Guest Post: Turkey Picadillo w/ Cauliflower Rice by Bradley Grace

Hello again!

It's nice to be back as a guest poster! Today i'm sharing a delicious and amazingly simple dish that is a staple in the Cuban kitchen and by virtue of its deliciousness should in fact be a staple in every kitchen. I first set my eyes and immediately after, taste buds, on this dish in the home of my wife (creater and curator of this fine blog) years ago when we were merely two high school aged lovers with serious crushes on each other (still do). Anayway, I digress...her mother, Lili made a delicious version of this Cuban classic and I fell head over heels in love with it and so that is what I have come to base my recipe around. The dish you ask?...Picadillo!

This dish actually originated in Spain (like most Latin culinary staples) and then as it spread throughout the Latin world it took on little nuances here and there but for the most part it's fairly similar throughout. I've eaten it in San Jose, Costa Rica where it was mostly comprised of potatoes and peppers and was served over plain white rice with avocado and tortillas (it was insanely yummy).  I've also had it homemade by a friend of mine from the Philippines who makes it the way her family did back home. This preparation was very similar to the Cuban version except in place of olives there were big chunks of boiled egg (be still my heart...). Basically any representation I've had of it was reminiscent of the last so feel free to be very creative with this dish. As long as you have the basics in order it's Picadillo with whatever else you like in it. The recipe i'm providing is a little different as it is meant for the more health conscious person so in place of ground beef i'm using ground turkey. This is not the traditionally used protein but hey, it's still freakin' yummy! If you want to make this in a more traditional fashion then use freshly ground beef (I highly recommend grass fed ground chuck) and keep everything else exactly the same and you'll be off to the races! Oh yeah almost forgot...that white fluffy looking stuff in the bowl next to the Picadillo is not rice, it's cauliflower rice and it's really delicious and gluten-free (see below for preparation). If you want real rice then go for it! The traditional Cuban Picadillo is served over Moros which is white rice cooked in black bean "juice" then mixed with black beans but that's another post...baby steps!

 

What you need:

1 lb ground turkey (avoid 99% lean, you want a little bit of fat here)

1 medium white onion 

1 cup red wine (traditionally it's white but I like the depth of flavor the red gives it...your call)

1 can crushed tomatoes (16 oz can)

2 TBSP tomato paste

1 red bell pepper diced

1 green bell pepper diced

6 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup pitted olives (or as many or few as you like)

3 TBSP capers (or as many as you like)

1/4 cup of the olive juice

salt & pepper to taste (season at the very end right before serving so as not to over salt)

 

How to make:

First things first (and this is the trick I learned from Lili, Christina's mother) take your onion and peel it and then half it. Put one half aside to dice and roughly chop the other half and place it in a food processor with the 6 garlic cloves and process it into a paste (using some olive oil here if needed). Over medium high heat, heat some olive oil (or coconut or avocado oil) in a medium pot (I use my Le Creuset but that's just because i'm fancy AF. You can use whatever high sided pot you have.) Add the ground meat and cook until browned. Remove the meat and set aside. If you're using beef, this is where you would pour off the fat. In the same pot add a little more oil and throw in the other half of that onion you diced. Cook it for about 3 minutes over medium heat and then throw in your peppers and cook an additional 3 minutes. Add the garlic and onion puree mixture and cook everything, stirring constantly for an additional 5 minutes or so. Stir in the tomato paste then add the meat back in to the pot and thoroughly mix. At this point, you can add the wine and the crushed tomatoes along with your capers, olives and olive juice.* Bring it all to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes uncover it and raise the heat a bit to allow it to reduce if needed. The consistency should be kind of like chili...Once it reached the desired consistency - season to your liking and serve. This recipe will serve 4 moderately hungry humans or 2 legends. 

*this is where you would add diced potato if you wanted to. Raisins are also very popular in traditional Cuban Picadillo but I don't use them because my wife is not a fan. I think they are a yummy addition however, so if you so desire throw about 1/4 cup of raisins in there at this point.

