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This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, grain-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan.

I absolutely love roasted vegetables. Cauliflower provides a great source of Vitamin C, which boosts immune function, as well as Dietary Fiber, which helps in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. The basic roasting technique in this recipe can be applied to any root vegetable and seasoning options are up to you, although salt, pepper and olive oil is simple and delicious.

I like tossing leftover roasted veggies with fresh spinach, leftover cooked grains (such as brown rice or quinoa), and a simple Dijon & lemon vinaigrette. By adding nuts, seeds or beans to the mix, you can get extra protein in as well.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Heads of cauliflower
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Turmeric
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 tsp. Chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Yellow mustard seed
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse cauliflower and cut into pieces (any size you like, just make sure they’re consistent in size).
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil and all spices.
  4. Toss cut cauliflower in the spice oil and use your hands to make sure the spice oil is distributed evenly.
  5. Remove heated baking sheet from oven and spread the cauliflower evenly on the sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.

Serve as a side dish with Lentil Dal, or on its own with brown rice, chopped fresh spinach and chickpeas for a complete meal.

Happy Roasting!

-Holly

I love soups, stews and chilies. During cold-weather months, soup is my go-to meal. Not only is it a great comfort food, it can be a great way to get essential vitamins and nutrients to keep your body and immune system strong during the cold and flu season.

Additionally, soup is a great make-ahead meal that can be low in calories and fat, which helps you stay satisfied while working towards those 2013 personal health goals.

Here is my step-by-step guide to making great soups with some basic ingredients and options to utilize items you already have in your pantry and fridge.

Step One: Building the base

For a great tasting soup, I always start with a simple mirepoix, which is a fancy French cooking term for chopped onions, carrots and celery. Adding 3-5 chopped garlic cloves (depending on your taste for garlic), while the mirepoix is sautéing in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil will create a nice flavor base for your soup.

Step Two: Choosing a broth

Depending on your personal dietary choices, the broth type is up to your tastes. I recommend using a low-sodium, organic broth base or homemade stock. The amount also depends on how much soup you want to make. I typically use about 2 quarts of stock.

Step Three: Pick a healthy starch

Potatoes, pasta, and grains (cooked brown rice, farro, barley or quinoa) are great for a hearty soup. Potatoes, pasta and quinoa can be cooked in the soup, but any cooked starch you have on-hand is a good addition and reduces cooking time while utilizing leftovers.

Step Four: Add essential nutrients

Canned whole tomatoes (if you can, get them in a glass jar), with their juices, helps balance flavors while adding lycopene to your diet, which has been shown to be a cancer-fighting agent. Also, adding dark leafy greens like spinach, kale or collards provide essential vitamins such as A, C and K as well as folate and calcium. I just use my hands to lightly crush the tomatoes and after washing my greens, I give them a rough chop and add them to the simmering soup.

Step Five: Pack in protein

Finally, I like adding a simple protein such as white beans, cooked chicken or turkey. Almost any bean or cooked, lean meat is a tasty and hearty addition to your soup.

 

One of my favorite recipes is Rachel Ray’s Tuscan Kale & Farro Soup. I use only 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and add 1 cup of chopped celery and use 1 cup of chopped carrots to incorporate more vegetables.

Happy Cooking,

Holly

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

For those of you who know my husband, you know that he’s quite a trooper. If I’m cooking, he’ll eat whatever crazy vegan creation I am making. He embraces healthy eating (for the most part) and in fact, he is the creator of this recipe, which has become one of my favorites! Also, don’t let the name or the ingredients scare you—as it is quite delicious. For those of you scared of greens, the broccoli or celery flavors are not strong at all. It has a nice, subtle taste and the lemon gives it a welcomed “zing.” I encourage you to use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~4 servings
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ~1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 bunches of broccoli (depending on their size)
  • 5-6 stalks of celery
  • 1 box (32 oz) vegetable stock
  • Filtered water
  • A small amount of unsweetened original almond milk (optional)
  • 1 lemon

Preparation

  1. Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent ( ~5  minutes).
  2. Chop off ends of celery and pull off any obvious “strings”. Chop broccoli into smaller pieces.
  3. Add celery, broccoli, vegetable stock and water to pot. Add enough water so that the chopped veggies in the pot are covered (after the veggie stock has been added).
  4. Simmer covered on medium heat until veggies are soft (~20 minutes).
  5. Take portions of the soup and add to blender or food processor, blending until a creamy texture is reached.
  6. In the “old” version of this recipe, we would add heavy whipping cream to the soup to thicken it up and add “creaminess” to it. Since cream is no longer a part of our diets, we now use unsweetened almond milk (original) on occasion. It’s personal preference, however, as it’s not a necessity.
  7. Pour soup into individual bowls.
  8. Cut lemon wedges for each bowl, squeezing the juice of one wedge into each bowl. Mix juice in with soup and enjoy!

