Green Bean Casserole

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1243

Green bean casserole will be present on most Thanksgiving tables this week, but nothing beats homemade green bean casserole.

Frozen green beans and sautéed mushroom soup swaps out the typical canned ingredients. And the best part, the crispy, crunchy, preservative free topping. The onions take a little love (or patience) but are so worth it. They almost disappeared before making it onto the casserole. I recommend not taste testing because of that reason.

IMG_1248

I could honestly skip the turkey, potatoes and pie this year and just eat this savory, creamy casserole. Okay, maybe not forfeit the pie. Happy Thanksgiving!

GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
gluten & dairy free
serves 10-12

Green Bean Base:
• 8 oz PORTOBELLA or CREMINI MUSHROOMS
• 2 cloves GARLIC, minced
• 3 tbsp EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
• SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
• 3 tbsp ALL PURPOSE FLOUR BLEND*
• 1 1/2 cup VEGETABLE BROTH*
• 1/2 cup COCONUT MILK, CANNED
• 1 lb GREEN BEANS, FROZEN

Crispy Onions:
• 2 medium YELLOW ONIONS
• 1/4 cup ALL PURPOSE FLOUR BLEND*
• 1/2 tsp GARLIC POWDER
• SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
• GRAPESEED OIL

*Use gluten free flour and vegetable broth.

1. Mushroom Base: Thaw green beans. Chop mushrooms into 1/4″ cubes and sauté over medium heat with olive oil, sea salt and pepper (until they begin to sweat about 3-5 minutes). Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes longer. Add flour (I used Trader Joe’s AP gluten free flour blend) to mushrooms and stir to coat evenly. Add the vegetable broth a 1/2 cup at a time, whisking frequently with a fork. Once all broth has been added, cook 1 more minute. Stir in coconut milk and simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring often (approximately 5-6 minutes). Once thickened, remove from heat and mix with green beans; add additional sea salt and pepper if needed. Pour bean mixture into a greased 11″ x 7″ baking dish, set aside.

2. Crispy Onions: Cut onions in half lengthwise and peel outer layer. Using a sharp knife thinly slice onions. Place cut onions on paper towel and pat to remove excess moisture. Place flour, seasonings and dried onions in zip bag and shake to coat evenly. Shake off excess flour and fry onions on stove top (just until lightly browned) in grapeseed oil in small batches to prevent burning. Set aside on a paper towel, lightly covered with another paper towel to prevent soggy onions.

3. Layer crispy onions on top of green beans and bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes (if onions get too brown while baking cover casserole loosely with foil to prevent burning.) Serves 10-12.

Make ahead tip: The day before serving assemble casserole through step one, cover and refrigerate. Complete step two half way, slice onions, dry and refrigerate. Mix flour and seasonings, keep sealed in air tight zip bag. Fry onions the day of baking and complete step three.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (about 1/12 casserole): 125 Calories, Total Fat 8, Saturated Fat 5g, Total Carbohydrate 11g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 3g, Protein 2g

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

Thanksgiving Favorites

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s almost time to stuff that bird, slice a wedge of pumpkin pie and gather round the table with those you’re thankful for. If looking for additions to your menu, or to swap out traditional selections for healthier ones, here are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie with Almond Crust
006

Berry Crisp
IMG_5977

Cinnamon Applesauce
applesauce 008

Roasted Butternut Squash & Pecan Salad with Warm Apple Vinaigrette
IMG_5283

Butternut Squash Soup with Turkey Bacon
006

Sweet Potato Crunch Casserole
thanksgiving 045

Kale, Butternut Squash & Cranberry Quinoa
kale quinoa 016

Herb Roasted Turkey Breasts
turkey, smoothie, soup 047

Rosemary Potatoes (Smashed & Roasted)
052

007

Sausage Apple Stuffing
with Quinoa
025

or Bread
thanksgiving 014

Happy, Healthy Turkey Day!

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1206

Let me just say, “these are incredible”. I know, not a stellar description but trust me they are good. The ingredient list may look a bit long, but several are repeated in each layer.

IMG_1209

With a crunchy almond-oat crust, a creamy, orange zest infused pumpkin filling, and a nutty, maple-cinnamon streusel topping, these are the perfect bite. I think I just drooled on my laptop keyboard.

