Spinach Artichoke Dip

spinach-artichoke-dipSo, I am totally not a sports person, but I know many people are and therefore, many people may be looking for Super Bowl recipes (to be honest, I didn’t even know what teams were playing until I asked my husband this week). This recipe fits the bill and is a great appetizer any other time too. But, for all you folks going to Super Bowl parties or hosting one yourself, make this dip recipe to share! It is incredible and a healthified version of the classic.

You’ll first need to make a batch of almond “cream cheese,” which is super easy, but does involve soaking the almonds overnight (unless you buy sprouted almonds, then you can just skip to soaking them in boiling water to remove the skins). I have made this almond cream cheese other times too and it is so good, even on its own.

Even though this dip is a healthy twist on the original, it’s still hard to stop going back for more! It’s pretty much been my lunch (along with some added protein) everyday since making it. That’s okay, right?

Cheers and enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 batch homemade almond cream cheese (visit HERE for recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 13.5 oz can quartered artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (I like and used this brand)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 5 oz clamshell fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • Optional: 3 Tbsp fresh raw Parmesan, if tolerated (can also replace with nutritional yeast to yield a cheesy flavor)

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté a few minutes, until softened. Then, add the chopped artichoke hearts and sauté about five minutes more.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the fresh lemon juice, coconut milk, almond cream cheese, paprika, cayenne, nutmeg, sea salt and black pepper. Stir well and let cook down a few minutes.
  3. Then, add in the chopped spinach and stir well. Let cook down a couple minutes or until softened and wilted a bit. Lastly, turn heat to low and mix in Parmesan, if using (or nutritional yeast, if using). Taste and add more sea salt and black pepper, if desired.
  4. Serve warm with vegetable slices, plantain chips, or good-quality sweet potato chips (this brand is my favorite). You can even find good-quality regular potato chips made with avocado, olive or coconut oil, which are also good options if you eat and tolerate white potatoes.

spinach-artichoke-dip-close

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Sausage, Apple & Walnuts

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This recipe was inspired by a Brussels sprout salad from Danielle Walker’s, Meals Made Simple cookbook. When I was home over the holidays, my mom and I were looking for a winter side dish recipe to take to my aunt’s for Christmas dinner. Upon looking through her copy of Danielle’s cookbook, we decided on the Brussels sprout salad recipe (had leeks, bacon and pomegranate seeds in it!). It ended up being a huge hit! Afterward, I knew I wanted to create my own variation and that it was a priority after getting back to Portland.

I went with the idea of this being a complete one-dish meal versus a side, but it could be served as a side, if desired. It’d be a great side for a holiday meal, actually! Surprisingly, this dish held up well the next day too, though I don’t recommend letting it sit in the fridge for too long. There are so many possibilities for a meal like this, so feel free to get creative and make it how you like it!

Cheers and enjoy!

brussels-sprouts-salad

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed & shredded in a food processor or with a mandoline
  • 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee (or avocado oil if you don’t tolerate any dairy)
  • 1 leek, chopped (white part only)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1 pink lady apple, chopped
  • 1 12 oz package chicken apple sausage, sliced (I recommend Aidell’s or Applegate – both of which have 4 pre-cooked sausages in each package)
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • Grated raw parmesan cheese for topping, if tolerated and desired

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Then, add the leek, garlic, Brussels sprouts, sea salt and black pepper. Sauté about 5 minutes.
  2. Next mix in the chicken broth, apple and sausage. Add more sea salt and black pepper, if desired. Place lid on pan and let cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts. Top individual serving with desired amount of Parmesan, if using. Serve warm.

Yields: 3-4 entree-size servings

Nutty Golden Sweet Potato “Toast”

nutty-golden-sweet-potato-toast

Sweet potato “toast” has been on my radar for some time now and I finally got around to trying it. Getting a foot of snow and being snowed in gave me the perfect opportunity to do so and luckily, I had all the ingredients for this variation on hand. Supposedly, you can make these in an actual toaster too, but I got rid of my toaster oven a while back because I no longer had use for it.

I went with a nutty (yes, I know sunflower seed butter isn’t made from nuts, but it yields a nutty flavor), spiced and slightly sweet combo here, but really, there are many possibilities. All the toppings listed here are to taste, so make it how you want it. Also, I used a white sweet potato here, but feel free to use whatever sweet potato variety you like. Meanwhile, I may post other creations of sweet potato “toast” in the near future, so stay tuned.

Enjoy!

By the way, I went back on KATU Afternoon Live this past Monday and made my spiced chicken stew recipe. Watch my segment HERE.

nutty-golden-sweet-potato-toast-trio

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, sliced into ~ 1/4″ vertical slices
  • Avocado oil, for drizzling (I used this brand)
  • Unsweetened sunflower seed butter (I used this one)
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • Ground turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Raw honey, if desired

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place sweet potato slices evenly on sheet. If any of the sweet potato slices end up being a bit thicker, pierce a few times with a fork. Lightly oil both sides of the sweet potato slices with avocado oil and then place in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly toasted.
  2. Once the sweet potato slices have cooked, spread desired amount of sunflower seed butter on top of each slice. Then, top each with desired amount of unsweetened coconut flakes, turmeric, sea salt and black pepper, and a drizzle of raw honey, if using. Enjoy warm.

