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Turkey Garbage Bowl Salad

Because people were asking what was in my salad here you go:

I got home from work last week and the last thing I wanted to do was cook. This salad was literally everything I had in my kitchen, all thrown into a bowl. Here’s that it includes:

  • Arugala
  • Leftover turkey chunks, pan fried then sauteed with garlic and onions in chicken broth
  • Avocado
  • Zucchini and Broccoli sauteed with the turkey
  • Celery
  • Crispy Honeycrisp apples
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Dressing: Homemade emulsified lemon dijon garlic dressing

It’s so easy to make and so filling, plus it’s a great way to utilize everything from your fridge before things go bad Yummmm….

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After walking up and down the aisle at the grocery store trying to find gluten-free pizza crust or even a full gluten-free dairy-free pizza that did not have tomatoes (not on the Candida Diet), we decided to give up eating pizza for lunch during the Patriots vs Ravens play-offs game. Instead, we opted for healthy turkey tacos.

Since I’m not a huge fans of tacos (and we already had them for dinner on Tuesday night, I made a variation with a homemade spicy guacamole.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 1/2 cup of beef or chicken broth
  • big ‘ol stack of corn tortillas
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 2 avocados
  • handful of cilantro
  • half a handful of basil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • paprika
  • lemon
  • lime
  • 2 cups of brown rice (I use GoldMine organic brown rice and I cook it in a clay pot and pressure cooker)

Homemade corn chips

Directions:

Start cooking the brown rice (since I use the clay pot and pressure cooker, it takes me about an hour. I’ll have to save that for another time.) Meanwhile sautee the ground turkey until it gets brown. Once the turkey starts to cook, add in a bit of stock for flavoring and the taco seasoning packet. Heat up the black beans in another pot in the same water it comes in.

Guacamole Sauce:

In a food processor, combine 1 1/2 avocados with the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, lemon, cilantro and basil.

Chips:

Slice the tortillas in to bite size chips. Spray with olive oil and season with cayenne pepper and paprika. Bake about 15 min, turning until they are crispy and browned. Take them out and immediately season with salt and lime. Serve fresh!

Crispy baked homemade corn chips

Homemade Chips and Guacamole

Tonight’s dinner was all vegan – and AMAZING. Dan’s mom sent us a zucchini spiral-er in the mail and it arrived today. Of course, we had to try it. It’s super easy to use and assuming it’s fairly inexpensive to buy on Amazon. The dish below had a lot of great flavors and the avocado pesto gave it a great spicy flavor. Definitely going to make again… and again… and again. Recipe below!

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Ingredients: (keep in mind that I never measure and never really follow recipes so everything is a guesstimate)

3 zucchinis (spiraled into pasta)

1 ear of corn

1 sweet potato

1 tbsp of butter

1/4 cup plus a few tbsp of olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper

turmeric

cinnamon

3/4 cup of fresh basil – not packed

juice from 1 small lemon

 

Directions:

Saute the corn in a pan until it gets golden brown (you’ll need to use a lid – I learned this the hard way) because once the corn gets hot it will start popping out of the pan. Toss in the pasta for a few minutes, you don’t want it to get too mushy and soft so watch carefully.

Cut the sweet potato into bite-sized cubes and toss in the broiler with turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Keep turning so they don’t get too brown.

For the avocado pesto, blend the avocado, salt, pepper, garlic, basil, lemon juice until it’s smooth and creamy.

Assemble together and enjoy!

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Dan loved it! Yum!

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“Healthy” snacks are hard to find when you’re on a strict diet – or at least trying to eat healthy. I must admit that my weakness is chips and fries. I recently switched to eating these snacks – dried/dehydrated/fried/baked – whatever they are, chips. At least they are not processed and that’s a start. They taste amazing and not like you’re normal chip, but have a little but more bite and more dense. I  picked up Taro and Pumpkin (or Kabocha.. Japanese squash) and both are delightful. Taro is a root, sort of like a carrot or parsnip and the pumpkin is more like a squash, less dense than a pumpkin but with a great wonder sweet flavor. MMMMMMmmm…..

Obviously eating fruit and raw veggies make great snacks too, but I was really craving something salty to replace my fry/chip craving and these do just fine.

What kinds of snacks do you typically enjoy throughout the day?

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I couldn’t agree more. Ever since I’ve been on the Candida diet and have been eating hearty breakfasts (in order to take many pills and supplements in the AM), my body has been craving it. It’s hard to find stuff to eat that has no gluten, sugar, nuts and dairy.

