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Healthy & Festive Holiday Meals

In my family, our tradition each holiday is not only to celebrate the season with family and friends, but also a time where we spend time together as a family where we are preparing our healthy holiday meal. We all cook together and enjoy spending the time together creating a tasty, healthy and festive meal. As you read further, you will notice that preparing this meal is a lot of work, but in the end we value our  way of healthy eating. This Christmas, we made the following: Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Loin stuffed with kale, apples and mushrooms and served with roasted apples, Roasted Squash with Mint and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and Brussels Sprouts Slaw, our absolute favorite Brussels sprouts dish! If nothing else, these dishes are great...

Healthier Holiday Appetizers to Share

Are you looking for a few heart healthy recipes for your holiday gathering? Maybe this holiday season you would like to bring your own appetizers to share if you are going elsewhere or perhaps for your own holiday gathering that you are hosting yourself. As this is the time of year that many of us want to focus on the spirit of the season while still watching our waistline. Below, you will be able to accomplish both of these goals with these healthy, yet delicious recipes and healthy foods. I am including 3 separate recipes for you to enjoy. 1. Spinach Dip Spinach’s vibrant color is not only eye-catching – but also full of nourishment. To collect spinach leaves with greater amounts of vitamin C, look for leaves which...

Healthier Pecan Pie Gluten-Free and Vegan too!

Pecan Pie Makes one 9-inch pie Recently, I traveled to California to hang with family,  and see the sights of southern California.  But, what is a trip without a little exploring? While in the Santa Monica area, it was recommended  by a friend that I check out this restaurant, Cafe Gratitude. This place is amazing!!!! I am in no way a vegan or a raw foodie (but I do enjoy adding these  types of foods into my  overall diet), but I have to admit that Cafe Gratitude has the best vegan/raw foods as well.  I was so impressed that I went back for more before returning home! And,  since I was so dazzled with their recipes, I bought one of their cookbooks. Upon my return, I noticed that the cookbook included a recipe for  a yummy looking pecan...

Gluten Free Gingered Chicken with Cashews and mixed Vegetables

njoy this gluten free asian inspired dish. Note the  refreshing change of serving the gingered chicken and vegetables over stir fried kale instead of rice; a great way to add your greens and lower your calories and glycemic load of your meal.  Stir frying the kale, olive oil and salt adds a nice mix with the stir fried chicken and mixed vegetables.  The ginger adds the  great benefit of  anti-inflammatory properties and taste. Ingredients: 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium, gluten free Tamari or Coconut Aminos 3 Tbsp extra-Virgin Olive Oil 1 large bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped 1 large bunch of green beans 6 scallions, finely chopped 1 cup roasted cashews   Directions: Mix the...

GF Grilled Antipasto Platter

So, if you’re like me, you must be craving italian!  Last weekend, I had some good friends over and I not only wanted something healthy and delicious, but a dish that would impress my friends at the same time! So, I prepared this antipasto appetizer dish and it was delicious! Serves: 6-8 Ingredients: Dressing: 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 Teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil ¼ Teaspoon salt 2 garlic cloves, minced Vegetables: 3 plum tomatoes, sliced 2 Red bell peppers, halved and seeded 2 yellow bell peppers, halfed and seeded 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2 –inch thick slices 1 red onion, cut into ½-inch thick slices 1 eggplant, cut crosswise into ½-inch thick slices Other garnishes for the platter: *¼ pound genoa salami *¼ pound Bianco D’Oro Dry Salami Any Italian cheeses such as parmesan or mozzarella to accompany the meat Mixture of olives Capers and basil for garnish...

Grilled Ratatouille

Every week on Saturday, I look forward to our local Farmers Market! I also love to eat seasonally when I can, so this week, I thought, hmmm….what can I make with what is currently available seasonally from the Farmers Market? Once I noticed what was currently available (eggplant, summer squash, tomatoes, peppers), the idea of Ratatouille came to mind. I am not usually a huge Ratatouille fan because eggplant is not my favorite. However, I found this recipe from Bobby Flay, and I must say that this is super delicious! So, if you like and have not tried this version of Ratatouille then you will definitely love the grilled version and if you have never tried Ratatouille ever, now is the time for a new adventure....

Gluten Free Black Bean Burgers

Here is something you may want to add to your Fourth of July menu. Its a great alternative to burgers and is not only Gluten free, but also vegan and extremely healthy! I like this recipe because brown rice is used as a binder instead of a highly processed flour. Serve it with a little sliced avocado and sweet potato fries on the side. Ingredients: 4 Servings 1 cup Black Beans, rinsed, drained And mashed 1 cup cooked Brown Rice 1 Clove Garlic, minced 2 Tbsp leeks, finely chopped 2 Tbsp cooked and mashed sweet potato 1 tsp chili powder ½ tsp chili powder ½ tsp dried oregano ½ tsp dried basil or 1 Tbsp fresh ¼ tsp ground cumin 1 tsp sea salt 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 4 GF buns, toasted (optional) Instructions: 1. Mix all ingredients together (beans through salt)...

Turkey Burgers with an Asian Twist

Serve with Brussels Sprouts and Baked Sweet Potatoes Did you know that eating mushrooms everyday reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 64%? This equates to only 10 grams a day or an equivalent of one small button mushroom/day! Want to reduce your chances even more? Then combine eating green vegetables, green tea and mushrooms everyday and you reduce your chance of breast cancer by 89%. Here’s a quick recipe sure to please your palate, but also reduce your risk! Serves: 4 Ingredients: Vegetables 1 lb Brussel Sprouts 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼” thick wedges 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper Turkey Burgers 1 lb lean ground turkey 4 oz. mushrooms, chopped ½ small onion, minced 1 celery rib, minced 2 Tb finely chopped fresh parsley 1 Tb tamari 1 Tb...

Tasty Gluten-Free Alternative Breads

Are you looking for a paleo and/or a gluten-free breads? Well, look no more! Whether you’re looking for a breakfast bread, snack or sandwich bread, both qualify and very tasty and satisfying. Paleo Banana Nut Bread Ingredients: 3 cups almond flour 2 teaspoons baking soda ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup coconut oil, melted 4 large eggs 2 very ripe bananas, mashed 3 teaspoons vanilla 3 teaspoons cinnamon ½ cup walnuts, chopped (optional) Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350° F 2. Combine the almond flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. 3. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut oil and eggs. 4. Mix the flour combination into the oil and eggs, and stir until well blended 5. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla and cinnamon. Fold in the walnuts(optional) 6. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 25-30...

Bora Bora Fireballs

Bora Bora Fireballs Adapted from “Well Fed” by Melissa Joulwan If you are looking for a crowd pleaser, try this recipe! I made this just last week as an appetizer for a party and everyone loved this tasty treat! For added flavor, I included the sweet and spicy apricot ginger sauce that I have included below. Enjoy! Serves 6-8 Makes about 50 meatballs Ingredients 1 ½ Cups shredded coconut ½ tsp plus ½ tsp ¾ tsp plus 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper 1 can crushed pineapple, packed in its own juice 2 Tb coconut aminos 1 ½ tsp dried ginger 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tb) 3-4 scallions, white and green, very thinly sliced (about ¼ cup) ½ fresh jalapeno , seeds and ribs removed, finely minced (about 2 tsp) 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 Lbs ground pork Directions: 1. Preheat...