Yields: 2 servings

Zesty Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower “Rice”

roasted-sweet-potatoes-and-rice

Happy New Year! I hope all of you had wonderful holidays, got to spend time with loved ones, and enjoyed good food…and maybe drinks too! Jesse and I had a lovely time back in Michigan and as usual, the time flew by much too fast. There were many holiday festivities while we were home and even a little birthday celebration for Jesse (his 36th birthday was NYE – also the day we flew back to Portland). We’re grateful for the time we had, and feel fortunate we were able to be there for and with our families.

Meanwhile, I have an intention to invest more time in my blog this year, even if it’s only a little bit more. I enjoy having this space to share and miss doing so on a more regular basis. Last year was challenging in many ways and stepping back was necessary for me. Some challenges still continue, but things are evolving. Coming back around, I think blogging will be quite nurturing and I look forward to it.

Anyway, onto this side dish. It’s a bit zesty, a little spicy, and a lot flavorful! Pair it with chicken, fish, eggs, or even meatballs for a complete meal. I think it’s even tasty cold, but with the frigid temps we’ve been having (in the 20s, which is so cold for Portland), I’ll stick to eating it warm for now. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large white sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
  • 16 oz coarsely riced cauliflower (I used a fresh riced pack from New Seasons)
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil (I used this brand)
  • 1.5 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Fresh ground lemon pepper seasoning, to taste (I used this one)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a large baking sheet, mix together sweet potato pieces, onion, garlic, all the spices, and 1 Tbsp of the avocado oil. Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the cauliflower rice. If needed and/or desired,  add up to 1 Tbsp more avocado oil and additional sea salt and black pepper. Mix well and place pan back in oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring midway through.

 

Classic Summertime Coleslaw

coleslaw

Summer is nearly here, though the weather has been pretty nice in Portland for quite some time now.  We finally cleaned our little grill and got it in tiptop shape for summer. Since then, we’ve been making burgers regularly and love eating this coleslaw alongside. I’ve actually made it twice in less than one week (it makes a big bowl too). We’ve eaten it mainly with burger patties, but with chicken too, and I even ate it with eggs and sausage the other day. It seriously tastes good with nearly everything! I’m a big fan of it.

Be sure to taste the dressing as you go and adjust the flavors to your liking. The coleslaw tastes even better the next day and the flavors are more abundant. Also, I recommend making the homemade mayo with avocado oil for this salad, as the flavor is a little more neutral (though the macadamia nut oil version in my recipe link is awesome).

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 2/3  cup homemade mayo or Primal Kitchen Mayo
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp raw honey
  • 1.5 tsp dried mustard
  • 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Place cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, mix together the mayo, vinegar, raw honey, mustard powder, celery salt, sea salt and pepper. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.
  2. Pour dressing over cabbage and carrots, and mix well to coat.
  3. Place in fridge to chill for at least an hour, but longer if possible. Taste and add more sea salt and/or black pepper, if needed.

Paprika Cucumbers in Vinegar

paprika vinegar cucumbers 2

It had been a long time since I ate cucumbers this way and the taste definitely took me back to childhood a bit. Cucumbers in vinegar was a summertime side dish that I loved as a kid, and still enjoy today. My mom often made it to go with grilled meat and it was something we ate a lot of out at our cottage or at family cookouts. Sometimes, she would make creamed cucumbers instead, but I never liked those…or at least thought I didn’t. I don’t think I ever actually tried them though because I didn’t like how they looked. Typical kid thing to do and something I did a lot when I was young!

This is a slightly different take on the traditional cucumbers in vinegar, but still just as tasty. The bright red paprika adds a nice pop of color too. You can also use hot paprika instead of sweet paprika for a spicy twist or just add a pinch of cayenne if you like. Supposedly, this recipe is very similar to Hungarian cucumber salad. At least that’s what my friend Naz at Cinnamon Eats says.

Enjoy!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus extra for salting cucumbers
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I like this brand with the mother culture)
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp raw honey

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice cucumbers with a mandoline slicer or knife. I actually used the mandoline/slicing attachment blade on my food processor (I have this food processor).
  2. Place cucumber slices in a strainer and generously sprinkle with sea salt. Place strainer over a bowl and drain for 45 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tsp sea salt, the apple cider vinegar, black pepper, paprika and raw honey. Add cucumbers after draining and mix well to coat.
  4. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Use a slotted spoon or fork for serving and sprinkle with extra paprika.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

sweet and sour cabbage

I am a huge cabbage lover and most often eat it with roasts, in meat and veggie sautés or in the form of sauerkraut. It wasn’t until my visit home this past January that I remembered how much I love sweet and sour cabbage too.  My mom made it as a side for dinner one night and since then, I’ve made a variation of it a couple times on my own. It’s also really tasty with sliced apple in the mix, which is how my mom made hers.

This side dish was actually part of our Easter dinner this past Sunday and tasted so delicious with ham. I seriously think I could eat this stuff every day!

Please know, if it’s a little too sour for you, add more honey. I personally prefer more sourness versus sweetness, but that’s just me. Adjust accordingly to your taste.

sweet and sour birds eye

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (I like this brand)
  • Splash of chicken bone broth, preferably homemade
  • 2-3 Tbsp raw honey
  • 3/4 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 small-to-medium head red cabbage (about 2 lb.), thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Then, add the onion and sauté until golden brown.
  2. Next, add the apple cider vinegar, chicken bone broth, raw honey, caraway seeds, sea salt and pepper. Stir well.
  3. Add the cabbage and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Allow to cook for 40 minutes or until cabbage is very tender.

sweet and sour cabbage front