Tag: clean eating (Page 1 of 2)

Happy National Kale Day! {Plus a NEW Kale Salad Recipe to Try}

Happy National Kale Day!

In all honesty, I had no idea this was even a “thing” until I woke up this morning and saw it all over twitter.

We love kale and all of the amazing health benefits it provides. It’s a super versatile super food.

kale

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore and had the privilege of meeting Mr. Kale himself – Brad of Brad’s Raw Kale Chips

Total food nerd moment 🙂

brad

I’ve featured kale in several recipes on this blog in addition to the one I’m sharing today! I use it in everything from salads, soups and sautees to smoothies and frittatas.

To celebrate National Kale Day, try one of these recipes, the *new* salad below, or one of the others on the National Kale Day website:

  1. Taste the Rainbow Kale Salad
  2. Upgraded Kale Waldorf Salad
  3. Mediterranean Chickpea and Sundried Tomato Kale Salad
  4. Mini Kale & Mushroom Breakfast Frittatas
  5. Peachy Keen Kale Salad
  6. Tuscan Bean Soup (scroll to the bottom of the page next to the picture of the soup)
  7. Caribbean Island Breeze Smoothie
Kale leaves after being pulled off of the pretty purple stems

Kale leaves after being pulled off of the pretty purple stems

I was on Facebook the other day and was intrigued by the headline, “The Recipe That Will Make You Fall In Love With Kale All Over Again” on MindBodyGreen’s page.

Being the kale lover that I am, I had to click on it.

Reading through the ingredient list piqued my interest, so Bill and I made it for dinner using the purple kale that we had in our fridge. I’m so glad we did!

The lemon juice broke down the bitterness of the kale (as it always does!), and the combo of the sweetness from the dates, complex flavors of the curry powder, bite of the ginger, tanginess of the tahini and crunch of the pumpkin seeds was a real mouth party!

kale salad

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 big bunch of kale (any variety), thinly chopped (about 5 cups)

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons tahini (usually in the international section of the grocery store)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 3 Medjool dates, pit removed and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

We topped ours with some raw pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch 🙂

Click here for the full recipe from MindBodyGreen!

Ingredients for the salad. This is the best (and cheapest!) tahini we've found. We bought it at a Mediterranean grocery store/cafe nearby called Cedar Cafe

Ingredients for the salad. This is the best (and cheapest!) tahini we’ve found. We bought it at a Mediterranean grocery store/cafe nearby called Cedar Cafe

Beautifying Detox Salad {Vegetarian}

As the weather warms up, I’m always looking for new ideas for light, refreshing, and detoxifying dishes.

Anything from the cabbage family (like the bok choy and red cabbage in this recipe) is cleansing to the body, which is what we want after our winter hibernation! It’s also a cancer-fighting superstar (AKA a GBOMBS food).

Beautiful, crisp, detoxifying bok choy. A true beauty food!

Beautiful, crisp, detoxifying bok choy. A true beauty food!

GBOMBS are a group of the most nutrient-dense, disease-fighting, health-promoting foods in the world, foods we should eat a lot of on a daily basis. Check out this post for the full details on GBOMBS and how you can benefit from eating them!

In her book, The  Beauty Detox Foods, nutritionist Kimberly Snyder points out tons of other health and beauty benefits of eating cabbage (bok choy and red cabbage both count!):

  • Anti-aging/great for your skin because it contains vitamins A, C and E
  • Helps to detoxify or purify the blood (which also contributes to clearer skin and reduced inflammation)
  • High in fiber so it “keeps things moving” 🙂
  • Good for the thyroid and other endocrine glands because of its iodine content

Click here to read about even more of the amazing healthy benefits of bok choy in particular.

Now that you’re sold on WHY eating these foods is a good idea, here’s a recipe to try that shows you HOW to use them!