I can’t wait to hear your feedback on this recipe! It’s one of my favorites and I have to tell you, I’m not a huge fan of broccoli OR celery!

Happy Healthy Eating,

Melissa (+ Juan)

This recipe is dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

I had made a large batch of pearled barley the other day and after using some of it in a soup, I still had a lot left over and wasn’t quite sure what I could do with it. Since beets are in season right now – and are antioxidant superstars containing compounds that fight inflammation and help neutralize toxins making them easily flushed from the body – I was inspired to create a roasted veggie barley salad. Since I had already cooked the barley, this dish was quick and easy to put together for a weeknight meal.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cooked barley (room temperature)
  • 2-3 beets with stems and greens
  • 1 lb. baby brussels sprouts
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus 2 Tbsp. for sautéing
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place a rimmed cookie sheet in the oven while it’s preheating.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the stems and trim the bottoms of the beets, then wrap each beet with foil.
  3. Trim the stem ends of the baby brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Place in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt & pepper.
  4. Once oven is preheated, turn prepared sprouts out onto the hot cookie sheet along with foil-covered beets and halved lemons, cut side up.
  5. Roast for 20-25 minutes. Beets may need longer depending on size – check for doneness by piercing largest beet with a knife, if it goes in and out with ease—they’re ready, if not—remove sprouts and set aside and continue cooking the beets until done.
  6. While beets, sprouts and lemons are cooking, rinse beet greens and cut the greens away from stems then slice into ribbons. Chop garlic and sauté for about a minute in 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the beet greens and sauté until wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
  7. When beets are cooked, let cool slightly and remove outer skin. Dice into bite-size pieces.
  8. Finally, in a large bowl, combine barley, diced beets, sautéed greens & garlic, roasted Brussels sprouts and toasted walnuts. Squeeze roasted lemons over the salad and add salt and pepper to taste.

This entrée salad is delicious served at room temperature and although it may seem slightly involved, if you can get an extra hand in the kitchen it can be ready in no time. I added the leftovers to fresh greens the next day with just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon for a lunch-ready meal!

Happy Fall Eating!

Holly

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, grain-free and vegetarian.

When shopping at my favorite local farm in Austin, I picked up a few baby eggplants and asked one of the farmers for recommendations on the best way to cook these beautiful little gems. She suggested to not cook them at all, but to slice them raw into thin slices to best enjoy they’re sweet, light flavor. Wanting to balance the sweetness of the eggplant, I paired them with quick-pickled onions and arugula for a slightly sour and spicy contrast.

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: 4 servings
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-3 baby eggplants, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, pickled (see Quick-Pickling recipe below)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 10 oz. washed arugula
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Quick-Pickling Recipe

  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 allspice berries (or ¼ tsp. ground allspice)
  • 5 whole cloves (or ¼ tsp. ground cloves)
  • 1 small, dried chile pepper

Directions for Pickling

  1. In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, seasonings and chile until boiling.
  2. Add the onion slices and lower heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  4. Transfer onions and liquid into a far and refrigerate until ready to use.

seasonal summer salad eggplantDirections for Salad

  1. Rinse quinoa and cook according to directions. Let cool.
  2. Toss arugula, eggplant, pickled onion (along with 1 tsp. pickling liquid), quinoa and oil in a bowl.
  3. Add salt & pepper to taste.

I made this salad part of a satisfying meal by serving it alongside baked sweet potato fries. For an extra flavor and protein boost, add shavings of parmesan cheese before serving the salad. Using local, seasonal ingredients like eggplant and arugula are a great way to ensure your getting the most nutrition and flavor from your produce, not to mention the environmental advantages of buying local!

If you like this recipe, try our Grilled Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad.

Happy Eating!

Holly

This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free and dairy-free.

This recipe is one of my favorites from CLEAN by Dr. Alejandro Junger. The halibut is light but filling and the zucchini, lemons, olives and rosemary add a unique and refreshing touch! And best of all, it’s EASY to make!

Notes

  • Recipe yields: 2 servings
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 (5-ounce) portions of halibut
  • ¼ cup of pitted, halved kalamata olives
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary (or thyme if you prefer)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced in discs (skin on)
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Parchment paper cut into two 12-inch circles (if you do not have parchment paper, use a covered ovenproof dish)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Brush each parchment sheet with olive oil.
  3. Place one piece of halibut in the middle of each sheet and season with sea salt.
  4. On top of the fish, first place three slices of lemon, then three slices of zucchini, then top with a sprig of rosemary.
  5. Sprinkle the olives over the top and drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Pull the sides of the parchment together like a calzone. Fold paper over and crinkle together to seal.
  7. Place each package on a baking tray and place in the lower third of the oven.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes. The paper will puff up and brown lightly.
  9. Remove from oven and place on plates to serve. Open packages at the table and enjoy!