Cauliflower Rice:

1 head of cauliflower rinsed and broken into small florets and then pulsed into rice like pieces in a food processor

1 small shallot finely diced or 2 TBSP finely diced onion

Add all florets to a blender working in batches if necessary and pulse 3-5 times or until the cauliflower is broken down into rice sized pieces. Be careful not to purée! Get a pan nice and hot over medium high heat, add olive oil and throw in the shallot or finely chopped onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Lastly add the cauliflower and cook until the texture is similar to well cooked rice which is around 7-8 minutes (soft but not mushy). Be careful with the heat, it shouldn't start sticking to the pan. If it does, turn the heat down. Season with salt & pepper to taste (cauliflower can take a good salting) and you're done. Mix in beans, peas or almonds for added texture/flavor or leave as is and enjoy!


Cacao Cooler Smoothie

Summertime is here (very much here in humid South Florida)! What better way to cool down and nourish yourself all at once than with this delicious cacao cooler smoothie... I mean who doesn't love chocolate? Throw a healthy spin on what tastes like a chocolate milkshake and you really can't lose. 

This particular smoothie is on the sweeter side of all of the smoothies I usually make which means it is probably perfectly suited for almost everyone else's taste buds. (I am notorious for not liking things very sweet) This smoothie is also packed full of great antioxidants and plant based protein - I highly recommend this for a post workout snack.

The almond butter, protein powder and banana provide great sources of protein - perfect for pre or post workout. It's so important to always sneak greens in wherever you can and since spinach breaks down easily and doesn't have much a flavor I love to throw handfuls into smoothies to up the healthy factor. I promise you won't even detect it in there. The cacao is packed with magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus and more - it's important to get raw cacao powder because it is cold pressed and not roasted like cocoa powder is which strips the cacao of a lot of its natural living enzymes and nutritional value. I urge you to look into the other amazing benefits of Cacao and you will see that it has a multitude of benefits for our bodies and diets.

Lastly - not pictured below is collagen powder that I also put into this smoothie. What the heck is collagen powder you might be asking? Well much like you've probably heard about collagen in the past it is first and foremost wonderful for the skin (for elasticity and moisture retention). It is also great for hair and nail health - it helps to support bone and joint health and for those of you working out a lot this can be hugely beneficial in keeping your body healthy and well oiled. It also supports digestion because of the amino acids present in the collagen which help to stimulate production of stomach acids which aid in nutrient retention and overall digestive health. One more important thing to note here is that it is often used as a protein powder substitute - so while I used a bit of protein powder and collagen powder in this smoothie you can omit one or just do half and half like I did. Another great pro to adding collagen powder is that it has no taste at all so you won't even notice it's in there. It also dissolves easily into almost anything and both hot and cold liquids so you can even put it in your morning coffee or tea.

I plan to add more pictures like the below image to my future posts so you can see what products I use and recommend. I know you will enjoy this smoothie so please sound off in the comments. Thanks for visiting as always!

What you need:

2 tbsp almond butter ( I love this raw one from Trader Joes - great price point and the only ingredient is raw almonds!)

2 tbsp protein powder or collagen powder or 1/2 and 1/2 (I use a vegan powder - here I used Vega with natural flavor so it doesn't add an extra flavor)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 pitted date

2 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 cups organic baby spinach

1/2 banana either fresh or frozen

3 frozen strawberries (or 1/3 cup berries of your choosing)

3-4 ice cubes

2 tbsp hemp hearts for the topping (other great toppings are shredded coconut, chia seeds and cacao nibs)

Throw all of the ingredients into a smoothie blender and blend for a few minutes or until everything blends evenly. Be sure to use a few ice cubes so that you get a smoothie consistency if not your smoothie will end up being too watery. 

Sip, cool down and enjoy!

 

Turkey Burger

Just in time for Memorial Day weekend - this hearty and incredibly flavorful turkey burger!

