Sautéed Chard with Cherry Tomatoes

IMG_3164This is one of my favorite simple vegetable side dishes and a fantastic way to use an abundance of late summer produce! The array of colors always seems to brighten the day, and it is equally delicious with eggs for breakfast, or as a compliment to your dinner entree.

Rainbow chard is a nutritional powerhouse! This green leafy vegetable is filled with nutrients like Vitamin K, Vitamin C,  Vitamin E, Magnesium, Potassium, and Iron. It’s also a fun crop to grow in your garden!

Makes 4 Servings
  • 1 large bunch rainbow chard
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Tear the chard greens from their colorful stalks. Set the greens aside and chop the stalks into small, 1/2 inch pieces. Heat the oil over medium low heat in a heavy bottomed skillet. When the oil is warmed but not smoking, add the sliced onions and chard stems. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions start to become translucent. Add the chard greens, tomatoes, thyme, and salt and pepper to the skillet, cover, and let the mixture cook for another 5 minutes.

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Dark Chocolate Chia Pudding

IMG_3075Did you know chocolate contains powerful heart healthy antioxidants; as well as selenium, calcium, and magnesium; and an array of B-vitamins? Studies show that eating small amounts of dark chocolate may reduce risk of stroke, heart disease, and high cholesterol due to cocoa’s high flavanoid content. And you probably don’t need a study to tell you about chocolate’s mood boosting properties, although it has been shown to improve anxiety and depression, helping you to feel more calm and content.

Here is a decadent recipe that is sure to satisfy your chocolate cravings. This dark chocolate pudding is paleo, dairy-free, gluten-free, and free of refined sugars. It also contains chia seed, an amazing source of fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Serves 4

  • 1 cup Coconut Cream (coconut milk is also fine here)
  • 1 ripe Banana
  • 1 tsp pure Vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs raw Honey
  • 3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup Chia Seeds

In a blender, combine all ingredients except the chia seeds and blend on medium speed until smooth. Pour into a medium sized container and mix in the chia seeds. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Serve chilled.

Grain Free Banana Blueberry Muffins

BlueberryMuffinsThese grain-free, gluten-free, paleo-friendly muffins are higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than their wheat-filled counterparts and just as delicious. One word…YUM!

Makes 18 muffins

  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, almond butter, oil, vanilla, and honey until smooth. Add in the flours, baking soda, and sea salt and mix again. Gently fold in the blueberries. Place paper liners in muffin tin and spoon in batter so that each cup is about 3/4 full. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean.

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Grain Free Pancakes

IMG_1544Whether you are gluten-free, paleo, or just looking for a healthier alternative to your usual breakfast routine, these grain-free pancakes are a delicious way to start your morning! An added bonus: almond flour is lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein than wheat flour, contains heart healthy fats, and has an amazing buttery taste.

  • 1/2 cup milk (cow, goat, almond, hemp, or coconut)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 to 3 tsp coconut oil (for cooking)

Mix all ingredients except the oil together in a large bowl. Warm 1 tsp of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter into skillet, spreading and shaping with the back of a spoon as needed for uniform thickness. Watch the pancakes carefully as they cook, grain free pancakes tend to cook quicker and burn faster than their wheat counterparts. Flip the cakes after bubbles rise to the surface, about 1 to 2 minutes. Cook on the second side for another 1 to 2 minutes then transfer to a warm (200 degrees Fahrenheit) oven while you cook the remaining batter. Add more oil to the pan as necessary. Serve these pancakes warm with your favorite toppings. I added a drizzle of raw honey, fresh bartlett pears, and roasted hazelnuts to mine.

Walnut Stuffed Figs

These are a beautiful treat for late summer parties.

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Serves 5.

Stuffed Figs

  • 10 fresh ripe Figs (I used Mission variety, but any kind will do)
  • 1/2 cup Walnut halves or pieces
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg

Vanilla Cashew Creme

  • 1 1/2 cups raw Cashews
  • 6 pitted Dates
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the dates and the cashews for the vanilla cashew cream in a bowl. Add just enough water to cover the ingredients and let soak for 30 minutes. Slice the figs and arrange in a glass baking dish. Chop walnuts into small pieces and mix with salt and spices in a bowl. Make a depression in the figs with your finger or a spoon and then spoon spiced nut mixture into the fig halves. Bake figs for approximately 20 minutes or until they have slightly softened.

