Monday, March 11, 2019

St. Patricks' Day Avocado Tribute

Green food is so trendy right now.... and hopefully will be forever.

This green fruit is full of healthy fats, in season year round (in Mexico), and has a multitude of uses!

Avoid the artificially green-dyed food and go green in the best way possible for your St. Patricks' Day celebration this year- with avocados!  Here is a round-up of some of my favorite recipes:

Not green but absolutely worth a mention

Also not green, also worth the mention

Thursday, February 21, 2019

80--- Butternut Breakfast Bisque

It seems that the whole country has been in some sort of cold spell for the month.  Which leaves me thinking.........soup for breakfast? 

This bisque is a marriage of sorts.  It has the sweetness that many crave in the morning, but the warm comfort of a soup.  The combination leaves you satisfied all morning long!

Butternut Breakfast Bisque
Serves 2

14 oz cubed butternut squash
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
8 oz plain greek yogurt
1.5 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Granola of your choice (optional)
Chopped walnuts (optional)

Bring almond milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add butternut squash, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes or until soft.  Use an immersion blender to puree.

In a small blender, combine yogurt, whey powder, honey, and  cinnamon.  Whip for one minute.

Serve bisque warm, topped with yogurt mixture, granola of your choice and chopped walnuts (optional).

Nutrition info per 1 serving (without granola): 298 calories, 3.5 g fat, 26 g protein, 45 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Monday, February 4, 2019

80--- Vegan Cheddar and Roasted Broccoli Soup with Popcorn Croutons

Sometimes, you have to get a little weird to keep things fresh in the kitchen.  Hence my popcorn croutons, which by the way are fun and delicious.  I used Pop Zero {in Guilt-Free Cinema}, which is a great option if you're looking for a delicious and healthy option! 

This creamy vegan soup is high in protein and is super healthy!  I don't always use tofu, but when I do it's to boost the plant-based protein content of my recipes.  That gives this soup extra staying power.

Vegan Cheddar and Roasted Broccoli Soup with Popcorn Croutons
Serves 4

4 cups broccoli florets, trimmed of large stems
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp vegetable seasoning (or other seasoning salt mixture of your choice)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 lb crumbled cauliflower (in your grocery store's bagged produce section)
2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk (or other plant milk)
16 oz silken tofu, drained of liquid
2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp red miso
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (more to taste)
2 cups popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss broccoli with 1 Tbsp olive oil, then spread on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.  Sprinkle with seasoning salt and pepper.

In a large stock pot heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until fragrant, ~3 minutes.  Add Worcestershire sauce and cauliflower crumbles and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until cauliflower is completely softened.

While soup cooks, place broccoli into the preheated oven and roast for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  

Use an immersion blender to puree soup.  If you desire a thicker consistency, continue to cook on a low boil for 5-6 additional minutes.

Serve in soup bowls topped with 1/2 cup roasted broccoli, then popcorn.  Sprinkle with additional nutritional yeast and ground black pepper if desired.

Nutrition info per 1 serving with toppings: 256 calories, 9.5 g fat, 26 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber

Saturday, January 26, 2019

80--- SUPER Simple Socca Sheet Pan Pizza {Gluten-Free} with Simple Cauliflower Cream Sauce {Dairy-Free}

Do you have some food sensitive friends and family coming to your Super Bowl party? This is an easy recipe that everyone will enjoy.  Feel free to top your pizza with your desired meats and/or veggies-- I used crumbled turkey Italian sausage, sautéed mushrooms, and arugula.

Socca is an unleavened bread or pancake made from garbanzo bean {chickpea} flour.  It is high in protein and SUPER SIMPLE.

The photo does not do this one justice {short daytime hours mid-winter in Montana make food photography challenging}.

Simple Socca Sheep Pan Pizza Crust
Makes one 12x18" pizza crust

1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour (Bob's Red Mill is a good one)
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp high quality olive oil (I love Pomora)
1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Line a 12x18" rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper, then spray lightly with olive oil spray.  

Combine ingredients in a spouted bowl, and whisk to mix well.  Pour batter into the pan, spreading evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with sauce of your choice and toppings.  Bake for additional 5-6 minutes.

Cut into even slices and serve!

Nutrition info per 1/4 pizza crust: 195 calories, 6.5 g fat, 9 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 7.5 g fiber

Simple Cauliflower Cream Sauce
Makes ~1 cup

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion (~1/4 large onion)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup crumbled/riced cauliflower
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk (or other plant milk)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic and chopped onions and sauce until golden brown, ~5 minutes.  While onions cook, microwave cauliflower for ~4 minutes covered, or until softened.

Add cooked onion mixture, cauliflower, and remaining ingredients into a high speed blender.  Mix until a smooth puree is formed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue to blend until mixed.  Add more vegetable broth if you desire a thinner consistency.

Nutrition info per 1/4 cup: 36 calories, 2 g fat, 2.5 g protein, 2.5 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber

Thursday, December 13, 2018

80(ish)--- Sugar Plums

Sugar plums sure get a lot of attention around the holidays.  But what is a sugar plum?