Everybody loves grilling on a holiday weekend and what better way to switch up the offerings than making a great turkey burger? Truth be told, that with this recipe I've tried to recreate my favorite turkey burger of all time - the incomparable Westville NYC turkey burger. If you've ever had it then you know and if you haven't well let me just tell you that it's a flavor explosion and the best turkey burger I've ever had hands down.  While I won't say this tastes exactly like it, it is a pretty great knock-off if I do say so myself.

With turkey burgers it's important to remember to use the "fattiest" ground turkey available to you. If you use turkey that's too lean it's going to be dry, dry, dry. Turkey is already considerably drier than beef given it's lower fat content so don't skimp here and get the highest fat content turkey you can find. If you are feeling really adventurous and own a meat grinder you can also purchase organic turkey thighs and grind the meat fresh yourself or have your local butcher grind them for you. The meat from turkey thighs will be more flavorful and juicy. 

Throw this burger on the grill just like you would any other burger or if you don't have a grill - I also recommend cooking this in a cast iron pan - it gives the burger a great char and you can "dome" or cover it while cooking to help lock some of the juices in. 

What you need: (for the patty) serves 4

  • 1 lb of organic ground turkey
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • lots of kosher salt & freshly ground pepper (feel free to use any other spices you love here for extra added flavor - we used Dragon's Breath by Greenpoint Trading Co which is a blend of garlic, onion, sesame seeds, oregano, basil, celery seeds, marjoram, paprika & thyme)

How to make:

Begin by sauteeing your onion and garlic over medium heat with olive oil. Cook for about 3 minutes until the onions start to break down a bit then remove from heat and let cool. Once cool add this mixture to the ground turkey with the salt, pepper and other spices if you've added them. Really work the meat with your hands - it's time to get dirty and make sure that everything is evenly combined.

Next get your grill nice and hot if you're cooking outside or if cooking inside - put your cast iron pan on high heat so that when you put the meat in it will get a nice char. After you do that begin forming the four - 4 oz turkey burger patties with your hands. 

For the grill: Make sure that the grill racks are well oiled so that the burgers don't stick. Cook them 6-7 a side until their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

For cast iron: Sear the burgers on each side for approx 4 minutes a side, flipping the patties only once on each side so that each side has a nice char. Then dome/cover them and turn your heat down to medium. Cook for about another 8 mins or until the center has reached 165 degrees.

Add cheese (if you are dairy-friendly) during the last minute so that it melts a bit over top of the burger. Otherwise serve it up as is on your favorite bun and with toppings of your choosing. Here we had ours with mashed avocado, spring greens, tomato, mayo and some mustard.  I also recommend pickle slices if you have them on hand. On the side we served our burgers with a simple green salad but they would also be delicious with baked sweet potato fries.

I hope you enjoy these and have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend!

 


Baked Eggs

The PERFECT brunch! This has become our absolute favorite meal to cook in an effort to impress our brunch guests (if only they knew how easy it is to make...and now they will :)) My husband is the real brain child behind this delicious dish but we usually make this one as a team effort. I am the go to person for egg cookery in our house - always...as he says he doesn't have the delicate hand that sometimes eggs require. But while he preps the base and seasons it to perfection, I excitedly await my turn to crack the eggs. I love delicately cracking the eggs and placing them in an imperfect circle on top of this beautiful mixture of mushrooms and tomato sauce. There is something very satisfying about it and how pretty it ends up turning out once baked. After all we eat with our eyes first right? I promise you it tastes as good as it looks.

Okay let's get to the good stuff...