IMG_1211

Bake some up this weekend, then save the recipe to switch out traditional Thanksgiving dessert with these pie like bars this year. Make enough for a crowd, double the batch and bake in a 9 x 13″ pan. Family and friends will thank you. Enjoy!

IMG_1205

PUMPKIN PIE BARS
makes 16 bars
gluten & dairy free

Crust:
• 3/4 cup ALMOND FLOUR
• 1 cup ROLLED OATS*
• 1/4 cup GRAPESEED or COCONUT OIL (melted)
• 1/4 tsp SEA SALT
• 1/4 tsp BAKING SODA
• 1 tsp PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
• 1/2 tsp CINNAMON, GROUND
• 2 tbsp 100% PURE MAPLE SYRUP

Filling:
• 15 oz can PURE PUMPKIN
• 3 EGGS, large
• 1/3 cup 100% PURE MAPLE SYRUP
• 1/2 cup UNSWEETENED ALMOND or COCONUT MILK
• ZEST FROM 1/2 ORANGE
• 1 tbsp PURE VANILLA EXTRACT
• 1 tbsp PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
• 1/2 tbsp CINNAMON, GROUND

Topping:
• 1/2 cup ALMOND FLOUR
• 1/4 cup ROLLED OATS*
• 1/2 cup PECANS, chopped
• 1 tsp CINNAMON, GROUND
• 2 tbsp 100% PURE MAPLE SYRUP
• 1 tbsp GRAPESEED or COCONUT OIL

*Use gluten free oats if desired.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8 x 8″ or 9 x 9″ square baking dish with oil.

2. Pulse 1 cup oats in food processor or blender until flour consistency (or substitute additional almond flour for oats). In a small bowl combine all crust ingredients (first 8) and press into bottom of prepared pan with a fork or the bottom of a flat measuring cup. Bake for 5-8 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely.

3. In a large mixing bowl add all filling ingredients (next 8 ingredients), whisk or use an electric mixer to stir until smooth. Pour mixture into cooled crust and bake 10 minutes.

4. While filling is baking combine topping ingredients (last 6) in a small bowl with a fork and set aside. Sprinkle topping over bars after first 10 minutes of baking, return to oven and bake an additional 15 – 20 minutes, or until bars are set. Cool and cut into 16 squares.

VARIATIONS: Sprinkle raisins or dried cranberries over bars after baking. Use walnuts, almonds or pumpkin seeds for pecans. Substitute pure honey for maple syrup.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: Calories 200, Total Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 40mg, Sodium 75mg, Total Carbohydrate 18g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 9g, Protein 5g

**Adapted from Multiply Delicious blog’s, Pumpkin Pecan Pie Bars: http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2012/11/pumpkin-pecan-pie-bars/

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

Turkey Breakfast Sausage

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1222

Store bought turkey sausage is often highly processed, full of nitrates, and other chemicals. And the good stuff tends to be a little pricey. So, why not make homemade sausage?

IMG_1230

Enjoy these savory patties with eggs or my Mini Greek Frittatas at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Crumble patties, and add to other dishes like spaghetti sauce or soup.

IMG_1228

Make up a batch or two, and store in the fridge or freezer to conveniently reheat. A flavorful mix of seasonings, unsweetened applesauce and olive oil create a juicy, healthy side dish. An easy and delicious way to add lean protein to any meal.

IMG_1235

Turkey Breakfast Sausage
gluten & dairy free
makes 12 patties

• 1/4 cup UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE
• 3/4 tsp SEA SALT
• 1/2 tsp BLACK PEPPER, GROUND
• 1/2 tsp SAGE, GROUND
• 1/2 tsp CUMIN, GROUND
• 1/2 tsp GARLIC POWDER
• 1/4 tsp ONION POWDER
• 1/4 tsp CAYENNE PEPPER, GROUND (optional)
• 1/4 tsp CRUSHED RED PEPPER FLAKES (optional)
• 1 1/4 lb LEAN GROUND TURKEY, 93/7
• 2 tsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN

1. In a large bowl mix together first 9 ingredients with a fork. Add ground turkey and mix just until spices are incorporated (careful not to over mix or meat will become tough).