Beauty Detox Bok Choy Salad

IMG_4401

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 heads of bok choy, chopped into ½” pieces
  • 3 cups of thin-sliced red cabbage (we run ours through the food processor to shred it quickly and easily)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Dressing

  • 6 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ⅔ cup white wine vinegar (I used Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar, since I didn’t have white wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup honey (I use raw honey, but use what you have! If you’re vegan, sub in maple syrup instead)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari (Wheat-free soy sauce available in the Asian aisle of your grocery store. Use whatever soy sauce you have on hand if you don’t have tamari!)

Click here for the full recipe!

Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes with Creamy Cashew Frosting

Last week, we got a big container of strawberries in our weekly produce delivery and wanted to find a creative way to use them.

Strawberry season isn’t very long, so I try to take advantage of the fresh, local strawberries while I can.

Sooo, why not make some cupcakes?!

It's strawberry season! Who wants a cupcake? :)

Strawberries and lemon pair well together in this recipe.

I was also intrigued by the creamy cashew icing, since I’ve used cashews in the past as a substitute in a lot of dairy-free recipes from paleo parmesan cheeze and nacho cheeze sauce to sour cream and caramel apple dip. Cashews are versatile and help create a creamy consistency.

I could have eaten the icing by the spoon on its own, but I did leave enough to fully ice all of the cupcakes.

These cupcakes are gluten-free yet they stay super moist, unlike most gluten-free baking recipes, so I was really happy with the outcome.

The recipe calls for coconut flour, which you can find online at Amazon or Vitacoast and at health food stores like Whole Foods, MOMs, and Wegmans, but I’ve also found it at Home Goods and Trader Joe’s JUST started selling it (for like $2.99/bag!). Since it’s becoming more popular, there’s a good chance your local grocery store will carry it in the gluten-free aisle.

The recipes for both the cupcakes and the icing are included below 🙂 I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes with Creamy Cashew Icing

These taste as good as they look!

It’s strawberry season! Who wants a cupcake? 🙂

Strawberry Lemon Cupcake Ingredients (Gluten-Free)

Makes 8 cupcakes

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries

Click here for the cupcake recipe from a fellow health coach, The Detoxinista!

Cashew cream frosting - SO creamy and delicious!

Cashew cream frosting – SO creamy and delicious!

Creamy Cashew Icing Ingredients (Dairy-Free)

Makes 1 1/4 cups

3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked 2-3 hours and rinsed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Click here for the cashew cream icing recipe.

Breakfast To Go: Mini Make-Ahead Frittatas! {Paleo, Gluten-Free}

Many of us are looking for simple solutions to make meals that are quick, affordable, delicious…and, if possible, healthy.

This recipe for mini frittatas will become a staple at your house if you’re looking for any of those things! It’s great for breakfast or brunch and is super kid-friendly, too.

Loving all of our fresh ingredients!

Loving all of our fresh ingredients!

This recipe includes a variety of super healthy foods, including kale, mushrooms and shallots. As I’ve written before, kale is a superstar vegetable and one of the healthiest foods we can eat. Mushrooms and shallots also have tons of health benefits, including being potent cancer fighters, like other anti-cancer, anti-fat storage GBOMBS foods.

We get our eggs from Hometown Harvest, and they’re from pasture-raised chickens that aren’t crammed in pens and injected with a bunch of antibiotics like most chickens. The eggs are delicious!

I ended up with 12 mini egg frittatas (make a double batch to save time if you want!). You could easily make this on a Sunday and have them for the week for meals.

These should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, or you can wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and foil and store them in the freezer for a few weeks. I find that reheating them in the oven or toaster oven works best so they don’t get rubbery, but you can try reheating in the microwave, too. From frozen, try 30-60 seconds and from the fridge, try 15-20.

Mini Make-Ahead Frittatas

YUM! These mini egg muffins are bursting with flavor and SO yummy

YUM! These mini egg muffins are bursting with flavor and SO yummy!

Ready for breakfast!

