Thursday, July 13, 2017

Healthy Rainbow Vegetable Salad with Turmeric Roasted Chickpeas



If you have children and are in need of some inspiration on getting them to love their veggies, then this kid-friendly recipe is for you. I'm visiting my family in Wisconsin now. My children love to play with my brother's four children who are all about the same ages as mine. Now, my children love their vegetables, but my brother's children are not the same. They are a little more hesitant to have a gigantic pile of raw vegetables fill their plates. My oldest niece is the most adventuresome when it comes to new vegetables. She always asks what I'm eating and wants to try it. The other day she tasted purple daikon radish for the first time and loved it, as well as sliced raw kohlrabi. So when I introduced her to this salad, she literally could not stop eating it. Even before dinner was served she was stealing the lettuce and vegetables off the platter!

Beautiful, bright colors excite children. Why do you think candy is dyed with the most brilliant colors? A platter of fruits and vegetables arranged in a beautiful way is pleasing to the eyes, and even before we eat, our eyes send messages to our brain to begin producing digestive juices in preparation for what is before us. If you make the vegetable presentation appetizing to your children, you might be more likely to naturally gain their acceptance in eating a plate of fresh vegetables. The key to children trying something new, and enjoying it, is patience and persistence (keep offering it)!

Choose their favorite rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables for the salad! For the red color, try diced red bell pepper, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped red radishes, or diced red apple. For the orange color, try chopped orange carrots, diced orange bell peppers, cubed roasted sweet potatoes, or cubed roasted winter squash. For yellow try, Turmeric-Roasted Chickpeas (recipe below), raw corn from the cob, yellow bell peppers, yellow carrots, sliced yellow zucchini, or grated yellow beets. For the green color there are so many options! Try chopped cucumber, blanched green beans, diced avocado, chopped celery, chopped raw broccoli, blanched frozen peas, diced green bell peppers, or thinly sliced green kale. For the blue/purple color try diced red onion, grated raw beets, fresh blueberries, diced purple bell peppers, or roasted purple potatoes. Let me know in the comment section below which vegetable combination you used and how your children liked it. :)

Monday, July 3, 2017

Cherry Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream (dairy-free, paleo)



It's summer! Time to break out the ice cream maker and whip up some dairy-free ice cream. Plus it's cherry season right now. This coconut milk-based ice cream is a perfect way to indulge in both antioxidant-rich cherries and dark chocolate. Serve it as a sweet treat after dinner, or a healthy mid-afternoon snack for your kids. This cherry chocolate chunk ice cream comes from my Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.

Be sure to use full fat coconut milk in this recipe. The hemp seeds give it some extra creaminess, healthy fats, and amino acids. You can easily omit the chocolate if you are on Phase 2 of the Elimination Diet. You can also replace the cherries with blueberries, strawberries, or diced mango. All variations are delicious!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Garlic-Herb Turkey Burgers


This recipe is great for those of you who are on an Elimination Diet as it is very easy to make, and when paired with plenty of vegetables, it becomes a very nourishing, anti-inflammatory meal. We like to use lettuce leaves or napa cabbage leaves as our "buns" for burgers, though sometimes my children like the extra carbohydrates of a gluten-free bun (they are so active and hungry all the time)!

Look for organic ground turkey at your local food co-op or health food store. Sometimes it is in the freezer section. I make turkey burgers about once a week (especially now with the warmer weather). Sometimes I omit the chopped fresh herbs and add a tablespoon or two of a good quality Thai curry paste. I also replace the parsley with cilantro. My children really love this Thai-flavored version too!

Serve burgers with baked sweet potato fries if you are on the Elimination Diet. If not, try some potato fries. My kids love homemade baked oven fries using russet potatoes that are seasoned with smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, sea salt, and avocado oil. In the summertime I also like to grill summer squash from my garden using my cast iron grill pan on the stove to serve with these burgers. Serve burgers with a garden salad and a homemade dressing for a balanced, nourishing meal!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Asparagus, Leek, and Mushroom Frittata



Frittatas are just about one of the easiest, nutrient-dense meals you can make....and they can be whipped up in minutes! Serve a frittata for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I frequently make frittatas to use up the odd bits of leftovers or random veggies in the fridge. I love using leftover salmon and roasted potatoes in a frittata. Green onions, chives, sausages, red bell peppers, yellow or red onions, olives, zucchini, basil, and broccoli are also wonderful ingredients to add to your frittata!