 

This recipe is raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan.

Nothing makes me happier than delicious dessert food that I can eat and know I’m also doing something good for my body. And I have to brag for a second, because I didn’t actually make these, my wonderful husband did! The recipe had been laying on the kitchen counter for a while, so knowing that I’ve been wanting to try them he surprised me by making them for me! So thank you Juan and thank you to The Urban Poser for this recipe—it’s delicious!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~12 2″ round cake balls
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: None, it’s a raw dish
  • Chill Time: ~30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots, peeled (~ ½ pound)
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and cored
  • 1¼ cup dried shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped raisins
  • ¾ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger (or fresh grated to taste)
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 3 Tbsp raw nut butter (almond, pecan, walnut, cashew)
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Raw cocoa nibs for decoration
  • ¼ cup unrefined organic coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey (omit for Vegan option)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 7 Tbsp raw cocoa (+ another ½ Tbsp to make a drizzle)

Preparation

  1. Finely grate carrots and apple by hand or with a food processor. Press out as much juice as possible using a fine sieve or strainer.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients from the first section of ingrdients (except cocoa nibs) to the carrot/apple pulp and mix well.
  3. Roll the dough into balls (~1 Tbsp worth of dough).
  4. Chill cake balls in freezer for ~30 minutes and prepare the chocolate.
  5. Start with room temperature (liquid) coconut oil (it’s liquid point is around 76°F). In a small bowl, combine the coconut oil, vanilla, honey and cocoa. Whisk together until the chocolate is well combined, no lumps. Depending on the size of your cake balls and the amount you end up with in the end, you may need to double the dipping chocolate recipe.
  6. Using a wood skewer or dipping fork, dip the frozen cake balls into the chocolate. Let some of the chocolate drip off  than allow the chocolate to harden while you hold the stick (it will harden pretty fast), sprinkle a few cocoa nibs or nuts on the top of the cake ball before the top hardens. Note: if you don’t  take the time to let some of the chocolate drip off you may not have enough chocolate to finish all the cake balls. They still taste great with a thick coating, but you will have to make extra chocolate sauce. It takes some practice to make your chocolate go far. If practice isn’t your thing just make extra chocolate sauce. Also, to minimize cracking, leave some space at the bottom of the cake ball without chocolate. If a crack does happen, it is easy to cover it up when you drizzle the chocolate over it later.
  7. For the chocolate drizzle, make the same chocolate recipe as above, but add ½-1 Tbsp more of raw cocoa to increase thickness. Using a spoon or a ‘candy making’ squeeze bottle, drizzle the chocolate in thin lines over the cake ball.
  8. For best results, store cake balls in freezer and remove ~5 min prior to serving. They should be fine for up to ~15 min before starting to soften too much. At that point, the coconut oil will become liquid (at around 76 degrees) and the chocolate will begin to melt. I actually stored these in the refrigerator because I preferred them a bit softer. They were a bit messy, but I also really like messes. 🙂
 Thank you again to The Urban Poser for this recipe, I highly recommend it!

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan. Oh and very delicious!

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: ~2-4 servings (depending on whether you’re using it as a main dish or a side dish)
  • Prep Time: ~10 minutes
  • Cook Time: ~30 minutes
  • You could actually cook everything in one skillet if you would like

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Cremini mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegan butter, split into two skillets
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 2½-3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups organic, fresh chopped spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped spinach

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp. butter in each large skillet over medium heat (2 T total).
  2. Rinse, dry and chop mushrooms and add to the first skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  3. Add rice to second skillet and cook, stirring continuously, coating the rice with butter, for 3 minutes.
  4. Add wine to rice and continue stirring until the liquid is completely absorbed, about 1 minute.
  5. Add broth to rice ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed. The mixture should get creamier as you stir.
  6. When rice is cooked al dente, turn off the heat and stir in spinach and combine the two skillets into one.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Risotto is a great source of complex carbohydrates. It will super charge your energy levels and will definitely fill you up! It’s also a great “comfort food” meal if you’re in the mood for something creamy and healthy! This is one of my favorite recipes. Enjoy!

This recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan.

In the hot summer months, I try to avoid using the oven at all costs. However, the other day I had a really strong craving for a homemade baked goodie and wanted to incorporate the sweet potatoes in my pantry for a sweet, yet savory treat. I went looking for recipes and came across several Sweet Potato Biscuit variations. I wanted to make them Vegan (or at least mostly Vegan) and use ingredients I had on-hand.

