recipes

Blueberry Banana Muffins with Hazelnut Flour

blue_banana_hazelnut_muffins

It’s Friday, and I must say it has been on long week. Aren’t they all? The kids have to be out the door by 7:45am in order to get to school on time, and Fridays always feels extra crazed. Friday is the homestretch, the last of the weekdays, the race to the finish.

Although this Friday felt rushed as ever, I was committed to make these muffins this morning, and I did it, with my timer on!

This recipe of the week is partly inspired by the 28-Day No-Sugar Challenge which starts on March 1st (next week!), as it is a comforting, sweet and satisfying recipe with no added sugars, not even honey or maple.

You’ll notice I have 1/4’d all these measurements. This is how I made the muffins this morning so I could go quickly. The recipe below makes six muffins. Multiply all ingredients by four and you have a full batch of 24 muffins which you can refrigerate or freeze!

When making the small batch, it took me eight minutes to pull out all everything I needed and combine all the ingredients, which meant these muffins were out of the oven in 30 minutes form the time I started making them. I popped them in the refrigerator right after coming out of the oven (not ideal, but you have to do what you have to do) so they’d cool faster, and the kids were out the door with a mango, avocado, spinach smoothie (recipe on the blog later today) and muffin in hand.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of hazelnut flour
  • 1 banana peeled and mashed with a fork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup organic blueberries

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Mash banana with your fork in a medium sized mixing bowl
  • Add all other ingredients, and combine
  • Add blueberries last
  • Fill lined muffin cups about 3/4 of the way as the muffins will rise a little
  • Bake for 22 minutes, or until you can stab with a fork which comes out clean
  • Let cool adequately before serving (if you have time 🙂

Enjoy!

recipes

Slowcooker Chicken with Cashew Milk and Spices

chicken_korma

This recipe is a fan favorite! It was inspired by a korma dish my children love to get from our local Indian restaurant. In an effort to duplicate those flavors at home, this is a new take on the korma but it’s gluten-, dairy- and nightshade-free (which is great for those following an anti-inflammatory diet). Like korma, it’s warming and flavorful but not spicy so it is super kid-friendly. Turmeric and ginger add to the layers of flavor and the anti-inflammatory quality.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • about 2 pounds of organic chicken breast cut into 1-inch pieces or strips
  • sea salt or real salt
  • 1 cup of cashews soaked for at least 4 hours, but as long as overnight
  • 1 cup fresh water
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • generous handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

foodandhearthmontage_korma

Directions

  • Soak cashews in water for at least 4 hours or overnight
  • In a large pan, over medium heat, warm olive oil until shimmering
  • Add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 3 minutes
  • Add bayleaves, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, coriander and ginger root and sauté until spices evenly coat the chopped onion and garlic, about 3 minutes
  • Stir in the broth and deglaze pan, and bring the mixture to a boil
  • Add raw chicken to your slow cooker and season with salt
  • After the spice/onion/garlic mixture has come to a boil, remove from heat and transfer it into the slow cooker, pouring over the chicken until chicken is all covered
  • Set slow cooker to high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours (low setting is preferred)
  • Rinse soaked cashews and add them to your blender with 1 cup of fresh water, blend until finely puréed to the consistency of buttermilk.
  • Add cashew milk to the slow cooker about 30 minutes before chicken is done
  • Stir gently to combine cashew milk with the chicken
  • Remove bayleaves
  • Garnish with cilantro
  • Serve alone or over a starch like sweet potatoes or cauliflower rice, with a green vegetable on the side, and enjoy!
recipes

Strawberry, Beet and Cilantro Smoothie

strawberry-beet-cilantro

Happy February—the month of love! To kick it off right, I wanted to give you a smoothie recipe which is full of love, sweetness and nourishment.

Try it before an important meeting or after a strenuous workout. Avocados and bananas are chock full of potassium, and beet root is wonderful for circulation and full of gut-friendly fiber plus provides a boost of folate, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. The cilantro is a powerful detoxifying food.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
  • 1 medium banana
  • a generous handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon beetroot powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

Thoroughly blend all ingredients and enjoy! Makes about 16 oz, perfect for yourself or to share!

recipes

Lamb Ragu with Carrots, Ginger and Coconut

lamb_ragu

Don’t let the unexpected ingredient combination of this sauce discourage you from trying it!

Of all the meals I make in any given week, of all the soups and stews, this is the recipe that garners the most cheers from my kids! It’s also a versatile recipe… When you first make it, you will have a lamb dish, which serves as a main dish for night number one. The left over sauce will thicken during cooking and will be available as a chunky ragu, which you can serve over cauliflower rice or another grain type (for us that may be an occasional gluten-free pasta night) on night number two.

There are two options for meat when making this stew/sauce: (1) boneless lamb stew meat will mean more meat as a main dish on the first night. I use boneless stew meat if I am having additional dinner guests so I have enough meat for everyone, and no one has to work to get the lamb off the bones. (2) bone-in lamb stew meat can be used if you want to maximize the nutrition in the ragu sauce.

Cooking with bones is a wonderful way to infuse a wide range of minerals and other nutrients into your broths and sauces, including calcium, phosphorus and collagen, giving you and your family an additional nutrient profile, beyond what you will get in more commonly consumed muscle meat.

