Chocolate Banana Walnut Bites

We had a snow day yesterday and it gave me the opportunity to experiment with the green banana flour I bought a few weeks ago. I’ve known about green banana flour for a while, but kept forgetting to order some. Then, I conveniently stumbled upon it at the grocery store. Score!

So far, I am pretty impressed with the flour. It worked well in this recipe and did not yield a strong or sweet banana flavor. It’s actually rather subtle. All in all, the bites turned out intensely chocolatey, subtly sweet, and slightly crunchy. In addition to the wonderful flavor, you get a dose of antioxidants, healthy fats, and resistant starch in these decadent bites. Perfect little treat.

Also, if you’re wondering, resistant starch actually, “resists digestion” and feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut. This can lead to improved blood fats, better insulin sensitivity, increased satiety, improved digestion, and more. Cold cooked white potatoes, fresh green bananas, and green plantains are other great sources. If you want to learn more about resistant starch, visit HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup green banana flour (find HERE)
  • 1/4 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp cacao nibs
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, preferably sprouted
  • 4 large medjool dates, pitted

*Note: if you want these sweeter, you can add a little maple syrup, raw honey, or another 1-2 pitted medjool dates

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the cacao nibs in the food processor. Process until mixture is well blended and clumps together.
  2. Add the cacao nibs and pulse a few times to incorporate.
  3. With hands, roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls and place in the refrigerator to set for 10-20 minutes.
  4. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Yields: ~15 bites

 

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Superfood Chicken and Vegetable Soup

3 spiced chicken veggie soupThis chicken soup packs a powerful punch and makes me happy. It is incredibly nourishing and healing thanks to the bone broth, veggies, and spices. It even has a dose of medicinal reishi mushroom powder. I was fortunate to receive a bag of reishi mushrooms from friends that grew and dried them, so made my own reishi powder (note: the dry container for the Vitamix works awesome for this). If you’re unfamiliar, know that reishi mushrooms are great for overall wellness, stress relief, immune support, and more. It is a great addition to chicken soup, but don’t fret if you don’t have it. You can easily omit it from the recipe or find it HERE. Also, if you’re wondering, it doesn’t really have any noticeable flavor either.

If you’re pressed for time, know that you can use pre-cooked or leftover chicken breasts (or rotisserie chicken) and skip cooking it in the broth. It’ll do the trick, but I do recommend cooking the chicken fresh in the broth, if you can. It’s more flavorful and tender, which makes it easy to shred into the soup. I find that it stretches further too because of how much it breaks up.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • ~2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8-10 cups chicken bone broth, preferably homemade, plus more if needed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 tsp grass-fed ghee or other fat of choice
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp reishi mushroom powder, optional (find HERE)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 bunch Italian kale, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Filtered water, to taste, if needed

Directions:

  1. Add the chicken breasts, broth, and bay leaves to a large stock pot. Make sure there’s enough broth to cover the chicken completely. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium-low heat for 30-60 minutes or until chicken breasts are very tender.
  2. Once done, remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Drain the broth into a separate pot or large bowl, and set aside for later. Be sure to remove the bay leaves as well.
  3. Next, add the ghee to the stock pot and melt over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and sauté a few minutes. Then, add the sweet potato and garlic, and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté a couple minutes more.
  4. Shred the cooled chicken and add back to the pot with the broth. If needed, add a bit more broth and/or filtered water. Then, add the ground ginger, turmeric, lemon juice, and reishi powder, if using. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
  5. Lastly, add the chopped kale and stir. Let cook 2-3 minutes more or until kale is slightly softened. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.

Note: the shredded chicken absorbs more broth after sitting overnight in the refrigerator. In this case, you may want to add more broth when reheating leftovers, but it’s just as tasty eaten as a thicker soup. It all depends on how brothy you want it.

Sheet Pan Spiced Chicken and Vegetables

One pan meals are pretty much my favorite. They’re simple, efficient, and most importantly, easy to clean up! I also love that ample leftovers are often a result. Plus, the options and flavor varieties are endless.

This recipe is loaded with everything you need: healthy fats, good-quality protein, healthy carbs, green veggies, and herbs/spices. Feel free to tweak the spice ratios to your taste and swap out any of the veggies based on preference or what you have on hand.

Meanwhile, I’ll be making this recipe TODAY on KATU Afternoon Live. I’ll be sure to share the replay link once it’s available, but if you want to tune in live, the show is on from 3-4pm PST.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into large chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large broccoli crown, chopped into florets
  • 3-4 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To a large bowl, add the onion, chicken, sweet potato, carrot, and broccoli. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne, sea salt, and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken and veggies and stir well to coat.
  3. Pour chicken and veggie mixture onto prepared sheet pan and spread out in an even layer.
  4. *Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are fork tender. *Note if chicken is done before the vegetables (mainly the carrots and sweet potatoes), feel free to remove what’s done from the sheet pan and set aside while veggies finishing cooking.

Yields: ~4 servings

Cocoa Roasted Sweet Potatoes

First off, happy New Year! I hope all of you had great holidays and are enjoying 2018 thus far. I have so much excitement surrounding this year and am feeling giddy, energized, and joyful. There is so much good to come.