2. Form turkey mixture into 12 patties (about 1/4 cup turkey in each) and cook in a large skillet over medium-high heat with a little cold pressed grapeseed oil. Makes 12 small patties. May cool and store in refrigerator or freezer to reheat for later use.

NUTRITION INFO (PER SAUSAGE PATTY): Calories 70, Total Fat 2.5g, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Cholesterol 25mg, Dietary Fiber 0g, Protein 11g

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1188

I’m on a smoothie binge and it’s fall. So, that funneled my efforts into this deliciously creamy, yet healthy treat. Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, antioxidants, fiber and minerals like potassium. It also creates a velvety textured smoothie. A scrumptious fall breakfast or snack, and easy use for remaining pumpkin in your fridge.

IMG_1199

Add a nutrition boost. I supplemented a scoop of vanilla protein powder to mine this morning. The added protein keeps you fuller longer and helps sustain blood sugar levels. Feel free to toss in some dark chocolate chips, raw cacao nibs or ground flax seed too. I used Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia to sweeten, but feel free to use regular Stevia, 100% pure maple syrup, honey or healthy sweetener of choice to desired taste.

IMG_1193

On a side note, today is the 3rd anniversary of my blog. So, a big thank you to all of you for joining me on this journey. I hope my blog continues to be a source of motivation and an equipping tool for you and your family to enjoy and maintain a healthy, vibrant life.

IMG_1195

PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIE
gluten & dairy free
serves 1

• 1/2 cup LITE COCONUT MILK, canned (almond milk or choice milk)
• 1/2 cup WATER (or additional milk)
• 1/2 cup 100% PURE PUMPKIN, canned (I used Farmer’s Market organic BPA free)
• 1 tsp PUMPKIN PIE SPICE
• 1/2 tsp GROUND CINNAMON
• 12 drops LIQUID STEVIA (maple syrup or honey, to taste)
• ICE (optional)

Add all ingredients to a blender with ice (if desired for a thicker consistency) and blend until smooth. Serve topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, cinnamon stick or pumpkin seeds.

Nutrition Boost Add-Ins: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, dark chocolate chips, raw cacao nibs, ground flaxseed or 1/2 banana.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 150 Calories, Total Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 6g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 35mg, Total Carbohydrate 14g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugars 6g, Protein 1g

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

Berry Protein Shake

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1079

Protein shakes are a quick, easy and healthy on-the-go breakfast or lunch. Adding spinach increases the nutrition value without even tasting the greens. My husband comments his dreams have come true that we can make vegetables taste like a strawberry. A great way to get vegetables into kids or husbands.

IMG_1076

I use a brown rice or pea based protein powders. Choose one with a low sugar content or made with Stevia. Growing Naturals and Vega One are a couple good brands that come in chocolate, vanilla and berry flavors. Substitute peanut or almond butter and 100% cocoa powder for the berries and you’ve got an excellent candy-like shake.

Frozen berries create a thick, creamy icy cold shake. Feel free to add other greens (like dandelion, kale, swiss chard) or fruits to switch up your blended treat.

IMG_1071

BERRY PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
gluten & dairy free
serves 1

• 1 cup WATER
• 1/2 cup UNSWEETENED VANILLA ALMOND MILK
• 1-2 scoops VANILLA PROTEIN POWDER
• 2 cups FRESH BABY SPINACH
• 1 cup FROZEN MIXED BERRIES
• LIQUID STEVIA or RAW HONEY (optional)

Put all ingredients into a blender, liquids first. Add drops of Stevia or raw honey if more sweetness is desired. Blend until smooth.

Add almond butter, chia seeds or ground flaxseed for an extra boost of healthy fat & fiber!

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (w/ 2 scoops protein powder): 330 Calories, Total Fat 4g, Cholesterol 0mg, Total Carbohydrate 48g, Dietary Fiber 12g, Sugars 16g, Protein 33g

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

Garlic Hummus & Vegetable Platter

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1136

Hummus is my go-to condiment. I top everything with it, eggs, omelets, veggies, salads – it’s basically treated like sour cream in our house. It’s flavorful, creamy and nutritious.