What you need:

  • pasture-raised eggs - happy chickens make for happy eggs which makes for happy food for us!
  • 8 oz. mushrooms (organic baby bellas used here)
  • 1 - 12oz jar of organic strained tomatoes
  • scallions
  • chives
  • bread crumbs
  • arugula
  • extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • oven safe frying pan or casserole dish

How to make:

Slice your mushrooms into thin slices and sauté them on medium heat with some olive oil or coconut oil. Next stir in the strained tomatoes and coat the mushrooms - the sauce should cover the mushrooms and create a layer in the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture starts to bubble add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and scallions or chives and continue stirring. The breadcrumbs act as a thickening agent for the sauce and to give it texture. If the sauce isn't thick enough add more breadcrumbs until desired consistency is reached. Then remove from heat and crack desired number of eggs over top and bake in the oven on 350 degrees for approx 10-15 minutes. Watch the cooking time because you don't want your eggs to be too overdone - cooking times will vary depending on the oven.

While the eggs are baking, take a few handfuls of arugula or spinach or both and lightly toss it in olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper just enough to coat the greens. Once the eggs are done, sprinkle with an extra garnish of chives and top the center with the greens. It's all about presentation - right? :)

This meal is best served with some freshly sliced avocado (I know i'm obsessed) and a nice chunk of your favorite bread.

 


Guest Post: French Lentils by Nico

I asked Christina if I could write a guest post because I have instantly become a big fan of her mission, because it feels real. No gimmicks, no smoke and mirrors - just real food for real people to try and integrate into their lives. I'm not a food blogger. Nor am I a size 2, spin/crossfit/fitbit/Px287390 health guru here to preach my methods. Like many of you (probably), I'm at the beginning of my "Whole.Health.Happiness" journey and I'm trying to find a way to change, not just the way I eat, but the way I look at food. I've done the fad diets - low carb, no carb, south beach, New York, paleo, whole 30 - and what I've learned is that I always end up going back to eating the way I've always eaten. So my new goal is to use the foods I love and know to create healthy meals that still feel like comfort food.

I grew up in a house of French cooking - Boeuf Bourguignon, poulet roti, atrichaut vinaigrette - it was a Julia Child daydream. But, for those who are well versed in Julia Child's mantra for French cuisine, "If you're afraid of butter, use cream," as delicious as our meals were, they weren't always what most could consider "healthy."

Luckily, both my French mother and her French mother (my Mami) value the rewards of healthy living - my grandmother is 90 years old and still does yoga in the morning, and when my other (who is in her 60's) isn't playing tennis she is running 8 miles on the elliptical machine. So as the years went on butter was replaced by olive oil and cream by milk or chicken stock, but the smells and flavors of the south of France never dissipated.

So as I started cooking my dinner tonight I thought to myself, "Hey! Maybe Christina would like this recipe," and with a quick offer to guest blog, here I am: Post MFA memoir writer gone food blogger telling the wonderful readers of WHH how to make my three-generation's old French Lentils.

What you need:

  • 1 cup of fried lentils (French preferred, but any organic dried lentil will do)
  • 1 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Dried Thyme (approx 2 tbs, i'll explain)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (again, I eyeball this but you can remove completely or add more according to your spice desires)
  • *Red wine vinegar (optional)

How to Make:

In a saucepan (high sides but not a pot) heat the olive oil on medium heat. While the oil heats, dice the onion - I usually do a course chop like I would for a tuna or chicken salad - and add to the oil along with dried bay leaves, crushed red pepper, and the dried thyme. My method is to dubmp a bunch of thyme in my hand and then sprinkle it on the onions until everything has a nice coating on it. Stir onions and spices until caramelized. Next add the cup of dried lentils and stir until they are coated in the oil. Add your 2 cups of (preferably hot) chicken broth and stir.

Now, although you might want to keep stirring and fussing with them, for the rest of the cooking time you should treat the lentils like rice. Cover them and simmer on low heat until they are soft and the liquid disappears (about 45 minutes). 

DON'T STIR! I can't tell you how lovely and soft and most the lentils will be if you just leave them alone - otherwise you risk drying them out. If the lentils aren't soft enough and the liquid is gone, ad more broth. If they are getting too soupy, turn up the heat and uncover to help evaporate the liquid.

French Lentils Plated - Nico.jpg

Mami's tried and true trick with the lentils is that 5 minutes before serving (after removing from heat) she stirs in 1 to 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar - she says it brings out the earthy flavors.