A frittata is made by first sautéing some vegetables in a little butter or olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet, then you add 8 to 10 whisked eggs (sometimes grated cheese too) and pop the whole pan in a preheated 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. It will puff up as it bakes, then fall as it cools. Cut your frittata into wedges and serve with a salad. So easy!

This frittata recipe uses some in-season spring vegetables, plus fresh tarragon to create a complex-flavored meal that will remind you of French cuisine! Asparagus and tarragon pair so well together! Yum! Serve it for Mother's day brunch with a salad and some sparkling mineral water.

If you or a family member cannot tolerate eggs then I would suggest baking a salmon fillet and serving it with a salad for Mother's day brunch. Salmon for brunch is a great egg-free option!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Carrot Cake Muffins (gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan)



Yay for gluten-free carrot cake muffins! I call these healthy little treats muffins, but once frosted they sure seem like cupcakes to me. They are packed full of carrot-goodness, as well as being very moist and light, even without the eggs. What a perfect treat for Mother's day or a Springtime gathering!

I've frosted them here using a Honey-Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below) but if you are dairy-free or vegan then use my Sweet Potato Buttercream Frosting recipe. Just be sure to use white-fleshed sweet potatoes (they have a light-tan skin), and stir in some finely grated orange zest at the end. This recipe is a perfect dairy-free, whole foods replacement for cream cheese frosting (and it looks like it too as long as you use the white sweet potatoes).

The trick to making these egg-free muffins light and fluffy is to add the carrots on top of the whisked dry ingredients, immediately then pour in the blended wet ingredients, and then mix them all together at once. If you stir in the carrots at the end, after your batter has been mixed up, then you will lose some of the trapped air that is formed from the reactions of the baking powder, baking soda, and acid ingredients (apple sauce and orange juice). Then you must bake them right away in your preheated oven. Starting the baking process immediately after mixing the batter together helps to trap air and create lift! Both of these steps will help give the muffins the rise and lightness you normally get with eggs.

If you want to add other ingredients such as chopped walnuts and raisins, go ahead. A half cup of each should work well. Also....did I mention that these muffins are Elimination Diet friendly for Phase 2 and beyond (without the cream cheese frosting and citrus of course)! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Dairy-Free Vanilla Cashew Creamer Recipe


Are you working to eliminate dairy from your diet and in need of a creamy "milk" to add to your morning coffee or tea? I've been making this dairy-free cashew creamer for over a decade and never get tired of it! I don't drink coffee but like to add it to turmeric-ginger spice tea, Dandelion Root Chai, roasted dandelion root tea, and sometimes a maca hot chocolate drink I make.

I know many people who follow a paleo diet and like to add coconut milk or coconut cream to their tea or coffee, but every time I try this I'm quite repulsed by the overwhelming coconut flavor! This cashew creamer does not overpower the beverage that it is added to, yet still offers a warm, rich flavor. If you own a high-powered blender then you can whip up this recipe in minutes, if not you will need to soak your cashews for a few hours in a bowl of water (and then drain) before blending. Another option, if you don't own a high-powered blender or are out of raw cashews, is to add a large spoonful of raw cashew butter to your blender along with 1 to 2 cups of water (plus the other ingredients below) and blend into a creamy milk! I do this on occasion if I'm out of cashews and the milk is so smooth creamy.

Even though this dairy-free cashew creamer is so rich and creamy, it is actually full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats! In fact, 82% of the fat in cashews is unsaturated, and about 66% of that is monounsaturated. Cashews are also a great source of some very important minerals, including magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and zinc!

If you are following the Elimination Diet, then this recipe can be used in Phase 3 during the reintroduction of nuts.