IMG_1144

The fun part of whipping it up in your kitchen is the freedom to create your own flavor (and it’s preservative free!). Cumin and fresh garlic were my add-ins, but avocado, black beans, cayenne, basil, sun dried tomatoes, jalapenos and kalamata olives are wonderful additions. Your options are endless really.

IMG_1140

Saturday night I served my hummus surrounded by beautiful grilled, roasted and fresh veggies. A stunning and easy appetizer or side dish. Pictured are roasted sweet potatoes spears and broccolini (baby broccoli). Grilled zucchini, green onions and green peppers. And fresh cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives.

Delicious with grilled chicken and brown rice to round out the meal.

IMG_1145

GARLIC HUMMUS

gluten & dairy free

serves 12

• 15 oz can GARBANZO BEANS, rinsed & drained

• JUICE FROM 1 LEMON

• 2 cloves GARLIC, grated

• 1/2 tsp CUMIN, GROUND

• 1/4 cup OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, unrefined

• SEA SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE

Add all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, adding additional olive oil if needed for desired consistency. Serve room temperature or chilled with a drizzle of olive oil, flake sea salt and cracked pepper. Serving size: about 2 – 3 Tbsp.

Great with grilled or fresh veggies of your choice!

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: Calories 80, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Total Carbohydrate 7g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 0g, Protein 2g

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK

Lately, I’ve been loving pyramid style workouts. Below is one for your abs and it’s nothing short of good. Working out doesn’t have to be complicated. Body weight workouts are fabulous because no equipment or gym is needed. They travel well and are a do anywhere, anytime heart trainer. Grab a friend or spouse and try it out (you can enjoy some hummus and veggies as a reward after)!

AB Pyramid

Cinnamon Roasted Almonds

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1094

A crunchy, satisfying, lightly sweet snack. Pack in your lunch box, hiking bag or set out as a healthy party snack.

IMG_1093

I’ve been learning more about the benefits of spices lately. Cinnamon is known for its blood sugar properties (may help improve glucose & lipid levels) and tastes delicious. Try my Coconut Curry & Basil Crock Pot Chicken, an effortless savory dish using cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and garlic – three additional amazing, health boosting seasonings.

Super easy snack, dessert or salad topper!

IMG_1092

CINNAMON ROASTED ALMONDS
gluten & dairy free
serves 22

• 1/4 cup COCONUT OIL, UNREFINED
• 1 tbsp CINNAMON, GROUND
• 2 tbsp RAW HONEY
• 1/4 tsp SALT, SEA
• 4 cup ALMONDS, RAW

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Heat coconut oil until melted. Whisk in cinnamon, honey and sea salt; toss with almonds to coat.

3. Spread coated almonds onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Store in an airtight container. Serving size: 1 oz.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: Calories 180, Total Fat 16g, Saturated Fat 3g 15%, Sodium 25mg, Total Carbohydrate 7g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 3g, Protein 6g

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

Blueberry Peach Muffins & A Weekend Workout

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1024

Plump, ripe blueberries and sweet juicy peaches are one of my favorite fruit combinations. Bake them into a bite size muffin and you’ve got the perfect snack or addition to eggs at breakfast.

IMG_1020

Head down to your local farmer’s market or produce aisle this morning to pick up the star ingredients for this recipe. Coconut and almond flours work great for grain free baked goods. I stuck with just coconut flour here to make these super easy and quick to whip up. Baking tip: whisk coconut flour into the batter to incorporate well (then you won’t have “pockets” of flour in your finished product).

IMG_1027

If you have kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews involve them. Little people love putting paper muffin liners (especially mini ones) into the pan. Have them help you whisk or add ingredients into a large bowl.

A delicious 60-calorie summery pastry!

IMG_1021

BLUEBERRY-PEACH MUFFINS
gluten & dairy free
makes 12 or 24 muffins

• 6 large EGGS, cage free
• 1/3 cup GRAPESEED OIL, 100% cold pressed
• 1/2 tsp PURE ALMOND EXTRACT
• 1 tsp LIQUID STEVIA (or 1/3 cup pure honey or maple syrup)
• 1/4 tsp CINNAMON, GROUND (optional)
• 1/2 cup COCONUT FLOUR
• 1/2 tsp BAKING SODA
• 1/2 tsp BAKING POWDER
• 1 medium PEACH, chopped finely
• 3/4 cup BLUEBERRIES, FROZEN or FRESH

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 mini, or 12 regular muffin tin cups with paper liners.

