add caraway seeds and coriander and mix. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
Add carrots and apple and mix to coat. Let that cook for two to three minutes.
Add chicken or vegetable stock. Turn heat up to medium-high and cover until the soup starts a low boil.
Stir every few minutes to keep it from burning.
When the soup starts to boil then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook for about a 1/2 an hour or until the carrots are soft.
With a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth.
Add coconut milk. Mix well.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Originally published on my website, Tapp’s Tips.