Ready for breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs (we get ours pasture-raised from Hometown Harvest)
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped and tightly packed
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (we use the unsweetened full fat version)
  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and coat the muffin tins with a thin layer of coconut oil to prevent sticking.
  2. In a medium skillet (we used a cast iron skillet), saute the shallots until translucent. Then, add in the garlic, mushrooms and herbs, and saute until the mushrooms start to shrink (4-6 minutes). Add in the kale, tossing it until it starts to wilt. Turn off the heat and set veggies aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl with the coconut milk, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir the cooked veggies in with the eggs and pour the mixture into muffin tins, filling each about 75% of the way to allow room for puffing up.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping and rotating the tray halfway through, until the muffin edges turn golden.
  6. Let cool before serving. They will puff up during cooking and shrink down once cooled. ENJOY!

Feel free to change it up by adding YOUR favorite veggies! Try any combination of the following vegetables, or make up your own combo. I like using broccoli, onions, peppers, scallions, sundried tomatoes, diced tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, or even Swiss chard. Get creative with it 🙂

2-Minute Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for (peanut butter) ICE CREAM!

I grew up loving ice cream and had an ice cream cake for every birthday, but since I’ve cut out dairy products, I’ve had to come up with other options.

With the weather getting warmer (finally!) and summer on its way, I wanted to share this recipe to give you a healthier option for ice cream!

Today’s recipe for peanut butter banana ice cream is incredibly simple, kidfriendly, and deliciously dairyfree. 

It turns out JUST LIKE soft serve ice cream in texture and consistency, so I know it will become one of your new favorites!

Even the ingredients are simple. In fact, you probably already have all of them on hand! Not only that, but this is a GREAT way to use up bananas that have seen better days rather than throwing them away 🙂 Just peel and then freeze them so you’re always prepared to make banana ice cream!

pb-ice-cream-scoop

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled, frozenm and cut into 1/2″ discs
  • 2-3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Optional: 1/4 avocado for extra creaminess

Chocolate Peanut Butter variation: Add 1-2 tablespoons cacao powder (to make peanut butter chocolate ice cream!)

Directions

Banana discs and peanut butter ready to go!

Step 1: Frozen banana discs and peanut butter ready to go!

Step 2: Put the bananas in the food processor (we used a mini one)

Step 2: Put the frozen bananas in the food processor (we used a mini one)

This is the big food processor we use and this is the mini one. You can make the banana ice cream in either one. We bought our mini one at Home Goods for about $28!

Step 3: Grind the bananas until they resemble this gravel-like consistency

Step 3: Grind the bananas until they resemble this gravel-like consistency

Step 4: Keep pulsing until the bananas resemble this consistency and then add in the peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt

Step 4: Keep pulsing until the bananas resemble this consistency and then add in the peanut butter, vanilla extract and salt. If making chocolate peanut butter ice cream, add the cacao powder at this point, too.

Tada! Peanut butter banana ice cream!

Tada! Peanut butter banana ice cream!

Refreshing Quinoa, Apple & Almond Potluck Salad

In the springtime, our bodies naturally want to start detoxing to “clean out” all of the gunk that we’ve stored up over the winter (which was pretty brutal this year!).

Wastes and toxins build up in our bodies from stress, processed and refined foods, sugar, fried foods, chemical additives, and pesticides.  That is just one of the reasons we often feel tired and sluggish, hold on to extra weight (toxic tissue is a fat storage hog!), and don’t radiate health in the way we look.

Fortunately, this salad contains a bunch of ingredients that naturally promote the elimination of wastes and toxins. Check out all of the detoxifying ingredients!

  • Scallions (also a GBOMBS food!)
  • Celery
  • Lemon Juice
  • Parsley

This is a great dish to bring to a potluck or cookout. You can even make it the night before and store it in the fridge to let all of the flavors come together!

I went to one of my best friend’s birthday parties a few weeks ago (yay for turning 30!) and brought this salad with me. I doubled the recipe for the party, and it made enough for a group of 50 people. It was a HIT!

Refreshing Quinoa Salad with Apples & Almonds

Bring this to your next potluck or make it for your family!

