French Fries are EVERYONE’s Achilles heel. Seriously, who turns down that savory, greasy, delicious side that every restaurant buys in massive bulk? Unfortunately, the fries are usually the tipping point from making your meal borderline healthy to the reason those jeans don’t fit anymore. Even the healthier sweet potato fries still contain a decent amount of carbs (albeit good ones). But we have a solution that cuts the carb count in half while still giving you a nice finger food side.
Ingredients: 1 medium size butternut squash (makes about 3 servings), olive oil, salt & pepper (other spices if desired).
Directions: Cut the top stem, half squash vertically, and seed. Slice the top half away from the bulb of the squash. Cut fri-like strips out of the top portion. The bulb will produce a more “C” like shape but the final product will all taste the same.
Toss with olive oil and spices. Bake on 350 for about 40 mins. They live up to their name with a great buttery taste that you will definitely make room for on your Thanksgiving table.
So, the title kinda sells itself. Pulled pork? Amazing. Sliders? Give it here. This dish takes the bad stuff out with eliminating the sugary, processed BBQ sauce and the white bread. Plus, it’s a dump and go meal, so it requires little prep time.
Ingredients: Pork shoulder/Boston butt (3.5 lb used here), 3 Sweet Potatos (1 makes about 3 sliders), 1/4 onion (red used here, any will work), 1 clove of garlic, 1 can of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons agave nectar
Directions: Dice onion and garlic. Cook over a medium skillet until browned. Reduce heat. Add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, soy sauce, the vinegars, and the agave. Mix thoroughly in pan. Once done, pat the pork down with the mixture. Try to cover as much as possible.
Place the pork in the slow cooker. Add about a cup of water (depending on size of cooker) and any additional spices (garlic powder, cayenne, etc). Place on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5. Once done, use fork to shred.
Sliders: Cut potatoes about 1″ thick. This will give them enough size to house the pork while not giving an overwhelming potato taste. Lightly season with olive oil and s&p. Bake on a baking sheet for 30 minutes on 350.
While higher in fat than most proteins, the substitution of a good complex carbohydrate like sweet potato for a plain, old white bun will be the real difference maker when it comes to your diet. Just stick with some broccoli on the side and not French fries😜.
It’s always great to find a dish that’s equal parts healthy, convenient, and delicious. But no one wants to each the same thing over and over again. The cucumber wrapped sushi rolls were amazing so we decided to change up the contents and it gave it a whole new life.
We have peeled the cucumbers with the vegetable peeler (see the sushi post for instructions) and cut red bell pepper and onion julienne. The turkey meat is grocery store bought and is nitrate and hormone free. Most lunch meat is heavily processed and contains all kind of nastiness. It’s best to shell out a little extra money for a better product. Next, we used hummus as a binder and to give it a bit of moisture.
We’ve served it with quinoa and gone with a Mediterranean theme in seasoning it with dill, parsley, and garlic and garnishing with green olives.
Lettuce wraps are great (and stay tuned! we are working on some fun variations) but cucumber wraps are much easier to bite and enjoy. Wrap it up!
Happy Father’s Day to all the healthy dads out there! Brunch always caters best to the Sunday holidays so here’s a lighter option when the table is already covered with bagels and pastries.
Ingredients: 1 head of cauliflower, 1 quarter white (or yellow) onion, 1 clove garlic, 2 eggs (or 4 tablespoons of chia seeds)
Directions: Dice and microwave cauliflower for about 6 minutes. Once cooled, process cauliflower with garlic and onion (and seasonings of your choice) until puréed. As described in the caulirice recipe, the garlic and onion give the caulirice some much needed flavor.
Once processed, transfer to bowl. Mix eggs separately and add to cauliflower mixture. Mix throughly. Shape into ovals.
These were cooked on a flat top but can also be prepared in a pan. Cook for about 5 mins on each side.
There’s nothing more satisfying than using every last bit of produce in your refrigerator. Interestingly, the mini sweet peppers were originally purchased for the portobello pizzas, which lead to the stuffed mini peppers, and left the refrigerator with excess bean mixture and quinoa. The circle of meals. While the bean mixture isn’t bad over quinoa, but we have something more creative in mind.
Ingredients: Leftover bean mixture (Lima beans, kidney beans, red onion, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar), quinoa (about 1/2 of a cup was leftover), flax seed
Directions: Soak 1 tablespoon of flax seed in about 2 tablespoons of water and let sit for 10 mins. Combine quinoa, bean mixture and flax once soaked. A little bit of whole wheat flour was thrown in to absorb some moisture.
Make into small balls on cooking sheet. Cheese was added to these, but it’s not required for structure. The flax seed acts well as a binding agent. Bake for only about 10 mins or so. Afterall, there’s no meat that you need to worry about cooking thoroughly.
These came out great and required very little time to prepare. And their taste will convince even the heartiest of meat eaters.
You gotta love a finger food. Quick, easy, and gone in a second. Problem is, most of them are starchy, fat laden and have spent way too much time in someone’s freezer. But these mini stuffed peppers are nutrient rich and pack the protein, even with being veggie based.
Ingredients: Bag of mini sweet peppers, 1 can of kidney beans, half can of Lima beans (combination of any beans will work), 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, quarter of diced red onion, balsamic vinegar, shredded mozzarella cheese (if desired).