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Here’s what I’ve been eating virtually everyday at work: Gluten free oatmeal (make sure when you buy the kind in the pack, you buy the one without sugar. IE No maple or brown sugar or cinnamon apple. That stuff has so much sugar and starting off your day with that much can cause you body to crash mid-morning). I make my oatmeal with good ol’ water. If I’m home on the weekends, I’ll add plain coconut milk. I’ve topped it with organic coconut flakes, cut up a banana and Honeycrisp apple and topped with cinnamon.

And if you’re wondering why I eat so much cinnamon – other than the fact that it masks having no sugar, it has a ton of health benefits, including:

  • Anti-Clotting and Anti-Inflammatory properties
  • It’s an anti-microbial so helps with stunting bacteria growth (ie Candida)
  • Controls blood sugar
  • Boosts brain function – so it’s great to eat in the morning
  • Great source of fiber and calcium and helps fight Heart Disease
  • Tastes delicious & makes dishes look pretty!

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Coconut whipped cream is the most amazing alternative that I’ve found recently. I LOVE whipped cream and after cutting out dairy I was missing something creamy for dessert. It’s so great and flavorful as-is so I didn’t add sugar. Even my boyfriend Dan loved it and asks for it all the time (caution – just because it’s dairy free it still has fat, so be sure to consume in moderation.)

Ingredients:

1 can of FULL FAT coconut milk (not the lite, watered down kind) or 1 can of Trader Joes Coconut Cream.

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

Let the can of coconut milk sit in the fridge for 4+ hours to make sure the cream is fully separated from the liquid water. If you’re using Trader Joes, I would also recommend to put it in the fridge so you start out with a creamier base. (I also like Trader Joes brand because their cans are BPA free). When you take out the can of coconut milk, turn it upside down so the water is exposed and the cream is on the bottom. Pour out the water – you can use that for a smoothie or other baked good. Scrape out all the cream into a bowl and add vanilla and cinnamon. If you want it sweeter, you can add coconut sugar. Mix for about 3-5 minutes until the peaks are soft.

Serve with apples garnished with cinnamon!

Some additional food for thought – Coconut Milk has tons of health benefits:

  • Calm Nerve Cells. Coconut milk is high in magnesium that helps to keep your blood pressure at a normal level. The combination of calcium and magnesium in coconut milk also keeps muscle and nerves from becoming overstimulated.
  • Strengthen Bones. Coconut milk does not contain as much calcium as dairy milk but it does contain high amounts of phosphorus that can help to strengthen bones.
  • Fight Virus and Infection. The lauric acid in coconut milk will be converted to monolauin in your body. This compound contains antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Regulate Blood Sugar. The manganese in coconut milk helps you metabolize glucose in the body to help the metabolism working at the optimum level. Manganese can also help to prevent osteoporosis, PMS, inflammation and vitamin absorption.
  • Lower Cholesterol. Even though coconut milk is high in saturated fat, but this type of fat raises the HDL or good cholesterol while dairy based products raise the LDL or bad cholesterol. The fat in coconut milk is easy for your body to metabolize which will lower your cholesterol levels overall.
  • Relieves Arthritis. The selenium in coconut milk acts as an antioxidant that will help to reduce free radicals that can cause joint inflammation.

 

21015 is finally going to be my year. I have spent the few last years being unhappy with my health and suffering from severe eczema. Been to countless doctors trying to tell me what medications to buy and the same skin-deep remedies which to be honest, don’t work. Well, I’m sick of being sick! You can’t run a car with bad oil and gas, just like you can’t put bad food into your body and expect to be healthy. After years or drinking (though in moderation) and eating not-so-healthy all the time, it’s time to change. Now. when I say I was not-so-healthy, I don’t mean that I ate fast food more than 3-5x a year or fried food and desserts every night. I am addicted to fries and love nachos. Every once in a while I would eat them. Not a lot. But every once in a while (consistently) contributed to me feeling unhealthy and literally having toxins excrete through my skin causing painful rashes, inflamed and weepy skin and more recently the inability to work out. Docs don’t know what has caused that but I have an inkling that it’s clogged pores, lack of sweat due to inflamed skin, causing internal heat buildup and in turn dizziness, hives, headaches and almost passing out when working out.

Anyway, after seeing a Clinical Nutritionist who diagnosed me with Candida 3 weeks ago, I’ve cut out sugar (refined and allnatural, except some fruits – pears, pomegranates, apples, bananas). This means no honey, agave, etc.. and that stuff sneaks up on you! No nuts, no nighshades (eggplant), gluten, dairy, carbonated beverages, tomatoes, sprouts, mushrooms, kambucha tea, alcohol and a few others. It’s been a tricky diet to stay on but it’s only temporary until I reset my body. It’s made me more aware of the junk I used to eat.

It’s also opened my eyes up to a whole new way of cooking and alternative healthy foods that are really miracles and lifesavers. I am starting to feel better and if giving up all of the above is going to make me healthy, then so be it! Here’s to a healthy and inspirational 2015!