The following recipe was adapted from the Happy Herbivore’s Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Vegan Biscuits recipe.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Notes

  • Recipe Yields: About 12 biscuits
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Notes: I used a thawed, previously frozen banana, which added a little more moisture to the dough.
  • Notes: For a savory version, omit the sugar, honey and cinnamon and add a pinch of salt and a 1/4 cup of chopped fresh rosemary, dill or thyme.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil (optional, omit for vegan)
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 whole sweet potato
  • 1 cup whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • a dash of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 whole banana, cold

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse, peel and cube the sweet potato, then toss in a bowl with olive oil and honey (skip the honey if you want Vegan biscuits). Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or mixer, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and optional cinnamon.
  3. Mix in the banana until dough starts to form, then add about 3/4 cup of mashed, baked sweet potato.
  4. Once dough is ready—should be wetter than most pizza dough, but dryer than cake batter—stretch out onto a lightly floured surface to about a ½ inch thickness.
  5. Use either a biscuit cutter or a half-cup metal measuring cup to cut biscuits. Transfer onto a cookie sheet and bake at 425° for 5-10 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and edges are turning golden brown.

These make a satisfying, yet healthy, after-dinner treat with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or as a  “grab-and-go” breakfast item.  The whole-wheat flour provides complex carbohydrates to fuel your body, while the sweet potato is rich in anti-oxidants and fiber.

If you’re like me, long-term meal planning is typically something reserved for party planning only. Although I make my weekly shopping list, which may even include some specialty items from a recipe I’ve wanted to try, I tend to go for the same staple items and whatever is in season at the Farmer’s Market. By the end of the week I find myself standing in front of an open pantry, searching for inspiration to utilize the remaining produce in my fridge.

At this point I am always grateful for the following “must-have” pantry items. With these items on-hand, delicious and healthy meal options are only minutes away. No need call in take-out or dig out that frozen pizza in the back of your freezer.

Here’s a list of pantry necessities that can lead to a multitude of yummy, healthful family meals.

Dried Cranberry HeartDried fruits

Cranberries, Raisins, Dates, Blueberries, Apricots, etc.

Keep a stash of any one or more of these dried fruits in your pantry to add to salads, rice dishes, homemade trail-mix/energy bars/recovery bars, chicken salad and more.


Health Benefits: Great sources of fiber and vitamins.

AlmondsNuts & Seeds

Almonds, Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flaxseed, etc.

As with dried fruits, nuts and seeds add texture and flavor to salads, grain dishes, and snacks. They’re also great additions to sweet treats and desserts, like Raw Brownies!

Health Benefits: Excellent source of protein and nutrients as well as providing heart-healthy unsaturated fats.

QuinoaWhole Grains

Quinoa, Brown Rice, Steel-Cut Oats, etc

Whole grains provide a filling and delicious base to any meal. Cook grains in large batches and use throughout the week in salads, soups and side dishes such as this Quinoa and Green Bean Salad.

Health Benefits: Whole grains are made up of complex carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates give our bodies the FUEL we need, the energy that most of our body systems need to function.

Black Beans
Beans & Legumes

Black Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils, Kidney Beans, etc.

I like to buy these items in bulk (dried) and prepare large batches at the beginning of the week. They can be an excellent side or as part of any main dish. Beans and lentils lend themselves to a variety of flavors and uses—Get creative and see how other cultures utilize these power foods! Beans and legumes are must-have items for vegans, who rely more heavily on them for adequate daily protein intake. Check out our featured recipe for Lentil Dal.

Health Benefits: Loaded with protein, fiber and minerals.

Cocoa NibsOrganic Dark Chocolate Chips or Organic Raw Cocoa Nibs

These little morsels of rich, deliciousness have saved me from over-indulging my sweet-tooth many a time. When purchasing the chocolate chips, be sure they are organic with NO added sugar. As a satisfying addition to trail-mix, or melted to make these yummy Chocolate Apricot Nut-Bars, dark chocolate chips are a crave-curing go-to. For an even healthier alternative, try using organic raw cocoa nibs. This superfood can be used just as chocolate chips are!

Health Benefits: Rich in antioxidants, organic dark chocolate helps protect and repair your cells from damage by free radicals. Organic raw cocoa nibs are full of antioxidants as well as flavonoids, amino acids and magnesium helping improve mood, reduce anxiety, increase energy levels and reduce symptoms of PMS.

 

These are the absolute essentials that I keep my pantry stocked with regularly.  When you’re either feeling creative, or just desperate, having a well stocked pantry can make all the difference in the world.

For more advice on Building a Natural Foods Pantry, 101Cookbooks.com has some great tips.