2. Whisk eggs, oil, almond extract, Stevia (or sweetener of choice) and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk in coconut flour, baking soda and powder until batter is smooth.

3. Fold chopped peaches and blueberries gently into batter just until incorporated. Pour even amounts of mixture into 24 or 12 prepared muffin cups. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean and muffins are set in the middle.

4. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes, take out of pan and finish cooling on a baking rack. Cover tightly and refrigerate or freeze. Makes 24 mini or 12 regular size muffins.

VARIATIONS: Use raspberries or other fruit if desired.

NUTRITION INFO PER MINI MUFFIN: Calories 60, Total Fat 4.5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 55mg, Sodium 45mg, Total Carbohydrate 3g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars less than 1g, Protein 2g

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

WEEKEND WORKOUT

Exercise Finder – click on the body part you want to work and the exercise finder will list several toning moves. Here is the link: http://www.divine.ca/en/health/exercise-finder/c_266/.

select exercise

*picture and link from divine.ca blog

Creamy Basil Hummus

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IMG_1040

Over the last couple weeks I tended my neighbor’s garden while they were on vacation. After making vats and vats of fresh salsa (which don’t get me wrong is delicious) I needed something new to use the bushels of tomatoes I harvested over the weekend. And, I needed forced portion control on all the blue corn tortilla chips that were involved in eating all the salsa.

IMG_1061

In my pantry I had a can of organic garbanzo beans, garlic and just picked basil from right outside my door as well. That was the beginning of this smooth, creamy, full-of-flavor dip. I also recently purchased a Blendtec from Costco, which is my new favorite piece of kitchen equipment, totally worth the investment.

Along with hummus, the blender creams almonds, spinach and frozen fruit like you wouldn’t believe. I then drizzled hummus over sliced, home grown tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt and black pepper. A great appetizer or side dish with grilled chicken or fish. Sort of a twist on Italian caprese salad. If you eat dairy feel free to add a few thin slices of fresh mozzarella.

IMG_1043

If you’re looking for a new way to use fresh tomatoes or boost the flavor of fresh or grilled veggies this is a recipe for you. Clean, nutritious and summer flavor-full.

IMG_1052

IMG_1042

CREAMY BASIL HUMMUS
gluten & dairy free
makes 16 servings

• 15 oz can ORGANIC GARBANZO BEANS, with liquid
• 1/2 LEMON, juiced
• 2 cloves GARLIC
• 3/4 cup FRESH BASIL, loosely packed (or to taste)
• 2 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, cold pressed
• SEA SALT AND PEPPER, to taste

In a blender or food processor add beans with liquid, fresh lemon juice, basil, sea salt, pepper and olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Serve drizzled over fresh tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt and pepper, or as a dip with fresh or grilled veggies (broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, etc).

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: Calories 45, Total Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Total Carbohydrate 5g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 0g, Protein 1g

PRINT RECIPE – PDF

STRETCH OF THE WEEK

My friend Rebecca, a chiropractor at 4:40 Chiropractic, has some great stress and tension relieving exercises on her website. I’ve been obsessively doing the one for neck paint and tightness (my trouble spot). It’s amazing and I’ve noticed a huge difference since doing.

Here is the link if you want to check out the stretches with step-by-step pictures: http://www.440chiro.com/?page_id=164

Scalene (neck) Stretch

Part 1) Sit or stand tall, bring right ear to right shoulder, use your right hand to provide a little more pressure, touching the right temple. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then switch. Perform 3 times on each side (Stretches the middle scalene)

Part 2) Sit tall and bring your left ear to your left shoulder blade. Place your left hand on the right side of your forehead to provide a deeper stretch. Hold 20-30 seconds, then switch sides. (stretches the front anterior scalene)

Part 3) Sit tall, bring your left ear to the front of your right shoulder and look down, place your left hand on the back of the left side of your head and pull gently until you feel a stretch. Hold 20-30 seconds and switch to the opposite side. Perform 3x each side. (Back posterior scalene)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 597 other followers