Directions: Slice tops off of mini peppers. Bake at 350 for only about 10 mins. Let cool afterward.
In a bowl, mix together all beans, onion, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and any seasonings desired (onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper, and salt were used here). Taste the mixture and make sure to balance the amount of vinegar to tomato paste neutralize the sweetness of the tomato paste. Now, this recipe is vegan (it’s good to give your body a break from digesting animal proteins every now and again), but ground beef or chicken will work also.
Pack a bit of the bean mixture into each pepper. Top off with the mozzarella cheese if not keeping vegan.
These are excellent as an appetizer if entertaining healthy guests or can be a meal with rice or quinoa.
You either love sushi or you hate it. Some people can’t handle raw fish. Some can’t take the helping of rice, veggies, and fish all at one. Well, these are cooked, light and palatable so that even the pickiest of eaters will be lunging for the chop sticks.
Ingredients: .67 ounces of salmon (makes about 10 rolls), 1 cucumber, quarter chopped onion, bunch of grated carrots, whole avocado, grated ginger, soy sauce
Rolls: Cut edges off cucumber. Peel layers of cucumber. Each roll should be about 2-3 “sheets”. For a thicker product, make sure to apply pressure on peeler.
Salmon: Season with garlic powder, onion powder, sesame oil, pepper, and salt. Bake at 350 for 30 mins.
To form rolls, layer veggies and salmon. Roll forward. If cucumbers unravel, use avocado as adhesive.
We have paired it with leftover caulirice, but it will also go well over greens. For moisture, add a dash of soy sauce. The rolls are refreshing and filling. And they will keep you from throwing a dish at the wall out of frustration from keeping a stagnant diet. And who wouldn’t want to prevent that? 😛
Another #leftoverremix for when your stomach, taste buds, and soul just can’t do the same meal a fourth time in a row. In the fridge, we still had leftover broccoli slaw, chicken, sugar snap peas, and zucchini. Despite how delicious the Zucchini Pillows turned out, we opted to create a nice chopped salad with the remaining ingredients.
First of all, if you are a raw food eater or seriously interested in a healthy diet at all, investing in a salad chopper (or a pizza cutter, but remember what you bought it for!) would be highly beneficial. It makes salad much more bite size and also helps to mix around dressings and ingredients.
Ingredients: chicken, broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cashews, sesame seeds, soy sauce/sesame oil/pinch of organic sugar mixture as dressing (Braggs’ Amino Acids will substitute well)
Directions: Place all dry ingredients in a salad bowl. Use salad chopper until ingredients are at desired size/consistency. Add dressing. Chop again. Quick & easy 🙂
Additional throw-ins, like edamame, rice noodles, or any other leftover veggies, will fit right in. Feel free to get creative and share your results!
Missing pasta? Absolutely. All the time. Even in between bites when I’m actually eating it. Truth is, pasta is just one big carb bomb. More than bread and rice, pasta is filling, heavy, and only ends up sitting around your waist. But there are options that can itch that scratch without putting your diet in the danger zone.
Zucchini is very versatile. It can be manipulated in a variety of ways other than just cut up and fried. Here we have created zucchini pillows, a kind of “blanket” (see what I did there) term for either a ravioli or a dumpling.
Ingredients: 2 large zucchinis, 1 large cooked chicken breast, vegetable peeler
Directions: With the vegetable peeler, cut 2-3 strips to form the vertical strip as seen above. Repeat the same process to form the horizontal piece. The strips are frail and may need more than 3 to support the chicken.
Cut chicken into small pieces (what I have used is premade. Sue me:). Place in center. You can add any seasoning (garlic, pepper, etc) or even cheese to act as more of a binder.
The rolling process is best done by first selecting an end that is underneath the other zucchini strip. Then pick an end that is on top, followed by the remaining underneath end, and finally finished with the last strip. BE SURE TO BE DELICATE. They can fall apart at a moments notice!
Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Then broil for an additional 10.
We have prepared these with a sort of Asian inspiration (more so dumpling than ravioli than) consisting of broccoli slaw, sugar snap peas, and rice with a drizzle of soy sauce/sesame oil.
These can also be done with cheese or any other protein in a red sauce as a ravioli substitute. Try them out, you won’t regret it!
Now, I will admit: I have not always been on board with inter-flavor pairings (call me old fashioned). I never got why people dipped their French fries in milk shakes or why salted caramel was so sought after. But, in discovering how real, natural food can compliment each other, I have grown to appreciate a little sweet with the tangy and that is exactly what this salad bring to the table.
Ingredients: One Cucumber; One half of a Seedless Watermelon (or a quarter of a regular); pack of Feta Cheese; 2 tablespoons of Chopped Walnuts; Black, Seedless Grapes; Few Bunch of Kale; Bunch of Mint Leaves
Directions: Finely chop mint leaves. Break apart kale and lightly sprinkle about half of the mint throughout. Ball melon and cut apart grapes. Add to salad. Add feta crumbles and walnuts throughout. Sprinkle the remaining mint on top. For the cucumber, we have “veggetti’d” (or spiralized) it and placed it on the bottom. This can also be chopped and added normally.
You’ll find that between the watermelon and cucumber, dressing is unnecessary. This salad is a friendly battle of flavors, while also being cool and refreshing. Remember, especially with temperatures going up, it’s not just water that can hydrate you.