These sweet treats are old-world confections make with a combination of pureed dried fruits (plums and others) and nuts, rolled into a ball and coated with sugar.  I found many different recipes on the NPR website and then took the liberty of making my own version with things that I had sitting in my cupboards. 

Christmas bonus: No cooking is required! I'm sure that Santa would enjoy a healthier treat when he visits your house this year!

Sugar Plums
Makes ~14

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
Dash ground allspice
Dash ground cloves
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped pitted prunes
2 Tbsp dried unsweetened coconut
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 Tbsp finely crushed pistachios

Place walnuts and apple juice into a small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours, until slightly softened.  Drain apple juice and place walnuts into a food processor.  Add spices, zest, lemon juice, dried fruits, honey and coconut.  Mix until a puree is formed.

Combine powdered sugar and crushed pistachios in a bowl and mix until evenly distributed.

Remove ~1 Tbsp fruit mixture and roll into a small ball.  Place on waxed paper.  Repeat with remaining mixture.  With clean hands, roll each ball in sugar mixture, then roll in hands to evenly coat.  Place onto a plate.  Repeat with all balls.

Refrigerate sugar plums for ~1 hour prior to serving.  Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition Info per 1 ball: 78 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber

Sunday, November 25, 2018

80--- Caesar Buddha Bowl with Chicken Mushroom Meatballs

Making a batch of meatballs is such an easy way to get in an extra serving of vegetables {in this case mushrooms}! I love making these and freezing the leftovers on a baking sheet before transferring them into a ziplock bag for later.  Then you can grab and go for lunches or another dinner.

Buddha bowls are such a fun way to mix up your meals.  Add a grain {in this case Banza chickpea pasta}, some veggies, and a protein. Drizzle with a sauce and you've got a meal.  Even if you use the same grain, veggies, and protein the next day, choose a different sauce or dressing to switch up the flavors entirely!

Chicken Mushroom Meatballs
Makes 28

1 Tbsp olive oil 
1/2 large yellow onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 lb fresh mushrooms (slice or whole), chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb lean ground chicken
1 egg
1 cup panko crumbs
1 tsp low sodium chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp dried oregano
8 large basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until fragrant.  Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.  Reduce heat to medium low and cook until softened and liquid is mostly absorbed, 6-7 minutes more.  Transfer mixture to food processor and mix until a puree is formed.  Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes (fridge will cool if faster).

When mushroom puree is room temperature, add remaining ingredients and use your hands to combine ingredients evenly. 

Form meatballs by rolling ~3 Tbsp mixture in your hands.  Place meatballs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the meatballs reach 160 degrees internally. 

Nutrition info per 1 meatball: 67 calories, 3 g fat, 5 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 0.5 g fiber

Caesar Buddha Bowl
Serves 4

8 cups fresh baby arugula leaves
1 box Banza pasta of your choice, cooked per package instructions
1/2 cup caesar dressing of your choice (I like the greek yogurt Opa brand)
4 oz parmesan or other Italian cheese, if desired
Balsamic syrup, if desired

Toss arugula leaves with caesar dressing.  Place 2 cups of arugula, 2 oz pasta, and 3-4 meatballs in a bowl.  Sprinkle with parmesan and drizzle with balsamic syrup if desired.

Friday, November 9, 2018

80(ish)--- Candied Yam Bisque

Here is one more holiday meal recipe for you! Again, like my Green Bean Casserole Dip, this recipe is based on the premise that you want to make ALL THE FOOD but don't necessarily need the leftovers of ALL THE FOOD.  

Who doesn't love a sweet potato casserole? It's the one time of year where marshmallows on the dinner table is not only acceptable but encouraged.  However it can be overshadowed by the other favorites at Thanksgiving.  This recipe brings you all the flavors, simple ingredients, and easy make-ahead prep!  It's even lightened up a bit.  Consider serving this for a lighter meal earlier in the day to save room on the dinner table!  It will surely get everyone excited for the meal to come.

Pro tip: when placing those bowls topped with marshmallows under high broil, don't take your eyes off of them, not even for a second.

Candied Yam Bisque
Serves 6

32 oz sweet potatoes, unpeeled (~2 extra large)
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups unsweetened plain almond milk (or other plant milk of your choice)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, plus additional for drizzle
2 oz chopped pecans
~36 mini marshmallows
Dash salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Chop sweet potatoes into 1" cubes (yep we're leaving that peel on). Spread cubes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until cubes are softened.

When sweet potatoes are cooked, heat almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat.  When bubbly, add sweet potatoes, a dash of salt, and maple syrup.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (alternatively you may transfer the mixture to a large blender in batches and puree, then return to saucepan). 

* If making the day ahead, stop here.  Transfer contents to a large covered container and refrigerate. Reheat in a saucepan prior to serving.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to high broil.  Ladle servings into oven-proof bowls and top each bowl with 5-6 mini marshmallows.  Place bowls under broiler and watch carefully for marshmallows to toast, ~30-60 seconds is all that is needed!

Remove bowls with toasted marshmallows from the oven and sprinkle each with chopped pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Nutrition info per 1 1/2 cup serving: 255 calories, 5.5 g fat, 4 g protein, 49 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber