This is a creamy vegan pasta dish that uses bean pasta for extra protein and it’s grain- and gluten-free. Broccoli makes a great side dish. If you’d like to make this for a non-vegan, use heavy cream and parmesan cheese in place of the coconut milk and nutritional yeast, and add chicken if desired. (This is the version shown in the picture)
1 ½ c bean pasta – I used red lentil rotini
Olive oil for pan
½ onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
Thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, basil, parsley
Splash of red wine (or broth)
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
Splash of red wine vinegar
Couple of handfuls of spinach
1 carrot, shredded
1 can coconut milk
¼ c walnuts
Nutritional yeast and hemp seeds for serving
Cook pasta as directed, drain and set aside. Heat oil in skillet and saute onion, garlic and mushrooms over medium heat. Add herbs to taste and a splash of red wine. Add salt and pepper to taste, tomato paste and a splash of red wine vinegar. Cook for a minute and add spinach and carrot. When spinach is wilted, add coconut milk and walnuts and season with a pinch of nutmeg and cayenne to taste. Serve topped with nutritional yeast and hemp seeds.
Watching your carbs or grains or just trying to get in more veggies? Try this risotto made from cauliflower. The recipe can be easily doubled. Serves 2
Olive oil for pan
½ head cauliflower
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
Apple cider or white wine
1 c chicken or mushroom stock
Parsley, sage, tarragon, thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
Zest of ½ lemon
1 tbsp butter
Pulse the cauliflower in food processor until its in pieces the size of rice. Heat oil in skillet and saute shallot, garlic and mushrooms over medium heat, adding a splash of cider when needed for moisture. Add in the cauliflower and saute for a couple of minutes, then add the broth and continue to cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and the broth has evaporated. Add in some parmesan cheese, along with herbs of choice, smoked paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the spinach and lemon juice and zest, then the butter. Once spinach is wilted, add splashes of cream at a time, stirring in between, until risotto is the creamy consistency that you want. Drizzle with a bit of truffle oil and top with more parmesan before serving. Broccolini makes a nice side dish. If you want more protein, this goes well with shrimp or chicken.
**TIP – if you’ve got it, adding a few cubes of brie along with the butter takes it up a notch.
Instead of bothering with a low carb dough, try this recipe using bell peppers on the outside as well as in! Much easier and you’re getting in another serving of vegetables! A salad would make a great compliment.
2 green bell peppers
Olive oil for pan
¼ red bell pepper
¼ yellow bell pepper
1 lb Italian chicken sausage or portobello mushrooms
8 oz can tomato sauce
Oregano, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Rosemary, to taste
Ricotta or nut ricotta
Mozzarella (omit for vegan)
Parmesan or nutritional yeast
Halve each green pepper lengthwise and clean out seeds and membranes. Steam until al dente.
In skillet, heat enough olive oil and saute red and yellow peppers, onions and sausage. Add tomato sauce, oregano, crushed red pepper, rosemary and a splash of balsamic. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place a spoonful of ricotta into the bottom of each pepper half and spread around. Fill the rest of the pepper half with the sausage mixture. Top with mozzarella (if using) and parmesan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. If you let it cool long enough, you can even eat with your hands like a traditional calzone.
Cream of mushroom soup and canned crispy onions? No thanks! Try this healthier version that in my opinion, tastes better too. Watch me make this on my show!
1 red onion (can substitute shallots if desired)
1/2 c cornstarch, arrowroot, gluten free flour, or regular flour
1/4 tsp salt
olive oil to fry
Heat olive oil in a skillet. Thinly slice the onion. Add salt to the cornstarch, then dredge the onion slices in mixture. Fry in skillet until nice and crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
2-3 Tbsp olive oil, grass fed butter, or ghee
3 Tbsp cornstarch, arrowroot, gluten free flour, or regular flour
8oz chopped mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, and/or wild are best)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 c 2% milk, your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond/cashew/coconut), or half and half
garlic powder and nutmeg to taste
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
2 1/2 lbs fresh or frozen green beans, blanched in chicken or vegetable stock.
In a saucepan, make a roux by heating the oil, adding the cornstarch, and whisking to combine. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes, until mushrooms begin to soften. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly over medium heat until blended and thickened. Reduce heat to low and add in garlic, nutmeg and cheese. Once fully incorporated, remove from heat. (If too thick, you can use a little of your blanching stock to get the consistency you want).
Add the blanched green beans and mix well. Pour into casserole dish and top with the crispy onions and a sprinkling of cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Let cool, take a bite, and say yum.
1 cup frozen tropical mixed fruit
1 cup strawberries
1 cup plain low fat kefir
2 tbsp. protein powder of choice
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. agave nectar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Blend and enjoy!
Let's face it, you aren't running out and getting the latest crazy drink because of just the taste right? Its the color, the novelty, the WOW factor. (and maybe sugar addiction). So I came up with a much healthier fruity drink that's just as pretty!
1 can coconut milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 nice sized slice fresh Pineapple
1/2 Tsp blue spirulina
1 peeled, cooked and cooled Beet (you can buy these already done for you
1 smoothie pack Acai
Handful of ice
2 tbsp desiccated coconut (tiny small pieces rather than flakes
Coconut whipped cream – see here for recipe
Put in blender: coconut milk protein powder, banana, pineapple and ice. Blend. Take out about ½ cup and set aside. Add strawberries, raspberries and beet. Blend. Pour out about 1/3 of this mixture and set aside. Add acai, blueberries and blackberries. Blend. Pour this purple smoothie into glasses about 2/3 way full. Using a spoon, gently add the pink smoothie on top to fill the glass. Take the white smoothie you had set aside and add the blue spirulina to make your blue-green smoothie. Using a spoon, take some of the blue smoothie and run it down the inside of the cup all around the glass.
To 1 tbsp of coconut add a small dash of the blue spirulina and mix with fork until you have blue coconut. With the other tbsp. of coconut add a small amount of beet juice and mix until you have pink coconut.
Top the smoothie with coconut whipped cream and add your sprinkles! Enjoy and feel good!
Most people stop and smell the flowers; I stop and smell the herbs. My husband thought I was nuts when I walked over to him with a big bunch of basil and held it out for him to smell before I started making this soup. Combine that with both fresh AND fire roasted tomatoes, and you get a delicious, nourishing soup with layers of flavor. Try topping with additional basil chiffonade and if you desire, a sprinkling of fresh, grated parmesan.
1 T olive oil
1 ½ c onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
28oz can organic fire roasted tomatoes
6 fresh organic roma tomatoes, diced
2 T grass fed butter (optional)
¾ cups fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 qt vegetable stock
5 cups vegetable or tomato juice
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ tsp each sea salt and pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp thyme
In soup pot, sauté onions in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add both kinds of tomatoes, butter, basil, stock and juice. Let simmer over low heat until tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and thyme; continue to simmer another 10 minutes. Taste seasonings and adjust if needed.
It may be April, but here in Colorado its a snow day. I love snow, as long as I don't have to leave the house. Instead of loving snow, perhaps I love all the accoutrements...sitting in front of the fireplace with a blanket, books and a cup of cocoa. No chemical laden instant packet here, although its just as quick. This non-dairy, antioxidant rich cocoa takes minutes to make and is as delicious as it is chock full of healthy goodness. Cocoa and spices are full of antioxidants, and the nut milk and coconut butter add some healthy fat.
Ingredients per serving:
1 c almond, coconut or cashew milk
1 heaping tablespoon cocoa powder
1 heaping tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips
pinch of salt
chipotle chili powder
Place all ingredients in small pot on stove, bring to a boil, whisking. Lower heat and whisk until all ingredients are melted, blended and creamy.
Can top with whipped coconut cream, cacao nibs and a sprinkling of chili powder.
Sometimes you just want a cheeseburger, but maybe you are gluten free and IF you can find a gluten free bun, it just leaves something to be desired. Maybe you are grain free and don't do a bun at all, but are growing tired of having your burger on a lettuce wrap. Maybe you just want something different.
Say "cheeseburger mac" to almost anyone and the image they get is that of macaroni and cheese with some ground meat thrown in. Probably not even good mac and cheese, but something made with the big salty block of processed cheese food that has become so ubiquitous with comfort food. ICK. I don't want macaroni and cheese with some meat in it (at least not today, that's a different recipe...), but rather a cheeseburger with some macaroni in it. That's what I've done for years and now Ill share it with you. There are multiple ingredient variations to make this recipe work with almost any eating style. Wash it down with a soda flavored kombucha! (my favorite is root beer!)
olive oil for pan
12 oz bean based penne pasta such as Tolerant (could use gluten free pasta or spiralized yellow summer squash cut into macaroni sized pieces)
1 lb grass fed ground beef, ground turkey or veggie crumbles such as Beyond Beef
4 slices nitrate free bacon (optional)
1 onion, sliced
smoked paprika, garlic powder, sea salt, chipotle hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce to taste
1 dill pickle, chopped and about 1/4 c of the pickle juice
1/2 c homemade or low carb bbq sauce
6 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, or vegan cheese such as Daiya, shredded
1 Tbsp yellow mustard plus more for serving
1 tomato, diced
Cook pasta in boiling salted water. In skillet with olive oil, cook ground beef, bacon and onions. Add seasonings, pickle juice, bbq sauce, and mustard. When pasta is done, drain and add to skillet, along with 4 oz of the cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Top each serving with pickle, tomato, lettuce and additional mustard. and cheddar.
No, this isn't every day food. But it is a healthier version of special occasion food! I have reduced some of the sugar, and used beets to get the red color instead of food dye. Not to mention it contains antioxidant rich red wine and cocoa! Make sure to eat a slice of cake, not the whole cake.
1 c grass fed butter or coconut oil, softened
2 1/4 c dark brown sugar
3/4 c sugar
4 eggs ( can use flax eggs if vegan or allergic)
3 c flour (I used gluten free)
1 1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 c red wine
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c beet puree
2 T lemon juice
Cream your butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another. Add alternately to rest of mixture, starting and ending with the dry, scraping sides of bowl between additions. Pour into prepared 8 or 9 inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Red Wine Frosting - Add enough red wine to powdered sugar to make a glaze to your desired thickness, Pour over the cake.
You shouldn't have to choose between healthy and yummy. I focus on showing you how you can have both, utilizing functional ingredients that keep you at your best!