Friday, October 14, 2016

Spaghetti Squash with Kale Pesto

Delicious Italian food with a twist. From Food Network Magazine.
serves 4


1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
⅓ cup pine nuts (can substitute almonds or hazelnuts)
2 cups roughly chopped kale leaves
½ cup fresh parsley
1 glove garlic
2 Tbsp. golden raisins
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Cut off squash ends and halve lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly then scrape into strands with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, toast nuts in a try skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
3. Pulse the kale, parsley, garlic, raisins, and 2 Tbsp. of the toasted nuts in a blender or food processor until combined. Add the olive oil; blend until smooth. Add ⅓ cup water, parmesan, Worcestershire, ½ tsp. salt and some pepper. Pulse until combined, adding a little more water if necessary. Season with more salt and pepper.
4. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring until coated. Add ¾ cup of the kale pesto. Stir to coat, adding a little more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining toasted nuts and more parmesan.

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo with Bacon and Peas

Now you can enjoy all the comfort of comfort food without adding to your waistline. From Food Network Magazine.

serves 4


1 medium spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds)
4 oz. bacon, diced
1 small shallot, diced
1 tsp. fresh thyme
¼ cup white wine
1 ½ cups heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Cut off squash ends and halve lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and place cut-side down on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly then scrape into strands with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon; set aside. Add shallot and thyme to skillet and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until mostly evaporated, about 1 minute. Add heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
3. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in peas and parmesan. Continue cooking until sauce is thick and creamy, about 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in squash and bacon. Return to heat and cook 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Filipino Salad Crêpes

Wonderfully fresh flavors brought together in a crêpe and made extra tasty with peanut sauce. Healthy, satisfying, and fun! Adapted from foodandwine
makes 8


1 large egg
1 cup whole grain flour (like spelt)
1 Tbsp. oil, plus more for brushing
½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
½ cup full fat coconut milk
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos or Bragg's Liquid Aminos (substitutes for regular soy sauce)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green (unripe) mango peeled and julienned
1 cup julienned carrot
1 cup julienned daikon (could substitute jicama or radish if not available)
1 cup julienned English cucumber
½ cup torn mint leaves
½ cup lightly packed chopped cilantro
butter lettuce or other lettuce leaves
chopped roasted peanuts
coconut vinegar or white vinegar (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, beat the egg with ½ tsp. salt and 1 ½ cups of water. Gradually whisk in the flour just until a batter forms (it's ok if there are lumps). Then whisk in the oil.

2. Heat an 8 - inch nonstick skillet and brush with oil. Add ¼ cup of the batter and tilt the skillet to distribute evenly. Cook over moderate heat until bubbles start to form around the edge of the crêpe, about 1 minute. Flip, then cook until lightly browned on the bottom. Transfer the crêpe to a baking sheet and top with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining batter.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the peanut butter with the coconut milk, soy sauce substitute, garlic, and 3 Tbsp. of water. Season with salt. In a medium bowl, toss the mango with the carrot, daikon, cucumber, mint, and cilantro.

4. Arrange the crêpes on plates. Top each with a lettuce leaf and some of the salad. Drizzle with peanut sauce and sprinkle with peanuts and vinegar.

Friday, October 2, 2015

butternut squash quiche

This dish makes a gorgeous and scrumptious presentation for a brunch or even dinner! Pastry is substituted for squash making this quiche into an entirely nutritious meal. You could even use yams or sweet potato in the place of butternut squash. I wasn't sure this would receive kid approval but they really loved it. Modified from The Paleo Kitchen.

serves 6-8


1 medium butternut squash or 3 yams/sweet potatoes
about ⅓ cup coconut oil, divided, plus extra for greasing pan
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
2 pinches plus 1 tsp. course sea salt
4-5 cups spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus an additional handful, chopped, for garnish
10-12 large eggs
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375º.

2. Cut the squash lengthwise into wafer-thin planks (about 1/16"). I cut off one slice so the squash could lay flat then cut the strips.

3. Heat 2 Tbsp. of the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Place a few slices in the pan and cook for less than a minute on each side, just until soft. Remove and drain on paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining slices, adding more coconut oil as needed.

4. Grease springform pan thoroughly with coconut oil. Line the bottom with squash slices until completely covered, then line the sides. Add more coconut oil if needed to help them stick.