Bring this to your next potluck or cookout or make it for your family!

Ingredients*

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (here’s how to cook perfect quinoa)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I used raw honey)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup peeled, diced tart apple, such as Granny Smith
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (you can use regular raisins if you can’t find golden ones :))
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced green onions/scallions*
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds, toasted
  • Coarse salt and pepper

*I added about 1/4 cup of thinly sliced green onions/scallions to the original salad recipe, since they are in season and add another dimension of flavor. They are also detoxifying and an anti-cancer GBOMBS food!

Click here for the full recipe!

Super Simple Asparagus Spears

Asparagus is in season, so I couldn’t wait to make one of my favorite, super simple springtime recipes starring this beauty detox vegetable. Check out all the cool things asparagus helps your body do!

  • Create the proper electrolyte balance (and reduce puffiness) because of its potassium content
  • Cleanse the digestive system and get rid of toxins because of its high fiber content
  • Better absorb calcium
  • Prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones

To prep asparagus spears, you’ll first need to snap off the “tough” bottom part. Hold the spear with both hands and bend until the bottom snaps off. It will naturally break off where the tender portion ends and the tough, woody part begins. Use one spear as a guide for where to cut the rest of the bunch.

One of the tastiest ways to prepare asparagus is to roast it, but I also enjoy it in salads and soups. If you prefer, you could grill this recipe, too!

Super Simple Asparagus Spears

Perfect for the spring!

Perfect for the spring!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: toasted almond slices

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Toss asparagus in the oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place stalks on a foil-lined baking sheet, so they’re not touching, and roast for 8-10 minutes. (Well-cooked spears are tender when pierced with a fork but still bright green in color. Be careful not to overcook. We don’t want limp and dull green asparagus!)
  3. Remove the asparagus from the oven and dust with lemon zest. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top for extra flavor, and top with toasted almond slices for some crunch!

Is it your first time trying asparagus? You might notice that your pee smells funny when you go to the bathroom after eating asparagus, but that’s totally normal!

10-Minute Broccolini with Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic

Aside from being delicious, the best part about this recipe is that you can whip it up in 10 minutes!

It’s simple, flavorful, and really good for you.

I just started cooking with broccolini in the past few months and really love it! The stalks are thinner than broccoli, so I find that I’m able to eat the whole stalk, which means less food is wasted.

Making this dish also gave us an excuse to keep using our perfectly paleo parmesan cheeze – we couldn’t stop eating it!

If you missed the post from a few months ago about broccoli, here’s why broccoli and relatives of broccoli like broccolini are so good for you! Tom Malterre, one of the most renowned nutrition experts, even calls broccoli “the DNA whisperer.”

10-Minute Broccolini with Cherry Tomatoes & Garlic

This dish was incredible! We will definitely be making it again.

This dish was incredible! We will definitely be making it again.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 bunches of broccolini, trim off about a 1/2 inch on the bottom end
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups (about one container) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Paleo Parmesan Cheeze

Directions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan, and swirl to coat.
  2. Add garlic and sauté  for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.
  3. Add broccolini and cook 2 minutes.
  4. Add water and tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 3 minutes.
  5. Add salt and black pepper; cook, uncovered, 4 minutes or until broccolini is crisp-tender but still bright green.
  6. Top with paleo parmesan cheeze and enjoy!

Green Goddess Guacamole!

Think of a food you dislike.

Maybe you’ve tried it before, maybe you haven’t. Either way, you know you don’t like it, and there’s no way anyone can get you to try it…right?

Until about 4 years ago, guacamole was one of those foods for me. Why? Because I was CONVINCED that guacamole had mayonnaise in it…and I’ve always disliked mayonnaise.

One day at work, we had a healthy cooking demo taught by a health coach like me, and we were learning to make none other than…guacamole!  I had all but made up my mind that I wasn’t going to try it.