While the figs are baking, remove and strain the cashews and dates, making sure to reserve the soaking water. Place all ingredients for the vanilla cream in the food processor and blend, adding 1 Tbsp of the soaking water at a time until the mixture is the consistency of smooth frosting. Set aside.

Serve the figs warm and drizzled with Vanilla Cashew Cream.

Spiced Date Rolls

These delicious and healthy date rolls are perfect for sharing.

Makes about 1 dozen.

  • 1 cup Dates
  • 1 cup raw Almonds
  • zest of 1 Orange
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened Coconut
  • 1/2 inch fresh Ginger root, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 3 Tbs water

Place all ingredients except for water and coconut into a food processor. Blend while adding the water a small amount at a time until ingredients form a smooth paste. Place shredded coconut onto a plate. Scoop out a small amount of date paste and roll in your palm to form a 1 inch ball. Roll the ball in the coconut and set aside. Repeat until all the date paste has been used.IMG_0518

Chicken with Summer Tomatoes, Fennel, and Green Olives

A great way to celebrate summer produce!
Serves 4.
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fresh basil, julienned
  • 1/3 cup green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a heavy bottom skillet over medium heat. Sear chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side and set aside. Add 1 Tbs of oil to skillet along with sliced fennel, onions, and salt. Saute for 8 to 10 minutes or until veggies are slightly browned and softened, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and wine along with partially cooked chicken breasts. Nestle chicken amongst the veggies and cover with a lid. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Add olives and basil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more or until chicken is cooked to 165 degrees.

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Turkey Chili

A new take on an old favorite, this recipe gets its delicious, complex flavors from the combination of chili and cocoa powders.  It is full of fiber, lean protein, and veggies, for a great one pot dinner.

Serves 4-6

10 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cooking time

  • 3/4 lb ground Turkey
  • 1 Tbs Coconut Oil
  • One small Garnet Yam
  • Two stalks Celery
  • Two small or one medium Zucchini
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1 small bunch Kale, cut into small ribbons
  • Six cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 cups Tomatoes, diced
  • Two 14 oz cans Black Beans
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1 cup Broth or Water
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Cocoa powder

chiliHeat the coconut oil over medium heat in a large stock pot. Chop the onion, celery, zucchini, and yam into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside. Add turkey to pot and cook lightly until browned, about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, cocoa powder, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, zucchini, and yam, and simmer for 10 minutes more. Then, add the garlic and kale and continue simmering for an additional 10 minutes.

Paleo Coconut Mango Sorbet

SONY DSCCraving something that’s sweet, creamy, AND healthy? My Coconut Mango Sorbet is a refreshing, tropical treat that’s also nutrient-dense and Paleo-friendly. This delicious sorbet is free of dairy and refined sugars and perfect for a hot summer day.

Makes 1 quart and requires an ice cream maker.

  • 2 cans Coconut Milk (full-fat, not light!)
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/4 cup Raw Honey
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 1/4 cup Mango, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes

In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, salt, honey, and lime juice. Stir in the mango chunks. From here, follow the directions on your ice cream maker. The sorbet will most likely need to sit in your freezer for a few hours to firm up before serving.

Note: If you’ve never cut a mango before, here is a great step-by-step video!

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Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios and Thyme

This recipe is simple and delicious, with a rich nutty flavor. I often serve it in place of rice or couscous when I make a tagine, curry, or stew. Serves 4-6.
  • One headof cauliflower, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil orothervegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried Thyme

Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the chopped cauliflower on a cookie sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mixture and then spread it out into one even layer. Bake for about 40 minutes total, stirring once at 20 minutes and adding the pistachios and thyme after 35 minutes of cooking. Cauliflower should be tender and lightly browned. Serve warm.

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