5. Heat 2 Tbsp. coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the Brussels sprouts with a pinch of salt until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and basil along with another pinch of salt and cook 
just until they wilt. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

6. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl along with garlic powder, cayenne, 1 tsp. salt and pepper. Add the vegetable mixture to the eggs and mix well.

7. Set the springform pan on top of a rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills and pour the egg mixture into the pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the eggs are firm in the middle. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped basil.

Monday, August 17, 2015

chicken satay with coconut lime sauce

This dish is worth the time it takes to prepare. Tender grilled chicken is finished with a sauce that is so full of flavor you may want to have it on its own. If you love Thai then try this. Our 5 year old begged me as he was eating to make it again. Adapted from O magazine (for some reason I keep getting lots of free magazines in the mail. Most of them are junk I do find good recipes from time to time).

Makes 4 servings


3 Tbsp. oil (coconut would be the best)
½ cup thinly sliced shallot (about 1 shallot)
1 stalk lemongrass, woody top discarded, bottom split lengthwise and crushed with the side of a heavy knife
1 jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped (more or less depending on desired heat)
3 garlic loves, sliced
1 1" piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp. coconut sugar
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 Tbsp lime juice
¼ tsp. plus a pinch of salt, divided
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs (about 1 ½ lb) each cut into 3 pieces
⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
½ cup fresh cilantro, larger leaves roughly chopped
½ cup fresh mint, larger leaves roughly chopped
½ cup fresh Thai or sweet basil, larger leaves roughly chopped
2-3 cups cooked rice or quinoa
8 soaked wooden skewers or metal skewers

1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium low heat. Add shallot, lemongrass, and jalapeño, and cook, stirring often, until shallot is translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, sugar and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add coconut milk, bring to simmer, and cook until reduced by a third, about 6 minutes. Stir in fish sauce, lime zest, and lime juice. Return sauce to a simmer, remove from heat, cover, and let steep 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Cover and keep warm.
2. Preheat grill over medium high. In a large bowl, toss chicken with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to coat. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Thread 3 pieces of chicken onto each of 8 skewers. Grill, turning as needed, until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
3. Spoon reserved coconut sauce over and around chicken. Sprinkle with cilantro, mint, and basil and serve over rice or quinoa.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

almond-crusted Creole salmon

It just takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to prepare this scrumptious dish. Tangy Greek yogurt with lemon zest and Creole seasoning creates a melt in your mouth flavor-filled salmon! I found it in a magazine but I can't recall which one.


1 lb green beans
1 Tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
salt and pepper
⅔-1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp (or more to taste) Creole seasoning
½ cup chopped or sliced almonds
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
whole salmon fillet or portions

1. Preheat oven to 450º. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. In a large bowl, toss the green beans with oil and salt and pepper. Arrange on pan and bake 10 minutes.
2. In a bowl, stir together yogurt, Creole seasoning, and lemon peel. Spread onto fillet and top with almonds.
3. Push beans to one side of the pan and place salmon on the other side. Bake about 12 minutes or until salmon just begins to flake when you lift it from the bottom and it still has a hint of darker pink.

Friday, May 8, 2015

no bake almond joy snack bars

These little goodies are packed full of flavor and nutrition and make a satisfying snack. Adapted from howsweeteats.


⅔ cup oat bran
¼ cup ground flaxseed
¼ cup almond flour
⅓ cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
¼ cup sliced toasted almonds
¼ cup mini chocolate chips or cocoa nibs
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
pinch of salt
¼ cup creamy almond butter
¼ cup honey
2-3 Tbsp. coconut oil (or 2 Tbsp coconut oil and 2 Tbsp coconut butter)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

to top:
⅓ cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
⅓ cup sliced toasted almonds

1. In a large bowl combine the oat bran, flax, almond flour, coconut, almonds, chocolate, chia seeds, and salt.
2. In a saucepan, combine the almond butter, honey, coconut oil and vanilla over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring swell until a wet dough forms. Press into and 8 x 8 greased or parchment lined pan and top with the coconut and almond pressing to adhere. Let cool and cut into bars. Store in fridge.

chicken saltimbocca

These tasty prosciutto wrapped chicken tenders are drizzled with a delicious wine sauce and are actually quite easy and quick to make. From Food and Wine.