Vegetarians can eat them alone (using veggie broth in place of the chicken broth to cook them) or they can be served with fish (see photo), pork, chicken or sausage. And they are equally as good cold the next day for lunch!

So there you have it...French lentils from a French girl who doesn't miss butter or cream one bit! Now, cheese is another story.

 


Cauliflower Fried Rice

Coming at ya - another veggie filled, gluten-free recipe.  

Don't forget to get your mise en place ready. Courtesy my husband with the superior knife skills :) Check out the easy and delicious recipe below.

We made our cauliflower fried rice veggie only but if you love your animal protein feel free to add wild caught fish, pasture raised chicken or grass fed beef to this recipe. Great creative and share your favorite additions in the comments below.

What you need:

1 head of cauliflower

1/2 large yellow onion or 1 small yellow onion sliced

6 baby zucchini cut in half lengthwise 

1 large carrot sliced into rounds

1 nice handful of baby spinach

1 cup sliced mushroom of your choice (I used baby bellas)

1/2 cup of fresh peas (**see below)

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 cup of pre-blanched broccoli florets

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

2 tbsp sesame oil

2-4 tbsp tamari sauce

The juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 green onions sliced about .5" in length 

** you can also use frozen peas in which case you do not need to blanch them and can just add them when you add the rest of the veggies.

 

How to Make:

Rinse your cauliflower and break it down into florets. Working in batches place the florets into a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is broken into rice sized pieces. Repeat until your entire cauliflower has been broken down.

In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Add your fresh peas to the water and cook for about 2 minutes then using a slotted spoon, remove and set aside then add your broccoli to the same pot of water, cover and cook for 5 minutes on high the drain and set aside (the broccoli should still be firm). 

In a large, high sided skillet or a pot heat up over medium heat,  1 tbsp of sesame oil with 1 tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil. Add the onions and carrot and cook for about 2 minutes then add the baby zucchini and the mushrooms. Cook everything until the zucchini has caramelized a bit. Add your tamari, toasted sesame seeds and garlic and cook an additional 1 minute then pour the contents of the pan out onto a large plate and set aside. In the same pot, add the remaining sesame oil with some olive oil or coconut oil and over medium high heat, cook the cauliflower rice stirring regularly. When the cauliflower is cooked to the point where it is similar in texture to cooked rice, you're good. It should take about 7-10 minutes. When you've reached this stage add more tamari until you get the flavor you want (tasting as you go) and then add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Add the veggies back in and toss around and serve with sliced green onion as a garnish.

 


Guest Post: Gluten-free Chicken "Schnitzel" by Bradley Grace

I am so excited to have my first guest post on Whole Health Happiness! I kind of have an "in" with the writer so you may see me pop up every once in a while :). 

I love regional foods. If I look back at my life thus far I would be hard pressed to find a time in my life where I wasn't obsessing over some sort of regional cuisine. As a kid growing up in Ireland it was Chinese food (which was THE cuisine in the country at the time) where my family would get all dressed up and go to our local Chinese restaurant and anxiously await the arrival of the first basket of "prawn crackers" and we would always finish with the coveted Peking duck pancakes. When I moved to the States I discovered the immense flavor explosion of a nice beef taco which sent me headfirst into a life long love affair with Mexican food. My first pirogi, heaven! Big bowl of pork ramen?... Don't even get me started!  It snowballed from there and now I make it a point of finding out what the "comida tipica" is in any given country or area I visit. I once spent a few weeks travelling through Germany and as I was on a very tight budget I found myself staring at price appropriate menus from day to day and kept seeing this crazy looking word appear over and over and over, Schnitzel. So one day, not really knowing what I was ordering, I ordered me a Schnitzel. And then the next day had it again, and then again and then I had it the next day...serious yum!