On another note, just because the holiday season is over does not mean that chocolate is out of the question! I know many of us had our fair share of treats, but who says you can’t have chocolate with your vegetables? It might sound wild, but in this case, I’m talking about a dusting of unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder on roasted sweet potatoes. It’s a match made in heaven with the natural sweetness and a decadent way to mix things up. For a little spice, I added a dash of turmeric and black pepper too. It’s a magical combo. Also, I know it may appear as if the sweet potatoes are burnt, but I assure you, they’re not. That’s just the covering of cocoa powder.

Meanwhile, just add your protein of choice and some greens, and you’ve got an epic meal. My recommendation would be baked chicken breast and sautéed kale. Perfecto!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1.5 Tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place chopped sweet potatoes in a large bowl. In a small dish, whisk together melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, turmeric, sea salt, and pepper. Pour mixture over sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Place in an even layer on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Turkey Butternut Squash Stew

This stew is the epitome of healthy comfort food. It’s the perfect antidote on a chilly day and full of nutritious ingredients to boot. I’ve made it a couple times already and love that we’re able to get a few night’s worth of meals out of it. It’s been wonderful with the damp, drizzly, and gray weather we’ve been having. It’s definitely going to be on repeat this winter.

On another note, we got our tree over the weekend — on a very rainy, wet day (we ate this stew for dinner that night). We went to a tree farm on Sauvie Island and picked out a little Douglas Fir. When I spotted the tree, I swear it had a beam of light shining down on it. It was so radiant and emitted such a glow. We instantly agreed on it too, even though we had intentions of getting a Grand Fir when we got to the tree farm. Anyway, the tree is perfect and the house smells lovely with its aroma. Lights are on, but we’re waiting to adorn it with ornaments until next week. We’ll be out of town tomorrow through Sunday and know the kitties might be too tempted by the shiny, hanging bulbs while we’re away! We have a friend checking in on them, of course, but they still end up with extra time to themselves. Anyway, if you want to get a glimpse of our little tree thus far and see me hauling it in the wagon, visit my Instagram page HERE.

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 lb ground turkey breakfast sausage (I used New Seasons’s country sage turkey breakfast sausage)
  • 1 medium cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup good-quality chicken, turkey, or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter or ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté a couple minutes, until onion is translucent. Next, add the ground turkey breast and ground turkey sausage. Season to taste with a little sea salt and black pepper. Continue to cook meat for several minutes, until browned, breaking up the pieces with a spatula as needed.
  2. Next, add the cabbage, 1/4 cup of broth, and a bit more sea salt and black pepper. Stir, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover with a lid. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, carrots, poultry seasoning, dried sage, and bay leaf. Stir well. If need be or desired, add up to 1/4 cup more broth. Cover with lid and let cook for another 10 minutes or until squash and carrots are tender.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Yields: ~6-7 servings

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Delicata Squash, & Cranberries

roasted squash, Brussels and cranberriesThanksgiving may be over, but the holiday season is officially in full swing. Although, I’ll be honest, it doesn’t totally feel like it yet. Anyone else feeling that way?

Anyway, with the holiday season here, there will be plenty more dinners, parties, and get togethers, and I’m willing to bet you’re going to need side dish recipes to share. This festive, healthy, and colorful bounty is perfect. And, not only is it visually pleasing, it’s delicious too. I especially love the pop of color and burst of tart flavor from the cranberries. Also, you may notice that the Brussels sprouts are purple (or would it be red?). I had never seen this variety before and couldn’t resist the beautiful color. If you can’t find the purple ones, green work just fine and taste the same.

Meanwhile, I hope all of you had a lovely Thanksgiving last week, and enjoyed time with family and friends.

Cheers and enjoy!

roasted vegetables with cranberries

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
  • 1 medium delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded, and cut into half moons
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place Brussels sprouts, cranberries, squash, and shallot on a large baking sheet (line with parchment, if desired) and drizzle with the avocado oil. Sprinkle the thyme, sage, sea salt, and black pepper on top. Toss to combine and spread out in an even layer.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are crispy and browned. If desired, give a gentle stir halfway through cooking time.

Spiced Beef Stew with Cabbage, Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato

The weather has been chillier and damp the past few days, so this hearty, tasty, fall-spiced one-dish meal has been a sufficient belly warmer. Full of butternut squash, white sweet potato, red cabbage, ground beef, and flavorful spices, it’s a winning combination. Perfect for fall, in my opinion.

Also, this probably comes as no surprise, but the flavors are even more abundant the next day and the texture becomes a bit creamy too. The creaminess is a result of the squash breaking down more when reheated and stirred. The sweet potato holds together more since it’s starchier, but probably adds a dose of its own creaminess as well. Regardless, it’s legit.

Meanwhile, catch me next Wednesday, October 18 on KATU Afternoon Live! I’ll be making my pumpkin spice chocolate clusters that I shared last week. Stay tuned!

Cheers and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1-2 tsp grass-fed ghee, butter, or other fat of choice
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • Splash of chicken broth, homemade or high-quality store-bought
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2.5 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste, if needed
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt ghee or other fat of choice in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté a couple minutes. Then, add the ground beef and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, breaking up the pieces with a spatula as needed.
  2. Next, add the cabbage and 1 tsp sea salt. Stir, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the butternut squash, sweet potato, broth, vinegar, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, remaining 1 tsp sea salt, and black pepper. Stir, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Check sweet potatoes and squash with a fork and if need be, cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust sea salt, pepper, and spices as desired.

Yields: 6 servings