Either way, this recipe is yummy, delicious and very warming and will give you at least two nights of dinners.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • about 2 pounds of lamb stew meat (without bones will give you more meat, bone-in will add some additional nourishment to you sauce.)
  • sea salt or real salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 32 ounces of coconut milk
  • 1–26 ounce box of crushed tomatoes

Directions

  • In a large stockpot, over medium heat, warm olive oil until shimmering
  • Season lamb stew meat with salt and pepper and add lamb stew meat, and brown lightly on all sides
  • Remove lamb from stock pot and set aside
  • Add onion, garlic and carrots to stockpot and sauté until fragrant and tender
  • Add water to the vegetables. If there are brown bits on the bottom of the pan, add water and to help scrape them from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon so they mix with the vegetables and water. You don’t want to over-brown the vegetables, but a little bit of browning will add flavor to your overall dish.
  • Add lamb back into the stock pot, along with ginger and allspice
  • Then pour in coconut milk and crushed tomatoes
  • Bring the stew to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium heat
  • Stirring occasionally, let stew simmer for up to 2 hours, until lamb meat is fork tender
  • Serve the lamb meat on the first night, along with a green veggie and a starch like sweet potatoes or cauliflower rice.
  • Save the left over sauce for dinner on the following night. You will have about 1 large mason jar of sauce; refrigerate it and serve over pasta or cauliflower rice tomorrow night!
recipes

Almond Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato, Spinach and Ginger

In January 2011, when my second baby was just months old and I was suffering from some pretty extreme postpartum blues, I took a chance and applied to become a featured blogger for Whole Living Magazine. What I’d be doing as a featured blogger was following Whole Living’s 28-Day Action Plan, which was a basically the Whole30, before the Whole30 came on the scene.

As I embarked on the 28-Day Action Plan, and cut out all refined foods, including coffee, gluten, sugar and dairy, I was excited. But my excitement soon turned to searing headaches, frustrating cooking sessions in my original 1940s kitchen, steep learning curves and a hunger like I hadn’t experienced before. As a tired, nursing mother, all I wanted to do was sit down with a plate of cheese and Wheat Thins, but I endeavored to stay true to the challenge.

Once I rounded the bend and felt like I could more efficiently and easily prepare health-promoting foods, I found this soup recipe on the Whole Living blog. It became one of the first recipes I made that satisfied me, warmed my insides, and was easy enough for me to prepare, double batch and reheat in a pinch. I ate it for lunch, dinner, and, on somedays, for breakfast!

Over the last six years, I have modified the recipe to make it easier to prepare — for instance, I use baby spinach instead of collards because I can easily grab a generous handful of greens from a pre-washed box, versus washing and trimming large collard leaves, but you can use collards or kale or any type of dark leafy green. I also have the butcher cut my chicken breasts into one-inch cubes so I don’t have to do that step at home.

I consider this recipe the one that ushered me into the world of whole-foods cooking and nutrition, so it holds a special place in my heart. Here you go; I hope you enjoy it!

chickenalmondsoup

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 minced garlic clove
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (2 cups)
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup smooth almond butter
1 cup baby spinach
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lime
1 avocado
Directions
Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant in large stockpot.
Add the sweet potato, then the chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the almond butter and 1/2 cup of the soup mixture into a thick paste.
Add the spinach and ginger to the soup and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Stir in the almond butter paste. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls, and top generously with cubed avocados in lime juice.
Recipe Inspiration
Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine
recipes

Mango Cilantro Smoothie

mangocilantrosmoothie

This smoothie is refreshing, delicious, detoxifying and nutritious! I love the addition of cilantro which is a powerhouse detoxifier. Here you go:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • generous handful of cilantro
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 an avocado

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients thoroughly.
  • Makes two 12 ounce smoothies
recipes

Simple Banana Smoothie

simple_banana_smoothie

This might be the most simple-to-make smoothie on the planet, but boy is it yummy, and it packs a potassium punch*. Potassium is one of the most powerful electrolytes in the body so this smoothie is great right after a strenuous workout, since it contains so many nutrients for recovery, including potassium, B vitamins, fatty acids and vitamins C and E. It’s also perfect for dessert!

*One banana has 440 milligrams of potassium, and that half of avocado also has about 400 milligrams of potassium.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder (I like the Navitas brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Makes 12 oz / about 1 serving

recipes

Easy Chili with Cinnamon and Cacao

Once the chill of late fall hits and glimpses of winter start to appear, we start to have soups, stews and chili on the regular. This chili recipe is my go-to because it’s quick, has simple, versatile ingredients, uses one pot, can be easily double-batched and is a fan-favorite of the most discerning customers — my kids.

A few weeks ago, I had eight for dinner on a Sunday night, and this chili was simple and filling and as low maintenance as it gets. It works just as well for a dinner party as it does on a Monday night. I am excited to share the recipe!

chili

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cacao
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 28-oz can or box of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 15-oz cans or boxes of black beans, rinsed
  • 2 15-oz cans or boxes of kidney beans, rinsed

 

chili_ingredients2

Directions

  • place olive oil and onions and garlic in a large pot and sauté over medium heat until slightly browned and tender.
  • add ground beef and cook over medium heat until browned.
  • drain off the excess fat.
  • pour in vegetable broth, chili powder, cinnamon and cacao and increase heat to bring to a simmer.
  • add crushed tomatoes, then both types of beans, and return to a simmer.
  • stir together well, and then reduce the heat to a low simmer.
  • simmer for up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • if the chili becomes overly dry, add water as needed.
  • serve with sliced avocado or guacamole and/or shredded cheddar cheese and corn tortillas or corn bread + a simple green salad!

Feel free to substitute ground turkey for beef, and decrease beans to one box of each if you prefer. It is also okay to bump the amount of chili powder up or down (a little chili powder goes a long way, so depending on tolerance to spice, you might want to start with a small amount and increase over time).

Makes 8 hearty servings. Store leftovers in the refrigerator over night …. Your chili will taste even better the next day.