The funny thing about the Schnitzel is that there is basically a version of it in every single cuisine known to man. In Japan they call it Katsu, in Mexico it's a Milanesa and in my Mother's kitchen it always went by the nebulous moniker of "a cutlet". Maybe that's why I loved it so much. Anyway, the classic Schnitzel in Germany is most often a thinly pounded pork chop, veal chop or chicken breast (which is what I used here) dredged in flour, dipped in egg wash then coated in bread crumbs and pan fried in butter and served with lemon wedges, parsley and a nice strong mustard on the side. I have seen it, however served with curry ketchup (take a cup of good Ketchup and add to it a tablespoon of good curry powder and you're welcome...), curry sauce, dill mayo, parsley sauce etc so be creative if you want but for me a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice does the trick!

To make mine a little healthier and happier I first source the best meat I can find which sadly, depending on where you live, can be challenging.  Animal welfare and sustainable farming practices are of the utmost importance to me so I always start there. Where did this meat come from and how was it raised? I do the same for eggs (we get our eggs from a local farmer each Sunday at the farmers market). For this dish I found locally raised, pastured chicken from a local butcher. To "lighten" the dish up a bit also I opted for gluten-free panko bread crumbs and used olive oil to fry up the schnitzel in place of butter. Making small adjustments like this to any recipe can always help bring it more in line with a healthier lifestyle.  ~Bradley Grace

What you need: (Serves 4)

4 organic pasture-raised chicken breasts pounded to about 1/8 inches (your butcher can do this for you too)

1 cup organic non bleached AP flour OR to make gluten-free coconut flour or almond flour

2-3 large pasture-raised eggs whisked together with 2 tbsp of dijon mustard

4 cups panko style breadcrumbs (I really Like Ian's Natural foods brand. It's also Gluten-free... Whole Foods carries it)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil - enough to pool a little bit in the bottom of your skillet (1/8 inch or so)

Parsley - Fresh chopped (garnish)

4 Lemon wedges (garnish)

 

How to make:

Set up a breading station. Line up 3 large bowls and put the flour in the first, the egg-wash in the second and the panko in the third. Season your chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Get your pan hot over MEDIUM heat (<<<very important step otherwise the panko will burn and you'll have burnt to a crisp on the outside, raw on the inside, not very good Schnitzel). Using one hand dredge your first piece of chicken in the flour and shake off the excess then dip it in the egg-wash so it is completely covered then transfer it to the breadcrumb bowl and completely coat. repeat as necessary. Transfer the chicken breasts 2 at a time to your skillet (more than to will lower the heat in your pan and you'll get soggy Schnitzel... don't make soggy Schnitzel) and let them gently brown checking them regularly. When one side is golden brown then gently flip them and brown them on the other side. When they're done, place them on a plate lined with paper towels or a cooling rack for about 5 minutes then serve them up with the parsley and lemon garnish. We served ours with roasted beets, mushrooms and fresh arugula tossed in lemon juice and a little bit of olive oil. Fresh and delicious. Enjoy!

 


Red Curry with Shrimp over Cauliflower Rice

Thai inspired Tuesday! (okay so it's technically Wednesday but I wrote this post on a Tuesday, plus I love alliteration) :)

I decided to switch it up and make something a little more outside of my comfort zone the other night. I LOVE thai food and curries so I decided to try my hand at making a red curry. I am so glad I did because it turned out to be easy and delicious and now I can't wait to experiment with other curries. I made this one with shrimp, veggies and cauliflower rice (another new recipe for me). All in all it was a very successful and healthy dish. I'm getting hungry again just looking at this picture! Below i've included how to make the curry and the cauliflower rice. 