makes 4 servings


1 lb. thick asparagus
8 chicken tenders, pounded ⅛ in thick
salt and ground pepper
16 sage leaves
8 slices of prosciutto (you can also substitute pancetta or bacon)
flour for dusting (I used spelt but any flour even gluten free or tapioca or potato starch should work well)
1 cup dessert wine such as sherry or moscato
½ cup chicken stock
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1. Cook the asparagus in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until crisp-tender, 2-3 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water; drain and pat dry.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place 2 sage leaves on top. Wrap each in a slice of prosciutto, pressing to adhere. Put the flour in a large dish and dredge the chicken, dusting off the excess.
3. Set a rack over a baking sheet. Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet. Add half of the chicken and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until golden and almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the rack and repeat with remaining chicken.
4. Add the wine and stock to skillet and boil over moderately high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, 4 minutes. Whisk in the butter. Pour half of the sauce into a bowl. Add half the chicken and asparagus to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until hot, 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken and asparagus to a platter and pour the sauce on top. Repeat with remaining sauce, chicken and asparagus. and top with parsley.

shirataki noodles in a creamy peanut sauce

Shirataki noodles are made from konjac root. They are largely composed of water and glucomannan, a water-soluble dietary fiber, are very low in carbohydrates and calories, and have little flavor of their own. There is some evidence that glucomannancan plays a role in blood sugar control and can improve cholesterol control. They are available in many grocery stores, walmart, health food stores, or These noodles work well in this Asian-style dish full of veggies in a delicious peanut sauce.  The kids really enjoyed this one especially the noodles which are very fun (a little too fun perhaps)to slurp up and see how long they can be. Adapted from The Endless Meal.

serves 6


2 packages shirataki noodles
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 stalks celery, sliced
½-1 onion, sliced
a few handfuls cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters (optional)
a few handfuls sugar snap or snow peas, halved
green onion, for garnish
oil for sautéing

for the sauce:

1 can coconut milk
¼-½ cup peanut butter
1 cup diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
3 Tbsp. ginger, grated
4 Tbsp. soy sauce (I use Bragg Liquid Aminos)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (1 lime)
1 Tbsp. curry powder
2 tsp. sriracha or other hot sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of salt

1. Prepare the noodles according to package directions.
2. Add all the sauce ingredients to a small pot over medium high heat until it comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.
3. Put a splash of oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add all the veggies and cook for a few minutes until they have softened slightly but still have their bright color and a little crunch.
4. Add noodles and sauce to veggies and toss to coat. Serve in bowls topped with slices of green onion.

Eggplant Parmesan

Pretty yummy! Fresh mozzarella and fresh basil bring this recipe to a new level of deliciousness. Recipe adapted from Food and Wine.

serves 8


1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
2 Tbsp. olive oil plus more more for frying
flour, for dredging (I used spelt but you could use any kind even potato or tapioca starch should work fine)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups seasoned dry bread crumbs (I made my own with sprouted grain bread, salt, and herbs)
2 lb eggplant, cut lengthwise into ¼-in thick slices
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
12 oz. fresh mozzarella (you may want more because you WILL want to eat some)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup basil leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 350º. In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes with their juices and 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt.
2. Put the flour, eggs and bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dredge in flour; shake off excess, dip in egg, letting any excess drip off, then coat with bread crumbs.
3. Line a rack with paper towels. In large nonstick skillet, heat ⅛ inch of olive oil until shimmering. Cooking in batches over moderate heat, add some of the smashed garlic and eggplant spices and fry until golden brown and tender (a couple minutes per side). Transfer to paper towels to drain and discard garlic. Repeat until remaining eggplant slices and garlic are used up, wiping out skillet and adding more oil as needed.
4. Lightly oil a 10-12 inch springform pan (a regular pan will do as well but you won't be able to slice it as easily). Layer as follows:
  layer 1:
  ½ cup tomato sauce spread on top
  a few mozzarella slices and sprinkle of parmesan
  ⅓ basil leaves torn and scattered on top
  layer 2: repeat
  layer 3: repeat
  layer 4:
  thick layer tomato sauce
  remaining parmesan
5. Wrap entire pan in foil and set on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour or until heated through.
6. Increase oven temperature to 400º. Remove foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before unmolding and slicing.