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The above meals are a few things I’ve cooked this year. In order from top left clockwise, 1. Rosemary roasted Kabocha squash, oven roasted turkey and garlic kalettes, 2. Leftover dinner made into a breakfast scramble – black beans and mojo steak with added in spinach for some greens, garnished with crispy seasoned chips and fresh avocado, 3. Tuna salad over a bed of roasted zucchini with avocados and toast (with grass-fed butter), 4. Turkey and black bean tacos with Torchy’s Tacos hot sauce and steamed lemon broccoli.

I grew up hating the idea of eating anything with figs that weren’t Fig Newtons. As I got older, I never really bought figs, not sure why. Then one day I went to a friend’s house and she served them in a salad. Delicious! My entire thought of figs changed in that instant. They were tender, juicy and delicious, and they are filled with mini seeds, which gave it a nice crunch. I am drooling thinking about figs again.

Then one day recently I saw them at the store for a reasonable price and I thought, why not, I’m going to try them. I cut into them and they were magnificent. Bright pink/orange in color and super delicate on the outside. I quickly served them up with a spoon-full of goat cheese and honey drizzled over them. Delish. They made the perfect snack.

For you who are hesitant about figs, maybe you should know they have TONS of health benefits such as phyto-nurients, anti-oxidants (to help boost the immune system and fight off inflammation) and vitamins. I am just beginning my liver detox and figs are a GREAT detox – I think I’ll try to pick some up today!

 

I had an unexpected visit with all of my cousins this past weekend in Florida. While the circumstances weren’t the best, the family and food surely helped brighten the day. The first morning we woke up at my cousin’s house and made The Big Egg. Now, this isn’t something that’s hard to make. It takes minimal ingredients and the best part is that you probably have most of them lying around. You can also customize The Big Egg however you like, as there’s really no set way to make it.

 

Here’s how we made it.

Ingredients:

8 Eggs

4 cups of shredded potatoes (squeezed and patted dry)

chives

garlic

salt and pepper

Crab dip

Olive Oil

Hot Sauce

Cheddar Cheese

 

Directions:

Heat a non-stick pan very hot with oil and spread the potatoes evenly on the bottom. Turn them a few times until they are browned throughout and crispy on the bottom. Scramble the eggs, garlic and pepper together. Pour over the crispy potatoes. Let sit and cook. Once cooked all the way through, sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with chives and more salt & pepper. Cut into triangles (like a pizza) and serve hot. Garnish with chives and crab dip (or whatever else you have). Since we were in Florida, we garnished with a Plantain chip, but anything you have to make the presentation look festive, go ahead and use.

Let me know in the comments section what variations you chose!

Good morning! I am going to keep this one short since I know you’re dying to make a wonderful breakfast today. The best part about this recipe is that it is healthy and very easy to make. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand. The best part is that I made the oat flour by grinding up the oats in a food processor. I made this one morning and it was so filling and satisfying that I’ve made it again and again. The leftover oatcakes freeze well and are great for on-the-go breakfasts or at work. They even make great snacks. I’ve also made a batch with mini-chocolate chips for a little more sweetness. To make it even sweeter, top with whipped coconut cream. Decadent!

 

Oatcakes

  • 2 cups gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats, roughly processed
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats, finely processed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons honey or agave
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Raspberry & Peach Compote (I’ve also made these with blueberries and they came out just as great!)

  • 1 crate of raspberries
  • 1 peach (1/2 chopped in squares and the other half to garnish)
  • 4 tbsp agave or honey
  • 1/2 cup water

 

Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 200°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.
  • For the fruit compote, mix the raspberries and peaches (save a few for topping) with the water and honey/agave and on low heat. Let it simmer while you bake the oatcakes. If it gets too dry, add in more water.
  • For the Oatcakes – in a medium-sized bowl, place the roughly processed oats, the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg eggs, honey and milk, whisking to combine after each addition, and continuing to whisk until very well-combined. The batter will be pourable.
  • Heat a large (ideally, cast iron) skillet over medium heat, and brush with a thin layer of virgin coconut oil. Pour the pancake batter into the hot skillet in rounds, smoothing them out about 4 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. Bubbles will begin to break through the surface of the pancakes from the underside. Once the pancakes are mostly set (about 45 seconds), carefully flip them over and press down on the cooked side with a wide spatula to sear the other side. The pancakes should have been nearly cooked all the way through when on the first side.
  • Remove the cooked pancakes from the skillet and place them on the prepared baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the preheated oven to stay warm until you have finished with all of the pancake batter. Brush the skillet lightly with more coconut oil, and repeat with more pancakes. Serve pancakes warm.
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