What you need (for the curry - serves 2): 

1 lb wild caught shrimp deveined 

1 14oz can of unsweetened coconut milk

 3 tbsp of red curry paste

1 tbsp coconut oil

5 thai basil leaves

1 small onion thinly sliced

1 organic red bell pepper thinly sliced

1 head of organic broccoli cut into florets

1 tbsp fresh ginger grated

2 cloves fresh garlic grated

1 tsp fish sauce

2 tbsp pure maple syrup 

How to Make (the curry):

Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the curry paste and sauté for 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the onion and cook for another 2 minutes with the paste then add half of the coconut milk and stir, cooking for another 5 minutes. Next add the remaining coconut milk, ginger, garlic and Thai basil. Bring to a low boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper, broccoli, fish sauce and pure maple syrup (most curries add regular white sugar so i've substituted here for a healthier alternative). Simmer for 8-10 minutes. While the sauce is cooking sauté the shrimp w/ salt & pepper over medium heat in a separate pan for about 30 seconds a side so that they get a nice sear and color on them. Then add the shrimp to the curry and vegetable mixture and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Serve warm over cauliflower rice (see how to make below).

What you need (for cauliflower rice- serves 2):

1 large head of cauliflower

1 tbsp coconut oil

salt & pepper to taste

How to Make (the cauliflower rice):

Cut the cauliflower into large pieces - not including the toughest parts of the stalk. Then place into a food processor or blender and pulse until the pieces resemble the size of rice/couscous. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat and saute the cauliflower rice for about 5-8 minutes adding salt to taste. Then serve in a big bowl with the curry poured over it and garnish with fresh basil and chopped chives.

I hope you all enjoy this dish as much as I did!

 


Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Chia seed pudding is a great dessert that feels decadent but is actually a great healthy sweet treat. If you have that ever present sweet tooth this is a great alternative to other preservative laden puddings. It's very simple to make and requires very few ingredients. Once you get comfortable with the ratios you can experiment with different flavors and toppings.

What you need: (serves 4)

  • 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup of chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp of organic pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dark chocolate chips (I used 85% dark chocolate chips from Whole Foods)

How to Make:

Add all of the ingredients (minus the dark chocolate chips) into a bowl and whisk vigorously. Wait and let rest for 10 minutes and then whisk again for another minute or so. 

Next place the mixture in a jar (like above) and close with an airtight lid. Let sit in your fridge over night. 

The mixture should now be a pudding like consistency. Serve it cold in a single serving bowl and top with dark chocolate chips (or your favorite healthy topping). Dig in! 

What is your favorite healthy topping? Sound off in the comments below and let me know what else you'd like to see more of. 

 

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Before Cooking...

Vegetable soup is good for the soul. I came back from New York on Sunday with a pesky cold so I was in need of a soothing, veggie filled and comforting meal so I whipped up this hearty vegetable soup. After traveling and being off my routine I find that my body always craves veggies so this was the perfect way to pack a lot of veggies into one dish. This recipe is based off of the Barefoot Contessa's Veggie Soup but with a few tweaks. 

...and after cooking! (served w/ a delicious piece of avocado toast of course). See below photo for cooking instructions.

Veggie Soup Finished.jpg

What you need: (approx 6 servings)

1 lb organic potatoes largely diced

2 cups chopped onions (1 large whole white onion)

2 cups organic leeks chopped

1 lb diced organic carrots

3 quarts of organic chicken or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon of saffron 

1 cup of haricot verts halved

2 cups organic baby spinach

salt & pepper to taste

*top with tomato, basil & garlic pistou - pistou recipe below

Pistou:

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup fresh basil

4 garlic cloves

1/3 cup olive oil

 

How to make:

Heat two tablespoons of good olive oil over medium heat with the chopped onion and cook for 10 minutes. Next place the potatoes, carrots, leeks and salt and pepper into a large pot and saute for another 5 minutes. Then add the stock and saffron threads and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, bring it back down to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook for 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender.  Then add the haricot verts and spinach and cook for another 15 minutes.

While the soup cooks for the last 15 minutes you should make the pistou. To make the pistou just throw all of the pistou ingredients into a food processor and combine them into a paste.

When you are ready to serve the soup, whisk in 1/4 of a cup of the pistou into the large soup pot and you will notice the soup turn a reddish color (see photo above). Serve in a bowl with an extra dollop of pistou and a side of avocado toast.

Let me know how yours turns out in the comments below.  :)