Fortunately, it didn’t take long before I realized that it was NOT made with mayonnaise and that everyone else was trying it, so…

I gave in to peer pressure and was shocked to find out I LOVED IT!

What had I been missing??

Ever since that day, I’ve been an avocado and guacamole lover.

Delicious, fresh, and seasonal ingredients for this delicious guac!

Delicious, fresh, and seasonal ingredients for this delicious guac!

Avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can eat AND are known as a beauty detox food. Here are just a few of their awesome health benefits:

  • Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals promote moisturizing from the inside, which means healthy, smooth, radiant skin (a true beauty food!)
  • The healthy fat helps our bodies better absorb antioxidants from other fruits and veggies
  • The antioxidant they contain – glutathione – is a powerful cancer-fighter
  • The combo of good fat and fiber helps control blood sugar

My favorite ways to use avocados are in dips, soups, desserts, mixed in to salads, and (of course!) in guacamole. I found a super simple recipe that used a slightly different combo of ingredients than the usual ones, so I thought I would test it out.

Two of the other ingredients in this guac – cilantro and scallions (AKA green onions) – are also great for you. Cilantro helps the body detoxify and onions are one of the top anti-cancer GBOMBS foods, so enjoy them all you want!

Green Goddess Guacamole

Creamy guacamole goodness

Creamy guacamole goodness

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados, seeded and peeled (here’s how to cut and peel an avocado)
  • 1 tablespoon FRESH lime juice (don’t sub the bottled kind)
  • 3-4 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced (also called scallions)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (add more to taste)
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and mash with a fork or potato masher until you reach your desired consistency. We like ours to be a bit chunky, so we don’t mash it too much.

We love dipping fresh veggies like carrots, cucumber, celery, red peppers, and sugar snap peas into our guac, along with these tortilla chips!

You Had Me at “Fudgesicle”

With the weather finally resembling spring and the temps hitting almost 80 degrees today (yay!), I was inspired to share a new recipe for a deliciously decadent summertime (or anytime!) treat…

Fudgesicles!

I remember buying 18-count boxes of fudge pops when I graduated from college and enjoying them every day. Since they were a low-calorie AND sugar-free treat, I thought I was making a healthy choice!

Yum! Homemade fudgesicles!

Yum! Homemade fudgesicles!

Out of curiosity, I looked up the ingredient list for Popsicles Sugar Free Fudgesicles, and this is what I found:

nonfat milk, maltodextrin, lactitol, polydextrose, cocoa (processed with alkali), sorbital, whey, coconut oil, microcrystalline cellulose, tricalcium phosphate, mono- & diglycerides, guar gum, polysorbate 65 & 80, carrageenan, malt powder, salt, cellulose gum, aspartame, artificial flavor, acesulfame potassium, citric acid

Really? Do we need over 20 ingredients in a fudgesicle?? I don’t even know what half of those things are, but I’m pretty sure I don’t need them in my body.

I’m excited to share this recipe because it’s 2-in-1. The same recipe that makes fudgesicles ALSO makes creamy chocolate pudding if you leave it unfrozen. How cool is that?

This recipe is dairy-free and doesn’t contain any refined sugar (or the laundry list of chemicals in the store-bought kind!), and it results in a rich taste and creamy melt-in-your-mouth texture because of the avocado and coconut milk.

Bill and I and two friends tried these for the first time the other day, and we couldn’t tell the difference between these and the “real thing!”

Creamy Chocolate (Avocado) Fudgesicles (Dairy-Free!)

So decadent, chocolately and delicious!

So decadent, chocolately and delicious!

Ingredients

  • 6 medjool dates (pits removed, soaked and then drained)*
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk) – I used full fat coconut milk to make these nice and rich. You can find the coconut milk at any grocery store, often in the international aisle. I use this kind.
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Click here for the full recipe from Tasty Yummies!

Ingredients laid out for the fudgesicles!

Ingredients laid out for the fudgesicles!

We bought the popsicle holders at Home Goods, and they were really cheap! You can also order them online here.

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